THERE is a growing feeling that Dave Walker is about to join the big guns of fell running.

On Saturday at the Keith Munton Memorial Boulsworth Hill Race he finished second behind another rising star, Siggy Gould of Bingley, but among those left in his wake was Gary Devine, the former English and British Champion who won last year.

Still improving rapidly at 23, Dave had to overcome a debilitating bout of glandular fever in his late teens and in the past couple of months he has shown the best form of his career.

"He's hungry for success," wrote Clayton Fell Captain Garry Wilkinson recently.

Race photographer Peter Hartley added: "He looks lean and fit, and it's about time we had another local like Shaun Livesey or Mark Horrocks who can challenge the best."

Walker ran hard from the start and looked comfortable despite difficult conditions which included hard ground with a light covering of snow and frequent icy patches.

The 6.5 mile race took place at Laneshawbridge near Colne, very much home territory for Burnley musician 'Boff' Whalley who was the only other local to make the top ten, seventh for Pudsey and Bramley.

Clayton's Andy Orr took 14th with Rossendale Harrier Jason Howard two places further back. John Brook, who finished 34th, was Todmorden's first finisher while Dave Naughton in 54th led home a contingent of Darwen Dashers.

Ken Taylor fought off the challenge of younger brother Thornton, and also won the M50 class from Clayton's Kieran Carr. Ross Jaques was second M60. Kath Wallis was the winning lady veteran, while Wharfedale's junior international Kate Rogan was the under 20 winner.

The finish is an uphill scramble, and two years ago the first four were neck and neck as they reached the run-in. Organiser Duncan Thompson put up a sign-post this year marking "250 yards to finish" -- with a direction arrow pointing straight up!

Results (Clayton unless otherwise stated)

Men: 1 Siggy Gould (Bingley) 47:10, 2 Dave Walker 49:34, 3 Gary Devine (Pudsey and Bramley) 50:07, 5 (1st M40) Ian Ferguson (Bingley) 50:16, 7 'Boff' Whalley (Pudsey and Bramley) 51:04, 14 Andy Orr 52:22, 16 Jason Howard (R) 52:46, 17 Matt Woods 53:00, 20 (1st M50) Ken Taylor (R) 54:15, 21 Steve Whittaker 54:24, 22 Thornton Taylor (R) 54:30, 28 (2nd M50) Kieran Carr 55:04, 29 Andy Preedy (R) 55:05, 32 Dave Holt (R) 55:41, 34 John Brook (T), 37 Mark Nutter 56:33, 38 Dave Schofield (R) 56:44, 39 Dave Collins (T) 56:47, 40 Neil Worswick 56:54, 41 Barry Mitchell 57:42, 48 Martin Roberts (T) 59:13, 49 Peter Booth 59:17, 54 Dave Naughton (DD), 55 Dave Hindle, 56 Jeff Pickup, 59 Pete Browning, 63 Andrew Robinson, 66 Howard Nicholson, 68 Nigel Dewhurst (DD), 73 Geoff Newsom, 75 Harry Walker, 81 Andrew Firth, 85 Pete Nuttall (R), 89 Andrew Dugdale, Other selected: 113 (2nd M60) Ross Jaques

Women: 1 (40th overall) Pauline Monroe (u/a) 58:16, 2 (59th) Lisa Lacon (Holmfirth), 3 (77th) Anne Buckley (Salford), 4 (1st veteran/83rd) Kath Wallis, 5 (1st U20/93rd) Kate Rogan (Wharfedale)

Tribute to Keith Munton

THIS year's Boulsworth Hill Race carried the name of Keith Munton as a mark of respect to the 56-year-old Nelson athlete who died in a drowning accident last June.

Keith was instrumental in setting up the first race, and apart from one year when he ran, he would always marshal at the double crossing of Turnhole Clough. From there he would cheer on the leaders and encourage the backmarkers.

Initially a road runner with Clayton Harriers he set a PB of 2:57 at the Windermere Marathon, and ran many sub 1:20 half marathons. By the mid 80's he had discovered the magic of racing and training on the fells and he became a prolific and successful M40.

He joined Calder Valley Fell Runners where his easy going nature and fierce competitiveness made him popularwith all his club mates. He also backed up on many successful attempts on the Bob Graham Round.

Keith retired from racing in the mid 90's but continued to run for the freedom and pleasure the outdoors gave him. On Saturday the athletes made their own tribute with 216 running -- nearly 50 per cent up on last year.

Proceeds of the event will go to Rossendale Fell Rescue Team who searched for Keith after his accident.

Kerry on track for road reward

KERRY Smithson doesn't run many road races, so when she finished eighth overall at the Fred Jessop 10K at Rochdale it surprised most of the competitors.

The former Hyndburn AC athlete prefers the track and treats road racing as necessary preparation for the summer season.

Her time of 35:41 on an undulating course must have given her great satisfaction even though she feels there is a bit more speed to come.

She won the ladies race by a wide margin to emphasise that she has fully recovered from the foot injury which caused her to miss the Olympic Trials in the summer.

Last year she made her England debut over1500m and she is working hard to build on her success. She has been considering running in the AAA's Indoor Championships this weekend, but she is concentrating on mileage and is more likely to aim for the Alsager 5M next week.

