WEATHER conditions were perfect for the Observer-sponsored Great Hameldon Hill race on Sunday but it was contested by a disappointing field of 119 runners.
And Clayton Harriers president Don Barton had to make the presentations after Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman failed to show.
Race organisers from Clayton Harriers had a busy morning setting up the start-finish line at Peel Park School before the junior race set off at 10.45am followed by the main event at noon.
The five members of Clayton Harriers who organised the race were Paul Healey, Gary Wilkinson, Ian and Marie Greenwood and Neil Worswick.
Paul said:" Everyone enjoyed the race. We had 126 entries and 119 ran. One runner dropped out during the race so 118 finished.
"There were a lot of encouraging comments from the runners but the downside was the number. We had hoped to attract at least 200 and we didn't have a local team involved.
"We really would like to see more local runners, especially as this year we wanted to raise money for the John Taylor Foundation. John was last year's winner who died suddenly. We raised about £200 with the help of sponsors."
The race involved a variety of categories and among the men's veterans, aged 40-plus, was Duncan Wright who travelled from his home in the south of France to take part.
He was third in the veterans' group and his sister Jacky, who lives locally, won the prize for the ladies' local runners.
Many runners travelled from places like Salford, Lancaster, Rochdale and Bingley.
Clayton Harriers' ladies Anna Kelly, Alison Smith and Jean Rawlinson, took the individual and team awards.
The men's race winner was Robert Hope of Pudsey and Bramley Athletics Club with a time just inside 38 minutes while the junior winner was John Kelly.
The organisers explained how much behind-the-scenes work is involved.Gary said: "We have to make a full risk assessment of the event. That's one of the reasons the police wanted us to move the start from Avenue Parade. We have marshals posted all along the course and one of our runners, Neil Worswick, ran with the juniors as well as the main race, just to keep an eye on everyone.
"Members of St John Ambulance were standing by but thankfully we did not have any serious injuries. We also had people equipped with two-way radios so we could respond to any problems up on the hills."