There are many top male and female 'pike racers' who have either taken victory, or were highly placed in the 'pike' race, but are not listed on the 'Sub 17:20' or 'Sub 22:00' 'All-time' lists. This section of my webpage is a 'tribute' to those athletes who, outside off the 'pike' race have achieved great accolades, along with their runs at Rivington. Here is a selection of some of the very finest, who on their day were a match to the very best athletes and 'Pike racers' alike.

Portsmouth's 1968 European 6 mile record holder,Tim Johnston made the long journey North in 1965 to take on the might of British distance running competing in the 'pike' race. He came up against formidable opponents in the form of Ron Hill and Fred Reeves. Hill, the master of all surfaces and Reeves, the phenomenal fell specialist both got the better of the southerner, who's athletic c.v boasts Inter-counties XC champion, World XC silver and a 6 miles time of 27:22.2! His 3rd place at Rivington in 17:30 (17:50 converted), after holding a narrow lead at the summit, shows what truely world class athletes the race has attracted over the years.

Johnston is pictured on his way to Inter-counties XC victory, gliding effortlessly across a quagmire of mud and water leaving all rivals in his wake.

 

 

Fred Reeves was a true out and out fellrunner, and is a legend at the 'Grassmere sports' fell race, another 'classic' in the fell running scene. He had a good Vo2 max of 79 which he utilised well in the 'lung bursting' ascents of short steep fell races such as 'Grassmere'. His many battles with Tommy Sedgwick at Grassmere are worthy of a 'Hollywood movie', where Reeves the stronger climber would try to hold off the superior descending skills of Sedgwick to the amazement of crowds in excess of 10,000 people. Reeves took the 'pike' title in 1964 and was 2nd in '65', but his times not quite making the pike 'All-timers' with a best of 17:19 (converted to 17:39). However, he was an almighty opponent to the very best athletes the sport of fell running had to offer.

Reeves can be seen wearing the number one bib at the Grasmere sports fell race, the race which he held 'hero' status.

The collection of medals shown above includes Many AAA's National Gold's, Silver's and Bronze's, of which Paul Freary (profiled below) has won many of, with his successful club of 'Belgrave Harriers'.

 

  Paul Freary is another top exponent of the 'pike' race not to have quite made the 'all-time' list of 'sub 17:20' performers, but you will understand why this talented athlete, local to the Rivington pike didn't quite challenge the fastest pike racers which he was well capable of doing when you read on.... Freary's only attempt over the pike course came in the middle of an extremely succesful part of his career, where he would achieve an unbroken streak of 13 race victories at the highest national level. Coming inbetween a win in the Welwyn Garden City 5, where he raced to a fast 23:35 beating a quality field, and lifting gold in the Inter-counties 5000m, Freary's race on the pike was one that he had always wanted to do, and one he had always fancied winning, knowing the races long historical past and indeed who had lifted the pike trophy in previous years. Being a regular training partner of 'pike master' Paul Dugdale had obviously fuelled an even bigger interest in this classic race of which 'Dugga's' had already claimed victory in a magical 6 times!

The Bolton man's 1996 effort of 17:28 although a fast time, was not a true reflection of young Freary's potential on the pike but was still good enough for a 10 second victory after an unusually tough battle which had ensued after an unfortunate incident had occurred while Freary was in full flow. After rounding the tower with a comfortable lead which was all the more impressive given that Freary had choose the lengthier, but more gradual route towards George's lane preferring to follow the path rather than climb the steeper grassy Knoll, not being accustomed to steep fell races coming from a speedy track background. Although technique may have been slightly lacking over the fells, speed was never in question as Freary flew off the top of the pike heading for what seemed like a comfortable victory. Moments later, his unasailable lead looked in danger as 'CRACK'!!, Freary had pranged an ankle...''Christ, I thought I'd broken it!!'' he recalled, but gamely gritted his teeth knowing that if he stopped, he wouldn't be able to stand up! Now his lead was coming under pressure as Nick Spence and Stuart Stokes battled for 2nd, and indeed with only 100m to go before hitting the final 600m flat run in along Lever Park Avenue, Freary's advantage had all but vanished as Spence drew level with the now 'grimacing' Bolton star. Even with the handicap of a badly sprained ankle, Freary's ferocious flat speed saw him cooly draw clear of Kendal's Spence to secure a 60yard victory which had ended up not as comfortable as it seemed to the crowds of spectators that lined the finishing straight. Freary jogged up the finishing funnel and into a nearby garden where he had spotted a bench. With his ankle throbbing like mad, the owner kindly came out with a cold bucket of water, where Freary plunged his now 'ballooned' ankle into hoping the ice cold water would limit the damage the pike race had inflicted on him!

