NEAL Emmerson finished in an impressive fourth place at the tough Spen 20 in West Yorkshire- one of the last events before the race calendar was a halted due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Radcliffe AC member was among more than 150 runners who tackled the challenging hills in the 20-mile course around the Spen Valley, clocking 2hrs 0.21mins.

A total of 23 Radcliffe runners were in action at the Central Lancashire 5k in Leverhulme Park, several of them taking part after the last-minute cancellation of the Wilmslow Half Marathon.

Paula Abernethy was first Vet-50 in 22:12 while Kerry Hitchen was second junior woman in 32:33 in her first race for the club.

Others celebrated personal bests or came close to beating them.

Mark Williams was the club’s first finisher, coming 37th out of 215 runners in 19:39.

Alex Pullan was third male junior in 20:09 and Mark Garner clocked 20:38.

Steven Fawcett posted 21:01; Dave Rushton 22:05; Sheila Jones was second Vet-60 in a time of 22:40; Sarah Scott ran 22:45; Matthew Pullan 24:07; Caroline Malone was second Vet-50 in a personal best of 24:30; Katie Davies 25:17; Deborah Barrington 25:15 (pb); Elaine Bailey 26:23; Deborah Warrington 27:09 (pb); Karen Doherty 28:19; Andy Wheeler 28:21; Sarah Rushton 29:12; Lucy Tetler 29:15; Tracy Wroe third Vet-55 in a time of 30:15; Wayne Holden 31:47; Natalie Hitchen 32:07 and Iain Harris 33:01.

Several runners took on the Two Crosses Challenge which started and finished in Tottington and was organised by the East Lancs Long Distance Walkers Association.

Runners and walkers could enter either a 17 or 25-mile route which both took in the Roman Cross at Affetside and the Pilgrim’s Cross on Holcombe Moor.

Kris Lee, Lee Cooper, Chris Paxton and Mike Cooke did the 25-mile option in 6:14:00, while Michelle Hincks clocked 6:34:00. Lisa Carter did the 17-mile route in 3:33:00 and Sheila McNulty clocked 4:50:00 after navigation problems in the last mile.

It was a double race weekend for Carter who knocked a massive 54 minutes off her pb in the tough 32-mile Haworth Hobble Fell Race in West Yorkshire on Saturday.

She had perfect conditions for the 4,400 ft of climbing, and finished in a time of 6:59:00.

It was a race with a difference for the five Radcliffe runners who took part in the Sport Relief Beat Beethoven 5k at Salford Quays – accompanied by a live orchestra.

The aim was to finish the race before the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra completed Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

Sheila Jones was third woman and first Vet-60 in 22:22 while there were personal bests of 24:58 and 25:59 respectively for Caroline Malone and Katie Davies. Vince Ashton ran 26:06, Sarah Jackson clocked 28:27 and Sarah Rushton 28:42.

Bev Quinton had a good Knowsley 10k, finishing the surprisingly hilly course at Knowsley Safari Park in 1:11:39. And Parkrun tourist Vince Ashton notched up his 95th different location with a time of 27:13 at Isabel Trail in Stafford.

Closer to home, Sheila Jones was ninth woman at Heaton Parkrun in 23:12.

Also running were Mick Barnes, who finished in 24:40, junior Olivia Whittaker ran 25:14, Alison Howarth 25:59 and Steve Hamer 27:48.

Junior Megan Peterkin ran 35:34 at Bolton parkrun; Craig Ward and Tracy Wroe clocked 24:19 and 35:50 at Worsley Woods and Bev Quinton completed Bramhall parkrun in 36:29.