On Tuesday 7th of June, a traditional short but very steep fell race, called Paddy's Pole, was organised by Olga Wiggins, who volunteered to take on the role of a race director in order to carry on the tradition of hosting the race in the beautiful Forest of Bowland near Chipping.
We had an overwhelming amount of help from all the volunteers from the club and their friends and relatives with setting up the course, marshalling, taking and recording results and registering the runners. Thank you very much to all who took part to make this event happen. Pete Marquis deserves special mention for kindly providing a portable toilet for us.
The race was limited to 120 runners and we had a good turn out of 98. We were blessed with beautiful sunshine on the evening of the event. Four local clubs had Paddy's Pole as their championship fell race: Bowland fell runners, Lonsdale FR, Wesham RR & AC and Newburgh Nomads RR.
The first male finisher was Billy Cartwright from Matlock AC with a smashing time of 26:44. The first lady was our Preston born and bred former Preston Harrier who now runs for Keswick AC, Nichola Jackson. She beat the previous female record by 2 minutes with an amazing time of 30:29. Seven Preston Harriers took part in running the race too: first Harrier home was Jon Green (33:51), followed by 16-year-old Vladimir Wiggins (34:22) who is racing his first year with the seniors. The 3rd Harrier was Dave Parkington (35:26), closely chased by newcomerJoel Hansen (35:29) and John Rainford (36:25) who was first vet 60. Katey Markland (37:39) was third lady and Anna Keller (48:47), who also did an outstanding job serving the food after the race. It was an outstanding performance by all the runners.
The presentation was held in The Sun Inn pub in Chipping that very generously provided warm meal for all the runners and helpers. Preston Harriers has now a five year permission from Natural England to organise this race, so this first one of 5 turned out to be very successful.