The inaugural Ron Hill 10k in Accrington was the second race in the Red Rose Championship calendar. Ben Donoghue immediately joined the leading group as the runners left the town centre, up the endless Manchester Road hill to Baxenden. A great run resulted in him finishing in fifth place, and 36.20, less than a minute behind second place.
Weather conditions were almost ideal for the 400 runners but the first three miles were an unforgiving uphill gradient which tested most of the field. Ken Addison and Joe Swarbrick tackled the hill with only a couple of yards between them before Swarbrick took advantage of a downhill section to grab a few precious seconds, finishing in 39.56 to Ken’s 40.14. Steve Whitney had a great run to finish well in 41.14 and Fred Lynch had a close battle with Phil Butler, managing a late charge to the finish in 42.30. V 50 Phil Butler had a fast start to the race finding a gap in front of a large chasing field only losing out to Fred in the last stage of the race but still with a fine time of 42.33. John Allen emphasised the depth of quality in the club’s V50 squad by finishing in 42.51 as 11th V50 in a class of 64. Dave Maudsley made a brave effort to finish in 44.19.
Jill Jefferson found the race a tough challenge but came away with two prizes. Although competing as a F55, she was awarded 3rd V40 and first F50 with her time of 45.12. Frank Nightingale once again gave a good performance with his time of 45.15 on a course where few would produce their best times. Next came a band of five Red Rose men. A tentative outing for recently injured, Stuart Cann saw him accompany his team mates Andy Binstead, John Wiseman, Phil Dean and Rob Mather. A final flurry in the closing stage saw Stuart come home first, with no after affects from his injury in 47.22 and the others coming in fast on his heels with only six seconds covering them all.
Richard Crompton was next in, beating 50 minutes in a time of 49.23. Paula Plowman celebrated her performance taking the 3rd F50 prize in 50.09 followed by Ann Wallworth being 4th F50 in a time of 50.58. Anneke Crosby performed well to be 20th lady out of 150 in a time of 51.04, with newcomer Catherine Ramsden having a promising run in a time of 52.02. Another new face, Alex Oakley came in with a time of 52.42 with John Plowman and Debbie Porter close behind in 52.51 and 52.53.
Luke Bosman followed up his Parkrun from the previous day in a time 55.11 with Damien Clapham next in 55.53. Mike Jeffreys beat the hour with 58.28 whilst Wendy Ward had a strong run, just missing the hour, in 60.19. Ann Donoghue and Aimee Midgley tackled the course together in a time of 70.04 and Janet Saynor completed the 33 strong team in a time of 72.25.
The Muddy Bottoms races provided a very different challenge. In the 9 mile course David Bottomley covered the course in 1.24.23 for 16th place with Anthony Rushe in 17th place, in a time of 1.25.50. Joan Gouldthorpe, Gale Evans, George Fletcher and Jim Robinson ran as a group finishing in 1hr 55minutes. In the longer race, 17 miles, Margaret Lupton was 12th home in a tiring 3.30.41 with Wayne Walsh in 16th in 3.31.57. Lucy Lodge ran well for 3.32.02 with great support from her dad, Richard Lodge in 3.32.20.