Red Rose Road Runners turned up in great numbers for the Mid lancs cross country fixture held at Wilson Playing Fields. Conditions were wet in parts, deep in mud in several sections and narrow and twisting in the driest parts. It was great to see three of our Junior members running. It was a hard day for cross country novices in all the races but Alice Lodge ran as the sole representative in the Under 11 Girls race finishing in 14.18. In the Under 17 race Jordan Donoghue managed to finish in 30.01 after appearing in the Preston Parkrun earlier in the day and Ethan Hodgkinson finished in 30.51.
In the Ladies race we managed nine runners with Paula Plowman leading the club home in 56th place in a time of 33.00. Margaret Lupton ran well, still in her first season, with a time of 34.36. Completing the ‘A’ team, Anne Wallworth came home in 34.48.
It was clearly a learning experience for most of the club entrants and the correct choice of footwear was only a slight advantage as the road runners struggled against the conditions. Debbie Porter (39.07), Pita Oates (43.02) and Adela Nuttall (43.49) made up a ‘B’ team and Helen Orson (43.49). Wendy Ward (46.51) and Janet Saynor (47.57) completed a third team for the club.
The Men’s race saw 243 runners with our best performance coming from Ben Donoghue in 88th place in a time of 44.45. Ken Addison had great run finishing 8th V50 out of 55 runners in a time of 45.46. Fred Lynch showed his clear return to form finishing 12th in the V50 class in 46.23. Next home was Phil Darwen. In spite of a nasty gash on the foot from a stray spike and an unscheduled ‘fall’ his time was 47.08.
From here significant gaps between our runners appeared and it became a battle between runner and course rather than runner versus runner. Joe Swarbrick struggled to maintain any momentum finishing in 48.26 completing the V50 team which took 3rd place in the fixture. Phil Butler fought off a challenge from Philip Davidson(50.02) to finish in 49.02. Stuart Cann followed in 51.22 ahead of Anthony Murphy who improved on last year’s time by 6 minutes to finish in 52.09. Frank Nightingale (52.51) fought the conditions manfully to stay clear of Jonathan Evans who finished in 53.06. Shane Cliffe was next in to complete a ‘B’ team in a time of 53.17. Phil Dean’s 55.20 made him the 6th Red Rose V50 counter emphasising the strength and depth of the club’s older generation ! More support for the club’s cause came from determined performances from Barry Wheeler (56.14), Andy Binstead (57.19), Richard Lodge (61.03), Andy Speer ( 63.23) and Martin Simpson (68.10)
Full of Festive Spirit, Red Rose took on the light hearted but testing Turkey Trot at Hurst Green. Fancy dress was almost compulsory for the 236 runners. Richard Oakley was the first Red Rose home taking the V60 prize in a great time of 37.51. Joan Gouldthorpe also took a V60 prize with a time of 47.20. Several runners ran this race on the Back of the previous day’s cross country which must have had a detrimental effect on their legs. Phil Davidson, 39.19, Margaret Lupton 45.55, Richard Lodge 48.45, George Fletcher 50.09, Jim Robinson 50.40, Gayle Evens 51.25, Debbie Porter 54.39, Janet Saynor 69.00.