Well, the day of the final 2011 Grand Prix race arrived & we were greeted by beautiful clear skies & bright sunshine.........well, not quite, the day arrived & to be honest it was a bit overcast & chilly. Nonetheless, it was apparently better than last year when you couldn't even see Boulsworth let alone the top of it! The race must have had good reports because it attracted 30 more entrants than last year, with 128 runners lining up for the start. Among these runners were 18 Trawdenites, including our newest member Tom Parkin, a warm welcome to you Tom! After a briefing by our esteemed chair Dave, the runners set off across the field and up the lane to Great Hill farm, before negotiating a marked route across fields & a farm road to the foot of Boulsworth proper. Due to still being injured / too soft, I elected to run as rear gunner, making sure no backmarkers were going astray. It was actually a good place to be, as the cloud had lifted & the long string of runners could be seen picking their way up the front path before turning & running along the top to the trig. From here it was straight ahead before dropping down to the right, following the foothpath down through the bogs back to the farm track. From what I can gather Fiona Hall liked the bog so much that she decided to have a full mud bath - she looked like someone who had had a dodgy St Tropez at the finish! Maybe she had & was using the bog as an excuse. The eventual winner of the race was Jason Williams of Charnwood AC who had a big lead by the trig point, knocking nearly 3 minutes off last years winning time to finish in a new record time of 50.17, from Gary Shaw of Clayton & Stuart Edmondson from Horwich. Sally Newman of Calder Valley was first lady back, taking over 3 minutes off Molly's winning time of last year to finish in another record time of 58.47, scooping the FV50 prize at the same time - hope I can run that fast when I'm 50!! (may need a sex change too though!) Trawden honours were again taken by Simon Kelly, showing off his new, if muddy, Walsh's to finish 20th overall in 58.11 - at least he can beat a 50 year old lady! Darren was next up after catching Simon twice and then throwing himself face down in the mud whilst trying to pass - you should stop drinking Darren. Paul Brown was third a further 20 seconds back. New member Tom finished an excellent 6th in the TAC race - not bad for a bloke wearing road shoes in his first fell race! Despite her relaxing mud spa, Fiona decided to get up & complete the race, finishing first TAC lady just in front of Fionnuala. Tony Macro told me at the start not to run past him - I never even saw you Tony, so either you took a short cut, or you're running faster than you reckon you are :-) Well done to everyone who raced - also a big thanks to everyone who helped out & marshalled, did results, carparking, baked cakes etc. Remember this is a Trawden AC race & we wouldn't be able to do it without volunteers, willing or otherwise. As a footnote, a special rollcall of honour has to go out to five runners who have completed the whole 12 races in the Grand Prix series. Please be upstanding & raise your glasses (drinking not reading!) to: Lee Booth Fiona Hall, who I think also takes second lady overall Mark McConville John McDonald Robert Smith The presentation takes place this Friday 19th at Rosegrove Unity working mens club (on the junction of Accrington Rd and Rossendale Road with traffic lights). All are welcome to attend, & it should be a good night.