In November she visited a slightly more glamorous part of the world after accepting an invitation to run two 3000m stages in a relay team at the Bahrain Marathon.

Simon Deakin of Leeds followed his third place at the Ribble Valley 10K with an easy win at Rochdale, while Mick Nester of Blackburn Road Runners was 1st M45. Jennifer Adams of Red Rose was the F50 winner only a day after winning a gold medal at the Lancashire Cross Country Championships.

Round Up

Marl meeting

ROSSENDALE Council is hosting an Open Meeting to discuss the way ahead for the Marl Pits complex. Representatives of all the sports that use the facility are invited. The venue is the home of Rossendale Harriers, but the running track needs updating. The club is exploring its options after an approach by representatives of Alder Grange County High School who are keen to incorporate a running track in their own development plan. The meeting is on Wednesday January 31 at 7:30pm at the Leisure Centre.

EVAN Cook was the first over 50 in Sunday's San Diego Marathon. Taking in the race while on holiday in America, he was 11th in a field of over 1000 in 2:38:15. Evan wasn't the only top veteran in the race -- the overall winner was a 43-year-old Russian who logged an incredible 2:17.

Jeannette win

JEANNETTE Coleman of Chorley Harriers and ex-Blackburn Harrier Graham Schofield were the winning veterans in the Ashurst Beacon Fell Race. Bowland Fell Runner Steve Sweeney finished second to Neil Wilkinson, but Salford Harrier Wilkinson was upstaged by wife Sarah. She finished sixth overall, and reduced the women's record by four minutes. Clayton Harriers Alan Life and Lee Pascco enjoyed their own battle finishing 21st and 22nd.

Chorley awards

CHORLEY Athletic Club honoured their brightest young prospects when the Club held it's Annual Presentation Night at St Chad's Club in Whittle Le Woods. Lisa Richardson, Eloise Manger, Michelle Sheward, Rachel Pennington and Ruth Scholes all collected awards after being voted the best in their age groups. The boys winners were David Simmons, Lee Pursglove, Mark Jenner and James Roden.

Kitty's victory

KITTY Garnett was the winning over 60 in the Four Villages Half Marathon at Helsby on Sunday. Clayton team mate Val Lawson was second over 55, and Rossendale Harrier Louise Cooper was third under 35 and fifth lady. In poor weather conditions her time of 1:25:26 was beaten by only two men, Mick Nester of Blackburn Road Runners (1:21:47) and Chorley Harrier Chris Lane (1:22:56). Accrington Road Runner Terry Robinson, competing in the M50 class returned 1:26:02.

Ben doubles up

BEN Rusius has added the North Yorkshire Schools Cross Country Championship to his Lancashire AA Championship. He lives in Lancashire and runs for Pendle AC, but goes to school in Yorkshire. Sister Victoria won the same double last year, but this time at Tadcaster she finished second Senior Girl.

Both have earned selection for the English Schools Championships. Brothers Jamie who finished eighth intermediate and Chris who was 12th senior can still qualify for the Yorkshire Team via an eliminator against Humberside runners.

ANYONE wishing to contribute to this page can contact Andy McAllister at e-mail to:

What's On

BLACKBURN Harriers are the hosts of the Northern Cross Country Championships at Witton Park on Saturday.

The under 13's set the ball rolling at 11:30am, then the races progress in age group order. The senior men's event, which starts at 2:30pm, is the final race on the card.

Pendle Forest Orienteers are the organisers of a NW Night League Event at Tockholes, Darwen on Saturday. There are orange, green and blue courses, and the start times are 6:30pm to 7:30pm.

For more information call Tom Gray 0161 766 5666. Please note that the colour coded event on Sunday at the same venue has been rescheduled for Sunday 25th February.

All finishers will receive a maltloaf at Sunday's Soreen Stanbury Splash. The seven mile/1200' fell race starts at Penistone Hill Country Park near Haworth. Senior race is at 11:30am, with junior races for under nine's upwards from 10:30am.

Race Calendar


Sat 27th Northern Champs - Blackburn (Men/Women) Cross Country

Sat 27th Night Event -- Tockholes Orienteering

Sun 28th Soreen Stanbury Splash 7M/1200'- Haworth Fell


Sat 3rd Ogden Moors 6M/700'-Halifax (South Penn GP1) Fell; Chorley Millennium GP Presentation; Lancashire Schools Champs - Witton Park Cross Country

Sun 4th Habergham 8M - Burnley Road

Sat 10th Reebok Cross Challenge - Nottingham Cross Country

Sun 11th Rossendale Way Relay 45M - Rawtenstall Fell; Sam Appeal Fun Runs 6M or 2M - Preston Road; Colne 11M Multi Terrain/Road

Sat 17th Mid Lancs League -- Blackpool Cross Country; Wadsworth Trog 20M/4000' - Hebden Bridge Fell; Parbold Hill Race Multi Terrain

Sun 18th Liversage 1/2 Mar Road; Arnold &Nora Bagnall 4.3M - Rochdale Road; Winter Hill 11M/2750' - Rivington Barn Fell

Sat 24th Nationals - Durham Cross Country

Sun 25th Radcliffe 12M Trail; Lostock 6M Road; Colour Coded Event -- Tockholes Orienteering