270 runners turned out for the 26th Longridge 7 mile Christmas Pudding run on December 13, 2009. With a FREE mince pie for every runner, they definitely had a good incentive to run.
The first 3 runners home were all veterans in great times of 38.54 minutes for the winner, Gethin Butler (Preston), 39.48 minutes for Philip Chritchlow (Beaumont) and 40.19 minutes for Gregory Seddon (Blackpool). The first female to finish was Mary-Anne Tracey-Aguera of Astley & Tyldsley in a time of 47.23 minutes. With 170 runners completing the course in under an hour, the course and conditions proved to be good. Feedback from those taking part was very positive with most looking to run again next year.
One runner described the course by summarising the race as 'the toughest December race in Lancashire'. They state that 'the race begins on a downward gradient, then you reach Longridge village Centre, at which point you being four miles of up hill struggle that will challenge even the most experienced of runners. When you think you have conquered the worse they could through at you, you meet Jeffrey Hill. An unforgiving mound of earth which will have you contemplating walking or even giving up and for those that do making it to the top, a view that most race's simply cannot compete, as the beautiful Longridge Fell is presented before you'.
'Not long after this, you reach the four mile point, where after a quick down hill drop, you meet the last of the inclines. You are then rewarded for your endeavours with over two miles of down hill running/racing, before crossing the line to be presented with your well deserved Christmas pudding'.
With high praise for the scenery, atmosphere, organisation and value for money, it is sure to attract a similar number of runners next year. Details of next year's race will be announced on www.northernrunningguide.com when they are confirmed. Race photos were taken of the event and full race results are available to view online.