After X-rays later revealed thankfully only ligament damage and severe swelling, Freary returned home after having to miss the presentation, only to be greeted by Stuart Stoke's dad holding the pike trophy which he had collected on Freary's behalf. And so Freary's one and only appearance at the pike had been an eventful one, but nevertheless, a fruitful one in which he had successfully lifted the coverted pike crown on his debut run. With further outings over the course we would no doubt have seen Freary up towards the sharp end of the 'all-time' list. With a sub 4 minute mile, and with the strength of a 13:50 5000m runner, freary has obviously inherited the athletic genes his father Mike possessed. Mike, being a mid 27 minute 6 mile athlete, and regular competitor with the likes of Ron Hill needs no more explanation of his quality. Now competing for London club Belgrave Harriers, Freary Jnr. has won many National titles in road running and Cross country with the southern giants and nowadays still occasionally slips on the old racing shoes to show many youngsters the way home.

Freary can be seen above left sprinting up the final hill at Sutton Park in the National 12-stage Road Relays for his club of later years, Belgrave Harriers, and right, flying round the final bend, again at Sutton Park on his way to one of the day's quickest times in the 2001 National 6-Stage. Please also take a look at Pauls blog and product review website by clicking here...www.therunningshoeguru.com

 

 

Mike Freary, the father of 1996 pike victor, Paul (Profiled above) is another one of the finest athletes to have raced the pike and not taken victory. A runner of such stature, with 6 mile times regularly in the 27 minute region, you would imagine would be a strong contender to lift the pike title if ever attempted. Indeed, Freary Snr's one and only attempt saw him blast up the pike as expected, rounding the tower with a lead over non other than Bolton team mate and race rival, Ron Hill. But with little fell running experience, the rigours of the fast, but somewhat 'technical' in places descent got the better of Freary (and trying to keep hold of his 'bouncing' glasses on the end of his nose, with blurred vision-as son Paul joked!!) Freary Snr had to settle for a well below par 6th position in the end, proving that a race victory was not a foregone conclussion for even the finest athletes. Although Freary Snr never lifted the pike trophy as many of his rivals had, he made up for this with startling race results in many road, XC and track races. The Bolton superstar achieved a magnificent 5th in the International XC along with a world best on the track for 20km which he raced to a brilliant time of 59':59'', going through 10 miles in 48':11'', and later went on to better this time significantly in 1971 where he raced to a magnificent road time of 58:14 in Manchester. Freary Snr also ran a fast time of 28':26'' for 10,000m which he achieved in Stockholm, Sweeden in 1966, along with an impressive winning streak of 8 Northern 6mile/10,000m titles which he collected from 1968 through to 1975. In the middle of this winning streak Freary broke the British 10,000m record in 1969 proving he was now at the very forefront of British distance running. As shown above, Mike's son, Paul went on to achieve something his father never quite managed in taking the pike crown, thus finally stamping the 'Freary' name on the pike trophy, albeit thirty years on from Mike's first attempt.

Mike Freary shown above leading the 1964 AAA's 6miles championships at 'White City' where he raced to a fast 27':36''...on his shoulder is Bolton team mate Ron Hill. The pair raced week in, week out battleing against each other at the very highest echelons of British and World distance running.

 

 

Kendal athlete Dave Cannon (pictured right) finished a fine 2nd in the 1970 race behind Ron McAndrew's win in a time of 17:31 (17:51 converted). Cannon's career began as a Fell runner, where he reached the highest accolades to become 'British champion' of the 1972 season. He transferred his 'phenomenal' talent to road racing later in his career, where the years of heavy training ultimately saw him produce Marathons of the very highest calibre. He posted times of 2:11 at his peak to show what a great athlete he was. His limitless knowledge, built up over years of learning from the training and racing he had done, was passed on well to a certain Kenny Stuart, who himself went on to emulate his coach and mentor Cannon throughout the eighties by setting many 'still standing' fell records, and indeed run a 2:11 marathon himself, along with many other fast road times!

