THE Christmas period proved to be a busy time for members of Bury AC.

On Saturday, December 22, three athletes completed in Manchester Christmas Open Pole Vault competition at SportCity.

Jay Cook took sixth in his heat, competing against older athletes, with a new personal-best jump of 2.82m, while Abigail Howard won her under-15 girls' heat with a new PB of 2.22.

In the u20s' event, Hattie Vaughan took sixth with a best vault of 3.42 – just 11 centimetres off her best.

The following day the club hosted its Christmas Handicap races at the Market Street track.

Fourteen senior athletes competed over the new 650m time trial handicap on the cinder track and Grace Conroy ran out as winner with her name joining father John’s on the Woodward Trophy.

This is the first time a parent and child have been on the trophy since it was first presented to the club in 1980.

Rob Potts took second place, commenting afterwards he had been swimming in lactic acid for the last 200m.

In the junior races, Thomas Donnelly, Lucy Dent and Ethan Coates were the first three in the u11s' event.

In the u13s, Niah Coates, Lola Potts and Chloe Ardin were the first three and, for the u15s, Matthew Lowe, Gabriel McTorlan and Nathan Ardin were placed first three.

On Christmas Day, Byron Edwards took an excellent third place in the South Manchester parkrun in a new best time of 16mins 38secs.

On December 29, at the Heaton Park event, it was a double first for Bury with Ollie Makinson notching up another win in a new PB of 16:08 and Sophie Whittaker finishing as first woman in 19:55, just holding off team-mate Katie Geelan.

The following day, six Bury athletes competed at the classy Ribble Valley 10k in Clitheroe, which was also doubling as the North of England Championships.

Ben Coop ran a superb race to take 27th place out of the huge field of more than 1,300 and set a new best of 31:24.

Brandon Quinton finished as second u17 competitor, also setting a new best of 33:07.

Team captain Edwards brought his brilliant 2018 season to a perfect finish by taking 53secs off his best time to cross the line in 33:48.

Luke Harreld was close behind, completing the course in 34:17 – only missing his PB by 15secs.

Next home was Chris Mackay, dipping under 40 minutes with 39:38, followed by Alison Dale with a season’s best of 51:06.