OLIVIA Whittaker won the Jim Rhodes Junior of the Year Award at Radcliffe AC’s presentation ceremony.

She was presented with the cup, which is named in memory of the former club member who died in January this year, aged 78, and was passionate about supporting young runners.

It has been a great year for Whittaker, aged 10, who started running around 14 months ago.

Her achievements this year include setting a 5k personal best of 24mins 41secs, twice winning the ladies’ title at the Run Heaton Park 5k and completing her first cross-country season.

Rory Mannion won the Most Improved Award – the first since the junior section was re-established in 2017. Other members received achievement medals.

The event, which included a Christmas party, was held at St Mary’s Social Club in Radcliffe and the awards were presented by club president Tom West.

Radcliffe AC chairman, Chris Paxton, said: “I’m really proud of each and every one of our juniors.

"They have all developed so much this year and it’s wonderful to see the enjoyment on their faces.

“This wouldn’t be possible without our wonderful volunteers, to whom I am immensely grateful. They are a credit to the club.”

On the running front, Fiona Lynch notched up another great achievement when she was third woman in the 55-mile Cheviot Goat Winter Ultra.

She completed the loop of the largest hills in the English Border region, with 9,500 feet of climbing and tough terrain under foot, in 13:14:44.

Lynch joined a top-class field which included the legendary fell and ultra runner Nicky Spinks, who won the ladies’ title.

Five runners got into the festive spirit when they completed the undulating Longridge 7-Mile Christmas Pudding Run.

Karen Doherty ran 1:12:38, Tracy Wroe clocked 1:12:59, Lucy Dewhurst finished in 1:17:39, and Sarah Rushton and Sarah Oxley both crossed the line in 1:17:40. They received Christmas puddings and festive medals.

Steven Fawcett ran 58:03 at the Tatton Yule Yomp 10k and Louise Shield clocked 1:13:01.

Andy Haines was 13th in the night orienteering event on Darwen Moors.

Competitors had to visit 13 checkpoints on the difficult course, which had poor visibility due to fog and strong winds.