ANTICIPATION is building ahead of what will be an extra special Great Hameldon Hill Race.

This year the popular annual event, which takes place on Sunday, May 4, celebrates its 35th anniversary.

The challenging race, which consists of six miles and 338m of climb up the Accrington Three Peaks, Coppice, Moleside Moor and Hameldon Hill, was first staged and organised by Clayton-le-Moors Harriers in 1979 in a bid to get local people to ‘have a go’ at fell running.

The winner of the 308-strong field was Ricky Wilde, a renowned fell runner from Manchester, in a time of 27 minutes 36 seconds, while marathon legend Ron Hill, the three-time Olympian from Accrington, was eighth overall and first in the M40 class in 28mins 39secs, a huge achievement given he was not a fell runner.

Last year’s senior race attracted a 173-strong field with a further 30 youngsters taking part in the junior races which precede the main event.

All races this year will start and finish at the Peel Park School field with registration taking place in the Peel Park Hotel, Turkey Street, Accrington.

The junior races are open to children aged between six and 16 with the 1km U8 race, which involves running a lap around the school field, starting at 11am.

That is followed by the 2km U10 race, which involves two laps around the school field, at 11.15am, and the 3km U16s race, which involves a run around the Coppice, at 11.30am.

All juniors must have parental or guardian consent on their entry form.

Entry costs £1 and a medal will be given to all finishers.

The 9.6km senior race will then get under way at 12noon.

The first 250 finishers will receive a commemorative bottle of beer.

The senior race is the first event in the Pendle and Burnley Grand Prix.

For further information you can call Paul Healey on 01254 384 885 or Marie Greenwood on 01254 237 485.