Sunday, 27 March 2016

Gin Pit Marathon Report by Malc Collins


As the sun goes down on the 6th Gin Pit marathon and I finish collecting the last remaining signs from out on the course I can finally relax and reflect on the event.


First I must congratulate all the runners that completed each day, 56 on the Saturday and 58 on the Sunday, of which 30 completed both days. Not many marathon runners can say they have completed 2 marathons in 2 days and a special well done to those who had returned for the second and third times. I feel honoured that runners enjoy the event so much that they like to return each year.


There is one young lady who doesn’t like much of a fuss but who I feel I need to mention. I’ve seen her at many marathon races over the last couple of years and every time smiling. I was honoured that she chose day 2 of our event to celebrate her 100th marathon, so special congratulations to Gillian from the Liverpool running club. I wouldn’t normally mention a lady’s age but at only 23 years 274 days Gillian became the youngest lady to run 100 marathons. Gillian, it was great to see your extra big smiles and laughter as you finished your 100th marathon surrounded by your running friends.


I think I also need to give a mention to Philip Eccleston who on day 1 just turned up and asked if there was a spare place and could he enter. Due the a few last minute drop outs we were pleased to accommodate him at this very short notice. Not only was his entry so unexpected but so was his performance. He soared round the course like no one had ever done before, almost catching the marshals out at the check points and steaming through the finish in a course record time of 2:48:01. Well done Phil, fantastic running!


I’d like to mention both the 2016 2 day champions, Gareth Tomlinson for the men who said it was the first thing he had ever won and Sally Ford for another one of her typicallymagnificent performances. I also want to congratulate all the runners who were completing their first double marathon. Notably Neil Philips for the men comfortably under 7 hours and Abby Sanderson sporting some fantastic pink and black leggings for the ladies in a little over 8 hours, well done to you all!


We have been lucky once more with the weather, a cloudy calm cool day on the Saturday and slightly warmer day on the Sunday with some pleasant spells of sunshine, almost perfect running conditions. Each year I keep wondering when our luck will run out with the weather but for one more year we have got away with it.


From my organisational perspective the event has gone better than any previously. It seems to run a bit more slick each year, I think this has come with experience of running the event and the small improvements/alternations we make year on year. We still had 3 runners deviate from the course but I’m pleased to say they were all found. It wouldn’t be a proper self-guiding trail marathon without losing a few runners for a short while.


I need to give a huge thank you to all the team of volunteers that have helped this year. I know the whole event is my mad idea but without all the help from family and friends either by volunteering or by being forcibly conscripted I couldn’t do it without you all. Firstly special thanks to Yuk-Lam for giving me permission to arrange the event, shopping for lots of the stuff we needed, for managing race registration and time keeping. Thanks to Paul & Jackie for buying the 24 crates of water from Costco, carting that lot about is probably harder work than a weights session in the gym. Thanks to Neil for helping me set up the course on the Friday. Han May for manning the kitchen both days. Thanks to Steve, Jon, Cath, Phil and Rachel for marshalling on day 1. Thanks to Emma, Lesley, Colin, Lorraine, Sarah, Cath (again), Paul, Cat and Dave for marshalling on day 2. Many thanks to Terry, Phil and Tom for all the excellent photos of the runners out on the course. I had lots of praise from the runners about all the marshals so I must pass this on, well done and thank you standing out on the course for hours looking after the runners and making sure they were all accounted for.


I’ve been reminded by Yuk-Lam to also mention and thank our kids, Abbey & Lucas for forgoing their weekend to stay at the Gin Pit and help/entertain the runners. Abbey did miss her ballet lesson which she loves. Lucas did still manage to fit in his Football match for A&T Tornadoes who managed a 4-4 draw before coming to the Gin Pit to help Yuk-Lam read the runners numbers at the finish line but he still missed precious time on his Xbox!


Here is just one of the many comments I have received by email, “Malc - another year, another great event. Thanks for putting it on in the usual excellent fashion. Please pass on my thanks to all of the course marshals and helpers.”


I've now finalised the figures for the Gin Pit Marathon and I’m pleased to announce we have made £1992.11. These proceeds will go to my nominated charity, the Brathay Trust,who work with disadvantaged young people steering them away from lives of drink, drugs and crime on to career paths and helping them make the most of their lives. They also run Low Bank Ground and Hinning House, 2 outward bound centres in the Lake District, on behalf of Wigan Council where hundreds of children from the Wigan area go each year. The money from this event will enable them to support more children and young people. So to everyone that entered thank you very much.


The Gin Pit Half Marathon has raised £632.90 to help fund Astley & Tyldesley Runner Runners.


At the finish of day 2 lots of the runners told me how they had enjoyed the event, thanked me for putting it on and how they were looking forward to returning next year. Does that mean I will have to arrange it all again in 2017?