Dave Cannon (pictured above left) went on to lift British Fell running titles along with running 2:11 Marathons in a superb running career. He is pictured alongside Kenny Stuart (right) who he coached to become a champion Fellrunner and  2:11 Marathoner also! The Photo was taken after Kenny's 1985 Glasgow Marathon victory. The photo of a young Cannon (above right) was taken whilst he competed in a fell race in his late teens, and right, (No 172) leading a city centre road race alongside fast track man Adrian Royle...

 

 

 

  Harry Walker walked away from the 1975 race as 'Pike champion' for the first time. After three years of 3rd positions in the races of '72-74', and by showing recent form in winning the 22 mile 'Edale Skyline' race, it perhaps came as no surprise that the Blackburn athlete would eventually prevail as 'pike champion'. His times over the last four years had progressively got quicker, with his fastest of 17:02 (17:22 converted) set when wnning in the '75' edition of the pike. His doubtless ability on the fells was shown when winning the 1973 'British Championships'. A feat that many of the 'best 'pike racers' achieved throughout their outstanding careers. Walker's son followed in his father's footsteps to take fell running wins in such races as 'The 3 peaks' 24 mile Yorkhire classic, and indeed had a fine 2nd place finish himself at the 2003 pike race, behind a run-away win by Salford's Billy Burns.

Walker is pictured here 'flying' down the Burnsall fell race descent on his way to victory.

 

 

 Andy Styan was another of the many British fell running champions that have graced the slopes of Rivington Pike over the past 40 years since the championship's introduction. He became 'British champion' in 1979, the year after he ran to a 2nd place finish at the 'pike', behind J. Calvert's win. Styan's time of 17:08 (17:28 converted) in the 1978 race showed his speed over the 'faster' fell races such as the pike was impressive, as well as his technique shown over much more tortuous and gnarly terrain found in races held in the Lake District or Welsh mountains. Styan's son, William also enjoyed success as a young fell runner, winning national titles in the Junior ranks, surely inspired by his father's success.

 

 

  Steve Hawkins produced a good run at Rivington pike to finish 'runner up' in 1998 to pike hero Craig Roberts. His time of 17:47 was only 8 seconds off a win, although as a former 'British fellrunning champion' in 1992, with also a 33rd 'World trophy' placing the same season, he would have been more at home with a first place performance. As with many of the best 'Pike racers', he had a very talented brother, Mick, who had many successes as a specialist steeplchaser where he ran around the 8:30 mark on many occasions, and also made Commonwealth games teams along the way. Mick was also a fantastic road and XC runner, where he collected many national team titles along with brother Steve with their successful northern club Bingley Harriers. The Hawkins's are part of a long tradition of athletic brothers at the Bingley club, which also include the Peace's (Andy and Martin), The Jebb's (Rob and Andy), and more recently the world's top Triathlete 'duo' of Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.

Hawkins can be seen testing Borrowdale supremo, Gavin Bland (right of pic) in a round of the 'British Championships' series of fell races.

 

 

Ian Holmes is arguably THE most successful fell runner ever and one of the sports greatest 'descenders', if not the greatest. He has been named alongside legends such as Jos Naylor in 'who's the greatest ever' polls, and has achieved over his long and sparkling career countless victories, titles and accolades. Seemingly taking 'British titles' at will, where he has lifted the coverted title no less than four times (96-98 and 2000) and also five 'English' titles in  1996, '98', 2000, 2002 and '03' to show an unblemished and consistent record which is unmatched in the history of either Championships. To mention all of  Holmes's achievements would require an eternity, but stand out performances would surely be his numerous fast wins at Snowdon, Ben Nevis, and Malaysia's classic Kinabalu race, with many more epic victories going towards his 9 National titles. Holmes's one and only appearance at Rivington came in 2008 where he took a rare defeat, but at the age of 43, only 'British fell running champion' Rob Hope managed to get the better of him on the day. His time of 17:53 being only a few seconds shy of Ron Hill's vets record of 17:44, took him to No.2 on the vets 'all time' list. Holmes is still very much at the forefront of British fell running, and on his day can still squeeze out a win in championship races against athletes who are half his age. His remarkable record is one that may never be beaten in the world of fell running, and one that I'm sure will be further enhanced over the forthcoming seasons.

