Thur 4 July, Tockholes, Darwen
A mid-week evening outing saw 123 runners out on the West Pennine Moors to enjoy this 5.8mi fell race, with about 900ft of climbing. Don Ashton, after whom this race is now named, was a renowned fell runner who earned veterans English and British titles around the late 1980s to early 1990s, running for Blackburn Harriers, then Darwen Dashers.
Back to 2019, and mercifully cooler weather, amidst a hot few weeks, and hard ground made for fast times. Ribble Valley Harriers earned a 1-2, with Michael Cayton destroying the field and course record (MSEN 34:13), followed by Stephen Hall (M40, 39:24). First lady was Lytham’s Liz Abbott (8th, WSEN, 40:57). Preston Harriers had Joseph Sharples (28th, MSEN, 46:25), Ben Higginson (109th, M60, 65:45) and Pete McDermott (120st, M70, 68:05).
More evening mid-week races are coming up at Lee Mill (31stJuly, the last Inter-Club race of the year), followed by Pilgrim’s Cross (7thAugust), Whittle Pike (14thAugust) and Golf Ball (21stAugust). All are organised by Rossendale Harriers, with details on the FRA website.