Runners tackle Alderman’s Ascent to raise £3,000

HUNDREDS of runners tackled Saddleworth’s scenic hills to help raise £3,000 for local rugby youth teams.

The Alderman’s Ascent fell race, in its fifth year, saw participants take on an 8.5k route with more than 400m of climbing on one of the hottest days of the year.

Photos: Aimee Belmore and Jackie Clowes

Setting off from Churchill Playing Fields in Greenfield, they visited the iconic ‘Pots and Pans’ monument before heading out to Shaw Rocks, turning back towards Alderman’s Hill and then to the finish.

A field of 79 female runners tackled the course first, with Hannah Horsburgh (Keswick AC) finishing first in 39 mins 12 secs.

Then 222 male runners tested themselves on the same route, with Joseph Dugdale (Cumberland Fell Runners) completing it the fastest in 35 mins 52 secs.

After, there was presentation ceremony, along with food and stalls, at Saddleworth Rangers Rugby Club on Shaw Hall Bank Road, Greenfield. Every runner who finished was given a memento which was paid for by local sponsors.

The annual event, organised by Darren Graham, raises funds for Rangers’ Under 15s tour and this year was included in the Fell Runners Association 2021 English Championship Races for the first time.

Darren said: “The heat was a major issue and a lot of runners struggled as they were pushing themselves in the heat.

“Being an English Champs race, extra pressure was added to the top runners to do well.

“I am forever grateful to the parents and team of U14s who manned the water station at the end and also to local residents who helped with water supplies on the day, showing that community spirit is still alive and kicking.

“I have had nothing but great reviews about the race and the day on general from runners and the Fell Runners Association committee.”

For more information and photos, visit: www.craggrunner.com

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