'Master descender' Holmes is shown descending 'Ben Nevis' and 'Kilnsey Crag', demonstrating how to do it! His 21 minute Snowdon descent times along with his Kinabalu descents are legendary.

 

 

Henry.'Roy'.Fowler  took victory in the 'Rivi Pike' race the year before taking the International XC title in the season of 1963. Already Inter-counties XC champion of 1961, Fowler raced up and down the pike taking victory in the 1962 race comfortably lifting the coverted title by 25 seconds to run 17:27. It must be noted that the race included the climbing of a 'stile' on the way up and down, which was subsequently removed for later races but would have significantly added to race times that year. Therefore, I am hesitant to add the usual '20 seconds' to his time due to this 'obstacle', which I'm sure would have slowed the runners probably around 5-10seconds at least, making Fowler's time probably equivalent to around the 17:40 mark on today's route. After Fowler's 1962 Triumph at Rivington he later went on to claim the Bronze medal in the 1962 European 10,000m Final in a tactical race running 29:02, with his best for 6 miles standing at a fast 27:24 proving just what a class act he was. Fowler was also a supreme athlete over the country which he proved by taking the ultimate accolde in becoming 'World Champion' in 1963. He later backed up this magnificent form by placing 3rd in the 1968 'National' behind Ron Hill's win, and then followed this result up with a superb individual 'Bronze' medal in the 'International XC' just a few weeks later to add to his Gold of five years previous. He was only beaten by Spain's Haro and England team mate Ron Hill, and was ably backed up by magnificent runs from Mike Freary (father of future 'pike' champion, Paul) who took 5th, and Alan Rushmer in 7th to take the team 'Gold' medals beating France by a massive 43pts! The Staffordshire moorlands athlete was yet another World class athlete to have competed and indeed succeeded in lifting the coverted 'Rivington Pike' spoils, and carried on competing to a high level well into his 'forties' with veteran marks of 14:29 & 30:05 for 5 and 10k respectively.

 

 

 

John Taylor (the late great John Taylor) was one of fell runnings fiercest competitors, but also one of the nicest and friendliest 'characters' within the sport. Throughout the Nineties, John (shown middle of pic: No.'117') established many new records, most of which still stand today. He could run over any terrain,whether it be over the rough Lakeland courses, or the faster terrain of races such as the 'pike'. Being a top XC runner, with several placings around the 20th mark in National and Inter-counties crosses and a best of 5th in the Northerns, this speed he possessed would always come in handy in races such as the 'pike'. In the 1999 race he proved this by running a strong race against familiar fell running and XC opposition in the shape of Neil Wilkinson and Craig Roberts, to whom he scored a solid 3rd place against in 17:44. John was also a successful Mountain runner, with a top 10 placing in the World trophy amongst many other great performances in International races. His ability was not only limited to 'two legs', but also 'two wheels' where he took national crowns in Duathlon, and a best of 7th in European Duathlon championships. John's big moment of glory in the world of Duathlon came to an end with an untimely puncture whilst in a lead 'break-away' group in the World championships. Being the strongest runner in the group left, his chances of 'golden glory' were looking good until blowing a tyre. John later returned to the fells and XC to once again dominate races up and down the country, continuing where he had left off showing his true class for all to witness again.

For more details about John, and the charity foundation that was set up in his name please visit www.johntaylorfoundation.org.uk

John was a great climber wth his 42 minute ascent time at Snowdon proving this, but he was also a talented descender illustrated here which helped him to many fell running victories throughout his career.

