Robert Cranham won the most improved runner of the year at the presentation night and he continues to improve. Today he won this race and improved his PB over 10K by 50 seconds.
During the race, he took the lead early on and was chased by Paul Hill who was constantly breathing down his neck and pushing him on. It rapidly became a two horse race with those two way out in front of the chasing pack. When they got to the last 100 metres, Robert put on a sprint and Paul did not have enough in the tank to keep up with him that he ran out the winner by 52 seconds.
1 Robert Cranham 40:40
Only one junior in this race, but Lexi has shown herself to be up for racing, in addition to taking part in Park Runs. The competition in this race is tough, as the event attracts top runners from all over the country and good for Lexi in mixing it in the top circles.
124 Lexi Allen 14:04
Both the Mid Lancs and the Red Rose Cross Country leagues come together for this event. It is a fast course, it has huge fields and attracts a lot of top cross country runners.
We only had one senior representative there who was John Mason. In the juniors, we did also have Lexi Allen and her details are on the junior website.
480 John Mason 43:10
For those who do not know about David Staff, he was a young member of Darwen Dashers and at age 17, he was running in the Clitheroe 10K when he suddenly collapsed and died during the race. His death was caused by a rare condition known as Hyperthropic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. Every year, the money raised from this race goes towards research into this condition.
On to the race itself, torrential rain greeted the runners as came together for the start and it never let up for the rest of the day. On the ascent out of Sunnyhurst Park, Jonny Murphy took the lead, followed by John Horrocks and Robert Cranham. This group were running together until Jonny Murphy decided to push on, leaving the other two trailing behind. Initially, John Horrocks did not follow him and continued at his own pace up the steep ascent to Jubilee Tower. Suddenly, John also decided to up the pace and close the gap on the leader, leaving Robert running in the middle of nowhere. When they reached the tower, the two leaders were neck and neck and Robert was following on some distance behind, with a comfortable lead over 4th place. The positions remained unchanged after the run around the tops before the descent back to Sunnyhurst when John Horrocks took the lead and ran out race winner. It had been a cracking race between those two fine athletes. Robert was still running in the middle of nowhere, being too far behind those leaders to make a serious challenge, but still having a comfortable lead on the chasing pack. And that was how it remained until the end. It was a good performance by Robert and perhaps confirmation that he deserved the club award for most improved runner of the year.
Further down the field, the other Barlicker, Mark Horrocks was having a steady, if undramatic, race. But looks can be deceptive as Mark showed some of the old form for which he is famous and made a top ten finish whilst at the same time, scooping the first M60 prize.
3 Robert Cranham 34:02 (1st M40)
8 Mark Horrocks (1st M60)
26 Raymond Banks 21:45 (1st M70)
In keeping with club tradition, it was a case of get hosed down after the Tour of Pendle and get out to the club presentation night, this year held at Barlick Town Football Club. The prizes this year went to:
Most Improved Runner of the Year
Female: Helen Harrison
Male: Robert Cranham
1 Molly Ralphson
2 Heather Driver
3 Paula Cullen
1 David Mirfield
2 Robert Cranham
3 Andrew Smith
The usual muddy boggy course once more greeted the runners in this race. The results that we have so far are:
8 David Mirfield 2:36:33
11 Julian Hood 2:44:44
111 Andrew Smith 3:25:43
143 John Mason 3:33:27
156 John Boothman 3:36:00
179 Hannah Newbold 3:42:44