THE recent weather conditions had reduced large sections of the Parbold Hill race to ankle deep mud.
But this did not deter some 450 hardy Harriers from tackling the six and a half miles course from the Farmer’s Arms in Bispham.
The men’s race developed into a titanic struggle between local cross country champion, Richard Burney of Liverpool Harriers and the tough fell runner, Chris Farrell, of the Horwich club.
The latter’s strength was to prevail by some five seconds with the rest of the field distant spectators.
For the women Liverpool Pembroke Sefton’s Kirsty Longley was sure to be prominent but she too came up against a tough Horwich Harrier, Lindsey Brindle, and had to yield ground by some two minutes or so.
Nevertheless she captured 35th overall spot, second prize among the ladies and first in the Over 35 category. LPS seniors, largely irrationally, tend to avoid this type of challenge but four super-vets took it on with a very determined Chris Pedder (39) and Graham Cairns (40) plus Robbie Wood (59) and John Dobie (243).
Chris and Graham, not unexpectedly took the first and second in the Over 55 category.
The organisers, Skem Boundary Harriers, once again came up with a superbly organised event.
There were falls aplenty and probably one or two oaths, particularly at the steep drop into a brook a mere half mile from the finish, but there were no accidents and no complaints. Skem Boundary are to be congratulated on this old fashioned course, something of an antidote to the park running that passes for cross country these days.