 

 

 John Broxap (left of pic) took the 1983 'pike' race victory by a comfortable 32 seconds from fellow fell running expert Shaun Livesey. His time of 17:13 (converted to 17:33) really demonstated the Keswick man's versatility, as he was very much regarded as a ''roughstuff'' specialist. His win shouldn't have come as such as surprise to onlookers, as Broxap was indeed an accomplised XC runner having taken victory in the previous years 'Cumbrian' XC championships, and also set a new record for the 'Buttermere round' that year, along with many other notable top class performances along the way. Broxap also holds a best position of 17th in the 'short' World trophy race, proving he was a very worthy winner of the 'pike' title. Broxap is pictured here after the 'Kentmere Horseshoe' race, where he finished 3rd behind winner John Wild (centre) and Duncan Overton (right).

 

 

John Brown  holds a  record in the world of Mountain running up there with the finest British athlete's with a best of 8th in the World trophy of 2004. This was a result which improved his great run when placing 14th against a very strong field in again, the 'uphill only' edition of the championships of two years previous. Brown took the scalps of many of the world's top mountain runners in the Austrian Capital of Innsbruck. He has also achieved many top performances in World 'Grand prix' races, European championships and other World championship races throughout his long successful career. The Salford man is also a quality XC and road runner with a solid 10k p.b of 30:08, along with many good placings at the very  highest National level XC races, with a best of 14th at the National Inter Counties XC. He also very narrowly missed out on GB selection for the European XC championships after a fine run in the 'Trial' race held at Margate where he finished a highly creditable 10th in 2001 amonst all the leading XC exponents. Brown has took individual 'bronze' in the Northern X of 2003 and holds an 8':55'' 'steeplechase' best to add to his strong C.V. The Salford runner has applied his strength and talent in particular to uphill running. His uphill strength took him to many wins in the 2003 'National fell running championships' series, where his tactic of 'blasting away' from the start, and trying to 'limit the damage' on the descents worked pretty well, with only the occasional defeat to only the very best 'descenders' like legend Ian Holmes. His only performance at Rivington came in the 2008 race where he ducked under the 18 minute mark by 3 seconds to clinch a top 3 finish. Brown can still be seen at the front end of races despite now being in his early forties, regularly showing a clean pair of heels to many good youngsters.

Brown is pictured above (right) helping his Salford team to Victory in the 2000 National XC relays at Mansfield, where he teamed up with other great 'Pike racer' Neil Wilkinson, and left, on 'relay' duty once again, this time in the 'National 6-stage' at Sutton Park.

 

 

Lloyd Taggart is one of the modern day heroes of fell running. Racing week in, week out without fail, he epitomises the true spirit of a real fellrunner by racing to victory in countless races each year, just as pike racers and runners alike back in the sixties and seventies did. His enthusiasm for the sport, along with his obvious natural flair for running over any terrain nature throws at him saw Taggart take the 2011 'English' fell running title, proving his name at the very top echelons of the sport. Taggart has possibly been the sports most consistent performer over the past few seasons, always finishing in the top half dozen in Championship races, with many many wins throughout each hectic race scheduled season. Prefering to concentrate on 'pure' fell running, his rare ventures outside the sport have shown glimpses of brilliance, proving he has speed as well as great technique. His run in the 2004 World Mountain running championships held in the snowy mountains of Alaska, saw him race up and down the trecherous slopes to take a highly impressive 12th place overall, and back up all the great achievements he already had in the world of fell running. The following season saw him place 18th in the World's and since then, Taggart has gone from strength strength, and even turning 40 has had no impact on his appetite or ability for the sport where he continues to shine at the very highest level. Taggart's one and only appearance at the 'pike' came in the 2005 50th Anniversary race where he wasn't too far off the heel's of regular rival Rob Hope, and finally saw him finish in a respectable 17:59 for a podium place at his first attempt. With more years at the top of his game still to come, maybe Taggart will once again grace the Rivington slopes, and maybe threaten the long standing vets record still held by non other than 'Rocket' Ron Hill which he set many years ago.

Taggart is pictured showing two types of 'climbing technique', of which he is a master of both. Coupled with great descending technique, shows why Taggart has been, and still is such a force at the forefront of British fell and mountain running.