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Gin Pit Half by CB

Captains Log

A fantastic 28 A&T members turned up for the 3rd Road race of the season. 
There were some very nervous faces amongst some of ladies before the start with some doing their first every half marathon.  Once cars were dropped at the finish line Captain Marvel gave   lifts to Ginpit - Kerry was sat in my car looking like she was heading to the torture chamber, or maybe it was my driving. Rebecca was concerned about running across the east lancs after being misinformed by Phil.  

The God's were very kind to us with glorious morning sunshine. Everyone gathered  to cheer the marathon start, then it was time for us to  gather at the start line for a pre-race briefing by Chris Whittaker.  Followed by some poignant words from Chris following the sad news of Tony Foster's death, a minutes silence was held in a true sporting manner.

Chris set the runners on their way, starting off with some good hearty gin pit trails.  

This course is probably my favourite of all the races i've done, it's well organised (Thanks for Malc & Yuk-Lam) and great that it is so local to us. There was plenty of support on route which was great to see from the Unsworth family, Emma Higgins and co at the water station, Terry Gardiner with his trusty camera and Cath and Rachel at the finish line.  

A special mention for Graham's wife and daughter who were the official time keepers and medal presenters today.

First male back for A&T was Tim and first female back was Jackie. 

Finally it was great to see some of the beginners/intermediate  group complete their  first half marathon under the expert guidance of Jon Hall 

A&T members results


1. Tim Campbell       1:22.04
2. Dave Sloan           1:24.08
3. Steve Coleman     1:29.29
4. Neil Hughes          1:29.44 
5. Gary Stevens        1:29.51
6. Mark Collins          1:32.00
7. Matthew Thorpe     1:33.39
8. Brendan Loughrey   1:36.05
9. Chris Bennett           1:44.16
10. Graham Townshend  1:47.29
11. Paul Basnett         1:49.47
12. Ian Hamilton         1:59.59
13. Kieran Lomas      2:04.02
14. Rob Foster          2:05.57 
15. Daniel Hurst        2:06.40         
16. Jon Hall               2:19.35


1. Jackie Price        1:36.10
2. Susan Fletcher    1:38.02
3. Josie Maley         1:45.17
4. Claire Matchwick  1:47.43
5. Louise Simpson    1:49.18
6. Nicola Scott          2:02.23
7. Rebecca Clark      2:03.22
8. Kerry Lomas         2:05.35
9. Clare Unsworth    2:06.43
10. Tracy Loughrey    2:07.24
11. Joanne Gibson   2:13.52   
12. Lynn Boylin          2:19.33



Friday, 18 March 2016

Club meeting Sunday 3rd April at 8pm - by Mark Riche

At the last meeting, it was agreed that 'going forward we will hold regular (monthly?) full member meetings; first one Sunday 3rd April'

Please come along and have a say in how your Club is run

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Tony Foster's Funeral

"Just to let you all know that my Dads funeral is Wednesday 23rd March at 1:45pm and will be at Howbridge Crematorium (Lovers Lane, Atherton).

No flowers please, if anyone wants to donate then give it us on the day and we will forward on to Salford Royal.

Please note, there won't be a wake afterwards as my dad would of hated this."


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Tony Foster

There will be a few words said and a minutes applause in memory of Tony Foster before the Firefighters 2s up Duathlon at Rivington School on Sunday. Race starts at 8.30 so the few words will be between 8.00 and 8.30. This was a race Tony was due to compete in.

There will also be a minutes silence before the start of Sunday's Gin Pit Half Marathon at 10.15am.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Tony Foster

"It is with deep regret that we have to announce the death of club member Tony Foster. 

Tony died on Thursday as a result of injuries sustained in a road accident on the A6 at Westhoughton on Tuesday evening whilst out on a training run. The full circumstances are currently being investigated by the Police.

I know that your thoughts will be with Sue, Alex, Hannah and the rest of Tony's family at this terrible time.

At present there are no funeral details."

Chris Whittaker

Friday, 11 March 2016

Mid Lancashire Cross-country League Presentation – by Mark Riches

 My earlier post refers HERE

Six ladies contributed to our team success (listed below) and they will each receive a medal

·         Jackie Price (races 1, 3, 6 7 9)
·         Suzanne Gregory (races 1 & 3)
·         Sue Fletcher (races 1, 6 & 9)
·         Linda Whittaker (race 3)
·         Michelle Fairclough (race 6)
·         Kerry Lomas (race 9)
If anyone wants tickets for the Presentation Night at Bamber bridge CCM Club PR5 6TA Friday 8th April at 8pm, these can be bought (£7 each) through the cross-country page of the Mid Lancs website HERE

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

2016 Road Championships

The current 2016 Road Championship have now been uploaded to the website, these can be found under the Road section tab.

Any queries please contact me.


Captain CB

2015/16 Mid Lancs League cross-country - by Mark Riches

As most of you know, we compete as a Club in two cross-country leagues (Red Rose & Mid Lancs)

The Red Rose League finished in December & the final race in the Mid Lancs League was due to take place last Saturday before it was cancelled

The Mid Lancs League differs from the Red Rose League as it operated a divisional system with promotion & relegation (2 promoted / 2 relegated)

There is good news for our ladies, who finished 2nd in Division 3 and secured promotion to Division 2 - well done ladies

There is bad news for our men, who are relegated to Division 4 along with Lancaster & Morecambe AC - lets aim for a top 2 spot next year to gain automatic promotion!

