THERE was no home joy in the Darwen Dashers’ Dark ‘Un Fell Race on Friday night.

The top eight places in the annual race – in which competitors wear head torches as they negotiate the 8.1km course in pitch black conditions – were taken by athletes from clubs based outside of the area.

Danny Hope, of Pudsey and Bramley, raced to victory in 34 minutes and 29 seconds with M40 winner Mark Russell, of Burnden Road Runners, second in 35mins 25secs.

The top two were followed by two Helm Hill Runners members, Ben Proctor in third (36mins 11secs) and Lee Proctor in fourth (36mins 39secs), and two Pennine Fell Runners, Noel Curtis in fifth (37mins 10secs) and Dave Ward in sixth (37mins 22secs).

Another Burden Road Runner, Andy Staveley, was seventh and the fastest M50 in 38mins 1sec, before the first East Lancashire ace, Chorley Athletic and Triathlon Club’s Mark Ellithorn, passed the post in eighth in 38mins 7secs, making him the second fastest M40.

Spearheading the charge for host club Darwen Dashers was Martin Oldfield, the third-fastest M40 in 11th (38mins 46secs).

He was followed by clubmates Paul Taylor (20th in 41mins 26secs), Jamie Dowdall (21st in 41mins 47secs), Stuart Smith (23rd in 42mins 6secs), Julian Donnelly (30th in 43mins 31secs), David Barnes (33rd in 44mins 25secs), Janine Fallon (48th in 51mins 30secs), Barry Shackleton (50th in 52mins 25secs), second-fastest W50 Karen Atherton (55th in 57mins 11secs) and Anna Capstick (60th in one hour, two mins 39secs).

Chorley Athletic and Triathlon Club’s Yewan Bennison was 13th in 38mins 57secs while Accrington Road Runners’ Glen Goodwin was nine places further back in 22nd in 42mins 6secs.

Clayton-le-Moors Harriers’ Mark Nutter came 32nd in 44mins 8secs with clubmate Andrew Furth following up in 54th in 55mins 21secs.

Rossendale Harriers’ William Lowe was 40th in 46mins 39secs and Chorley Athletic and Triathlon Cub’s Jacqueline Redmayne 49th in 51mins 59secs.

Janet Howarth, of Rossendale Harriers, was the W50 prize winner in 51st in 52mins 34secs.