33rd Sweatshop Through the Villages Road Race

On a brisk autumnal morning three Preston Harriers went to Wheelton for this undulating challenge. Emma Essex-Crosby, Chris Miles and Alan Appleby took up the gauntlet offered by the organiser Terry Dickenson. The unusual distance of eight and a half miles tests the hill climbing abilities as well as the descending skills of the participants. Three long climbs, one right at the start outside the Dressers Arms, take the competitors through the villages of Brinscall, Withnell and Abbey Village and back to Wheelton, a real challenge. Thankfully the weather was crisp and clear, the course itself enough to contend with, and there were beautiful views over the Ribble Valley, Longridge and Bowland Fells and the West Pennine Moors.

Emma had some enthusiastic support going into Brinscall with husband Chris and their two children cheering mum on after the first long climb. Chris Miles had a good strong run, a big improvement on last yea’rs time; he finished just outside the top twenty. Alan again had a good run coming 1st M65 on the day. When the racing was all over it was back to the village school for free hotpot and a cuppa followed by the generous presentation. The race winner was Anthony Valentine of Bolton United Harriers in 47.29. Chris was 23rd in 53.48, Alan 83rd in 1.01.53 and Emma 155th in 1.08.55. There were 298 finishers.

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