 

 

2004 saw the emergence of talented youngster Mike Hammer at the front end of several of Lancashire's most historic fell races. The Blackburn Harrier showed great form at the Rivington Pike fell race where he finished a fine 3rd overall behind only two of the countries leading fell and endurance athletes in the shape of Andi Jones and Rob Hope. His time of 17:56 indicated that the 21 year old would surely go on to challenge for top honours at the pike race in future years, along with big wins in the famous Pendle fell race where he decimated non other than fell running 'royalty' Colin Donnelly to record a superb 30 second victory over the tough course which is renowned for the near vertical ascent up 'the Big End' of Pendle hill. Unfortunately whilst in the shape of his life, Hammer succumbed to every athletes nightmare when old injuries hampered his once rapid progress in the shape of Achilles Tendonitis which was eventually operated on in 2007. Nowadays, still with the immense passion for the sport he showed as a youngster, Mike Hammer is taking the tentative steps back towards full fitness, and hopefully back to the top of the pile as he showed he was capable of almost a decade ago. With plenty of years still 'left in the tank', especially in terms of 'running age' due to many years out through injury, surely the name of Mike Hammer can make it onto the hallowed list of engraved names on the coverted Rivington Pike winners trophy to join his old Blackburn training partner, Tom Cornthwaite, who has shown just what can be achieved with hard work, dedication and immense enthusiasm with his tremendous 4 pike victories thus far.

Mike Hammer pictured above winning the 2004 Pendle Fell race where he took the 'scalp' of fell running hero, Colin Donnelly.

 

 

Shaun Livesey  of Clayton le moors took a second place finish behind John Broxap's strong performance in the 1983 'pike race'. Running 17:45 (converted to 18:05) was a solid performance on the day, but Livesey's running career was on the up, and by 1988 he was crowned English fell running champion proving that the 'pike' race served as a good 'apprenticeship' in the process of making a National champion fell runner. It was a title he went on to lift again in the season of 1990, proving his fell running prowess. Livesey also holds an Impressive record at the World trophy on the mountains with three top 20 finishes, including a best of 9th at the 'Short' championships of 1985. Livesey can still be seen at the front end of many fell races still competing for his lancashire club, and giving many top veteran athletes as well as seniors a hard time each weekend.

 

 

Neil Smart was one of Britain's top steeplechasers throughout the 'eighties' and 'Nineties', regularly finishing well up in AAA's track championships, and indeed lifting the UK title in 1987, beating fellow northerner and International Mick Hawkins. With many fast times around the 8:40 mark and a best of 8:35 putting him 53rd on the British 'all-time' list, the Sale Harrier was easily recognisable in steeplechase fields always wearing a peaked cap in races (see pic) which was maybe an item that bought about 'good luck'? Smart was an accomplished distance runner on all surfaces, and in the 1993 'pike' race proved he was a match for all but the very best 'pike racers' by racing to a 3rd place finish, in the process just nicking under the 18 miunute barrier by a mere second. His name adds to a long list of International 'steeplechasers' to have achieved success at the Rivington Pike fell race. Smart is pictured above wearing his cap, alongsde No.8: Mick Hawkins (Steve's brother) and No.10: Mark Howard. Far right of shot is 'double Olympian' Justin Chaston of Belgrave Harriers.

 

 

  Greg Hull of the highly prominent Leeds city club has been a consistent top performer for the past 2-3 decades. Being mainly known as a strong XC runner holding bests of 6th in the Northern XC along with several good National XC results to his name, Hull has also dabbled in fell and mountain running over his long career. With an impressive 28th place in the 1995 World mountain trophy held in Edinburgh, proof enough of his ability over more undulating terrain. Now well into his forties, the Yorkshire athlete is still highly competetive with his veteran peers, and proved this whilst taking the M40 'pike' title in the 2007 race in a fast 18:05, not a million miles away form the 17:44 vets record. Hull can now be seen organising the ever successful Leeds senior men's team, of which he is still a regular scorer in National events. Never being a regular 'Pike racer' at his peak, he would surely have made an impact on the 'all time' lists had he made more attempts over 'Horwich's hill'.

