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Taylor is the tops at Hameldon Hill
THE Great Hameldon Hill Race in Accrington enjoyed its largest field in 14 years – and celebrated a local winner in the shape of Rossendale Harrier Brendan Taylor.
It was the 31st race since its inception in 1979 and the first in this year’s Pendle and Burnley Grand Prix, a series of 15 races taking place around East Lancashire between May and August. Despite a less than good weather forecast, it was a very pleasant sunny day for the largest field of competitors since 1998 with 205 senior runners on the starting line. In the junior races there were 44 in the various age groups under 16 years of age, the best turnout since 2003.
Rossendale’s Taylor took the honours in the senior event in 38 minutes and 14 seconds, just over two minutes slower than the record set by Rob Hope in 2004. Taylor was followed by two Wharfedale runners – Stephen Chew (39:34) and Christian Holmes (40:09). Andy Stubbs of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers was first veteran over 40 years of age in 40:51. Local runner Keiran Horrigan was first over 50 years in 42:17.
In the Ladies Amy Green of Keighley and Craven was first to finish in 24th place overall in a time of 44:14, just 33 seconds outside the record she set in 2007. The second place was taken by Laura Hesketh of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers in 48:24 closely followed by 17-year-old Helena Leathley of Clayton 10 seconds later. Molly Ralphson of Trawden took the veterans class in 48:53. Kaye Callaghan of Accrington Road Runners took the over 40s prize in 53:59 and Irene Roche of Clayton took the over 50s in 54:07.
In the over 60 class, Tony Hesketh of Horwich won in 48:41 while Karin Goss took the ladies prize in 66:05. John Minton of Chorley was first over 70 years in 63.38 and Dawn Lock of Lytham St Annes was first lady over 65 years in 82.07.
Clayton’s Samuel Hardisty was first man in the U18s in a time of 54.56. In the U8s race, 12 runners took part and ran an 800-metre route around the school field, led home by seven-year-old Jack Smith of Rossendale. Christ-opher Brown of Clayton was the first six-year-old to finish. In the girls, Ella Dorrington-Levy was first seven-year-old and Alanya Irvine first six-year old.
In the U10s, eight youngsters had a go at the 1,600 metre course, with Eric Beaumont of Kei-ghley and Craven first home and also first eight-year-old, while Ciaran Crabtree of Wharfedale was first nine-year-old.
The U16s, 14s, and 12s all did a route around the Coppice of around two miles, with 24 youngsters lined up. First home was 12-year-old James Lund of Keighley and Craven in 11:50.
Wharfedale took the next two places with Thomas Nelson 12:49 and Logan Hargreaves-Madhas 27 seconds later. Natalya Irvine, 11, of Clayton Harriers, was the first girl home in 13:49. George Pier, 14, of Clayton took his age group in 14:04, closely followed by Kelsey Rutherford of Blackburn Harriers who was first 13-year-old girl. Sophie Murphy of Rossendale was first 12-year-old girl and Eleanor Root of Clayton first 10-year-old girl.
Interestingly, in the senior race, the percentage of ladies taking part is increasing year on year – 45 took part this year. However, on the other hand the number of men under 40 years of age is in decline with only 43 in this year’s race.
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