What a difference between the race last week, in this Rossendale Harriers mid-week series, and this one. Last week it was gentle runnable hills over firm ground. This week, it was very much like a traditional fell race, with several steep climbs, lots of mud and just to complete the picture, there was clag on the tops and continuous gentle rain. You leave the village of Cowpe and almost immediately start on a long ascent, at first on the road and then on to a muddy footpath and then a muddy track. This leads to the site of an old quarry where there is some respite as the wet and muddy track levels out before the runners make a short descent before starting a further climb, So this race goes on, culminating in the final climb up Whittle Pike itself. All in all, a tough course.
After the descent from the summit, the first three finishers, Joe Mercer of Horwich, Darren Kaye of Calder Valley and Andrew Worcester of Todmorden, had broken away from the rest of the pack and were in a race of their own. There was nothing to choose between them and they were all seriously racing. This left 4th place Peter Bray running on his own, before the pack came into view, with Andy Collins in 6th place shouting, " I got lost". David Poole followed shortly after, as did Stephen Shorrocks and then Carl Pawson, still showing his new lease of life. Four runner in the top 16 must have put Barlick in a good position for the team prize. But it was not to be, Horwich not only had the race winner, but his two team mates also finished in the top ten and the honours went to them.
This was a tough race and the ladies were half way down the field, with Anne-Marie Hindle of Rossendale leading the way on the ascent. She was shortly followed by Lorraine Slater and completing the top three was Jacqueline Collins. This was how it finished.
The next Barlick lady to finish was Paula Cullen who looked absolutely shattered on the way back down and she confirmed how she felt by ruefully shouting, "That was bloody hard". However, her efforts were good enough to once more ensure that the Barlick ladies took the team prize
There were category prizes too for Barlick with Andrew Smith finishing first V55 and Peter Jackson finishing 2nd V60. Apparently, this was the first time that Andrew, had won a prize, who afterwards modestly confessed that the conditions just suited him..
As usual with Rossendale, this was a well organised event and well flagged and marshaled, with results very quickly published. Well done Rossendale.J
Race winner: Joe Mercer 44:08
6 Andy Collins 48:37
10 David Poole 49:38
13 Stephen Shorrock 50:26
16 Carl Pawson 51:27
29 Ben Whitehead 54:59
31 Barrie Charnley 55;09
33 Zac Kaye 55:28
40 Andrew Smith 57:39 (1st MV55)
53 Pete Jackson 1:00:06
54 Lorraine Slater 1:00:13 (2nd lady, 2nd LV45)
57 Jacqueline Collins 1:00:48 (3rd lady)
63 Glenn Whittaker 1:03:32
75 Paula Cullen 1:07:23
97 Katie Towers 1:17:31