Results are HERE

Monday, 7 March 2016

Helpers Required by Malc Collins

I'm still looking for 3 more helpers for the Gin Pit Half and Full Marathon on Sunday 20th March.
First for someone to help Emma at check point 1 down in Monton on the canal between 10:45am & noon.
At Marsland Green Bridge on the canal in Astley at the finish of the Half between 11:15am & 1:15pm
And lastly someone at check point 4 in Hindley Green on Leigh Road where the runners turn back on to the disused Railway Line towards Lovers Lane between 12:30pm and 3pm.
If you are free and think you could spare the time it would be much appreciated by me, the charity I support and by helping raise funds for our club.

2015/16 cross-country Club Champs prize winners - by Mark Riche

Following the cancellation of the final fixture, I have made the decision to score on the 'best 6 from 10' and the results are:

Under 40 men

40 & over men
Nobody else
completed 6 races
Nobody else
completed 6 races

Under 35 women
Nobody completed 6 races

35 & over women
Well done to everyone

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Trotters 5 by CB

Captains Log !

A chilly Mothers day Sunday saw 25 blue vests (same as last year) take to the start line a scenic Trotters 5 at Smithills hall.   

Thanks to Gary for confirming which way round the course we were meant to be going as last year we ran the course in the opposite direction - but i'm led to believe we used the old course today.

The obligatory team photo was taken by Terry (thank you) and Rachel brought the team kit bag for everyone's hoodies and hats.  

After a few shoe choice discussions the race started prompt at 10am.    It was a typical CLGP race with a mixture of hills, mud, road, tarmac, horse shite and out of control horses.

The fast down hill to the finish line was a welcome site to most.

Mark Riches led the men home and picking up the V50 winners prize and Josie Maley led the ladies home also picking up her first V35 award.    Well done to everyone who turned up - especially you mummy's and those dads who managed to get a pass out to run this morning.   

All finishers received a goodie bag with a tech T-shirt and curly wurly!  There were bananas and oranges up for grabs - but personally i don't think there were as good as my sliced oranges !

Lynn apologised to me at the end of the race for being last and keeping everyone waiting !!!! to which i refused to accept.  No one comes last for A&T as you beat everyone who didn't turn up!

Finally thanks to our great supporters on the sidelines -  Jo, Ian, Terry, Michaela, Emma, Annabel 



1. Mark Riches    33.10
2. Gary Stevens  33.41
3. Neil Hughes   33.55
4. Mark Collins   34.32 
5. Steve Coleman 35.23
6. Gareth Jones 36.13
7. Brendan Loughrey  36.19
8. Chris Bennett 37.07
9. Kieran Lomas 39.57
10. Philip Spencer-gray 41.15
11. Joshua Darby 41.32
12. Ian Hamilton 43.07
13. Graham Townshend 43.48
14. Rob Foster      47.27


1. Josie Maley  35.52
2. Jackie Price 36.48
3. Susan Fletcher 39.27
4. Louise Simpson 41.05
5. Rachel Haslam  44.08
6. Nicola Scott  47.19
7. Vanessa Thomson 47.20
8. Tracy Loughrey 48.10
9. Clare Unsworth 48.56
10. Joan Cooke 49.16
11. Lynn Boylin 52.29

league tables will be updated and uploaded this week.

There will be some changes to the original leagues as some people have contacted me with there current PB's and current times for 10k's   

Please can this be put on the blog

Cheers   CB

Friday, 4 March 2016

Subs Renewals

Please remember you only have two more days to renew at £30
The fee will increase to £35 on Sunday, i know it's only £5 but better off in your pocket

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

New Road Captain - by Mark Riches

I am pleased to announce that Chris Bennett has volunteered to take on this role

I would like to thank the outgoing Captain, Barbara ‎, for all her hard work. She will be an hard act to follow!

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Cuerden Valley XC cancelled

Dear MLL Team Managers

Cuerden Valley Park cross-country event due to
take place on Saturday 5th March has been cancelled owing to overnight
flooding which has cause the river to overflow its banks.  Talks are
underway to see if rescheduling the event is feasible.

Please do your
best by e-mail, website or Facebook to communicate this information to
as many of your cross-country runners as you can.  Thank you.

If you
have any views about rescheduling please let me know.



Trotters 5 by Chris Bennett

There is no better way than to spend ' Mothers Day' than at the second road race of the club season.      This is a great scenic run - 2 laps - 2 small hills and farm animals . With the added bonus of a Technical T-Shirt to all finishes and the odd spot prize thrown in.  

It would be amazing if we can repeat the same amount of people that attended the first race.  

Your Captain needs you 👉🏻


(aka :   Your NEW Road CAPTAIN ) 🤗