 

 

Andy Peace, (pictured on the left of shot, No'33) is another one of many successful 'brother' duo's who have run well at the Rivington Pike fell race, when in the 2006 season he ran to a runner up spot in 17:48. This was a good 'resurgent' season in Peace's career which also saw him place 32nd in the World Championship, an incredible 16 years after placing his best of 12th in the 'Short' race at the equivalent championships. Peace also has a 13th to his credit in the European mountain champs from '97'. The Bingley man's record over all surfaces is one that is hard to improve upon, with a selection of top draw performances over a long and distinguished running career as proved above. 'Record holder' of the '3 Peaks' 24 mile fell race held over the Yorkshire fells must be among his greatest, and proudest achievements. His name sits majestically above many of fell running, and indeed distance running's all time greats proving that Peace at his very peak was an awesome performer. He also holds forefront times in the 'Burnsall classic', alongside highly distinguised names such as John Wild and Kenny Stuart, amonst the few 'Sub 13 minute' performers over the steep technically testing Yorkshire 'lump'. Peace's ability was not limited to fell running only, where he had several top placings in the National XC with a best of 14th whilst ploughing through the Havant mud alongside many of the countries leading XC exponents. Peace was also a good road runner, racing to National victory with his Bingley club in the AAA road relay championships, teaming up with the likes of National cross country champion, Richard Neurerkar, Mick Hawkins, Keith Anderson and Ian Holmes. Peace has also run many great races whilst wearing the 'white and red' colours of England, with several World trophy and Championship appearances. Like so many of the successful 'pike' racers, his running C.V is far too long to even 'scrape the surface', and now well into his forties is still adding too by defeating many younger athletes week after week as a 'relentless' performer. It must also be mentioned that Peace, just like former team mate John Taylor, had taken National Duathlon titles also in his outstanding career, again underlining his versatility within endurance based sports.

Peace can be seen climbing hard at Burnsall, and above right, alongside Ian Holmes in his 'record breaking' 3 Peaks run.

 

Jonny Mellor over the past few season's has shot to prominence withinin British endurance running. Always a strong 'all rounder' as a junior athlete he competed several times over the 'pike' course proving his fell running strength with a 2006 junior time of 17:54 to finish 4th in the 'pike' race overall, and first junior man. He has since gone from strength to strength improving steadily each year to become a real force at the forefront of British endurance running. His 2011 times were impressive, where he reduced his 5000m time down to 13:36, and his 10k road p.b to 28:52 along with a superb 62:59 debut 'half' marathon in New York showing that the many years of fell running and endurance background, where he competed in several Junior International races for England are now coming to fruition. Mellor, as a confessed hater of XC with many below par runs over the mud, is now showing his strength is improving each season with a recent 4th place in the Northern XC, showing his new found endurance over tougher terrain, which if utilised at the 'pike' race once again, would surely produce a very quick time. Mellor is a young runner who could perhaps challenge the likes of Wild and Dugdale at the highest echelons of pike 'all time' performances.

Mellor can be seen above in the AAA 5000m Championships mixing it with Britain's best distance men, where he collected the 'Bronze' medal behind non-other than Mo Farah and AFD's Andy Vernon.

 

 

Natalie White's single performance at Rivington Pike came as a highly successful Junior athlete in the 2000 edition of the 'pike' race. Being one of the countries leading young hopeful's for 'International stardom', she demonstrated her ability over the mucky lancashire hillside, in awful conditions to defeat all but two of the senior women's field, backing up her top fell and XC results of previous years. It was a strong performance by the then 'Holmfirth Harrier', who's endless hilly training runs from her Yorkshire home had surely helped instil an unbelievable physical 'toughness' that belies her slight frame. White went about building on such performances, until as a senior athlete she proved 'unstoppable' in her quest to become British champion on the fells. A feat she proudly achieved in the season of 2006, along with taking the English championship the same year to become 'Double champion' and join only Clare Crofts amongst female 'Pike Racers' to achieve this accolade. White's fell running successes continued where she won countless races and again won the 'English' fell running championship in 2008, beating off all the countries leading female fell runners whilst winning many big races. She has also achieved great success on the International Mountain running stage, with a top 15 place her best whilst wearing the England and GB colours in World and European championships. Still a relative youngster in terms of endurance running, she has concentrated on 'Adventure racing' in more recent years with the highly successful 'Saab Salomon' team. With plenty of years at top level still to come, White would surely elevate her name towards the very top of the 'all time' list of 'pike performers' if she ever decided to return to the slopes of Rivington Pike.

White can be seen mixing it with the leading Junior women in the 2001 National XC at Durham, showing her ability to compete with the best women over a range of athletic disciplines.