THE historic Parbold Hill Race celebrated its 50th anniversary this year with around 500 runners lining up in the face of not only the notoriously taxing route but the aftermath of storm Ciara and the onset of storm Dennis.
The course of seven miles was in a very wet state and the mud at its most draining, following some rather benign conditions in the past couple of years.
Nevertheless everyone gave it their all with Jon-Jo Doherty (St Helens and Sutton RC) leading the field home in a time of 43:43 and Katherine Klunder (Chorley AC) taking the womens top placing in 53:44.
The race is put on by local running club Skelmersdale Boundary Harriers and it was their formidable women’s line-up that took the female team win, the trio of Maria Cook, Bridget Glaister and Honor Thompson all placing in the top six places. The male team prize was won by the local Endurance Store team of Dan Miller, Chris Kitchin and Tom Rigby.
The Parbold Hill Race has become one of the most popular early season hill racing fixtures in the North West and over the 50 years since its inception has attracted some famous runners including Ron Hill from Accrington one of the UKs most accomplished distance athletes.
This year saw what must surely be a new record in the form of the completion of the course by two male octogenarians - Harry Johnson and Dennis Adelsburg.
Amazingly Dennis ran in the very first Parbold Hill Race in 1972 and actually celebrates his 90th birthday in the not too distant future.
Should anyone fancy training up for the Parbold Hill Race or are wanting to run in the local area then Skelmersdale Boundary Harriers are a friendly running club that welcomes all to join them and participate in their training nights and race calendar - see www.skelmersdaleboundaryharriers.com