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All dressed up in their glam wear, Burndeners hardly recognised each other as they gathered at Little Lever Cricket Club for the annual soiree – complete with pasties, drinks and entertainment from local musician, Tommy Govan.

The Presentation Evening is a highlight in the Club Calendar as it is a chance to recognise all those who have excelled in their running, took part in any of the Club Championships and reward those who keep the club ticking away in the background.

Chair Andy Dunleavy, who has led the Club successfully through a challenging yet thrilling year, commented,

“The Burnden annual awards celebrate all our members’ achievements. There are trophies galore for cross country, trail, fell, road and track running.”

Andy gave the coveted Chair’s Award to the very deserving Lawrence McDonald. Usually an unsung hero, Lawrence does an awful lot of work for the media and communications side of Burnden Road Runners as well as being an excellent runner. He was instrumental this year in Burnden’s successful bid to win EA North-West Club of the Year and also organised a members’ trip to Lanzarote, championed Mental Wellbeing with Run and Talk and kept the website and social media pages in tip-top shape. Lawrence has also supported the New Starters’ group and is helping to support Bolton Wanderers in the Community with organising their brand new 10K race. For all of these reasons and probably more, Lawrence also won this year’s Members’ Member Award – voted for by members of Burnden Road Runners.

Recently installed Men’s Captain, Gareth Doherty, has done a superb job in his first year.

He commented,

“I'm really proud of what everyone achieved in 2023. The huge haul of trophies is a testament to how hard our members trained.
I really enjoyed my first year as Men’s Captain, so thank you for making the club championship the success it was. I can't wait to see what 2024 brings.”

Outgoing Ladies’ Captain, Vicki Hamer, has done a sterling job.

She commented,

“What a fantastic year the Burnden ladies have had. With a whole variety of races competed in; from 1 mile to ultra-marathons and on the roads to up on the fells and through rivers, our ladies have really covered it all.
A huge well done to all those who completed the Club Championships, Off Road Championships, Virtual Championships and Cross Country Leagues this year.
We have also enjoyed great turnouts and performances at the Central Lancs Grand Prix which has enabled us to retain the Ladies Team trophy again despite some tough competition from other local teams. Our high levels of enthusiasm and energy for a challenge alongside a friendly and supportive community make us a force to be reckoned with!
A special mention to Jen Forkin, the very well deserved winner of the Ladies’ Captain Award this year. Her dedication to the club is clear to see through leading the Beginners’ group (alongside her wing-woman Shirley Robinson) and the amazing weekly reports she produces to celebrate the achievements of our members.”

Pause while writer blushes  - thank you Vicki!

The Virtual Championship is a super-inclusive way of reaching all members of the Club – whether they’re near or far away from us.

Cheryl Dunleavy, VC Captain, said this of the Championship this year,

“Congratulations to all who participated in the Virtual Championship 2023. What fabulous achievements from all 39 members completing 5/11 challenges and receiving their wooden pin badges and digital certificates. Our winner, Lyall Mew, received the cheeky emoji award for first place closely followed in 2nd & 3rd with Howard and Andy C.


Elevation Eagle Carolyn Edwards

100 Club - Lyall Mew

Flying Feet - Michelle Carter

Pleasure Cruiser - Gillian McGowan & Carolyn Edwards

Jackpot Surprise - Gareth Doherty


1st - Lyall Mew

2nd - Howard Sparke

3rd - Andrew Crawford

Special shout out to the 11 members who completed all 11 challenges – Lyall Mew, Carol Richardson, Melissa Husbands, Gillian McGowan, Carolyn Edwards, Martin Whitehead, Tom Stratton, Linda Doherty, Sarah Brown, Ian Mann and Cheryl Dunleavy.

Credit also Cheryl and to Ian Mann who have put all the work into organising a superb VC Championship for 2023.

Here is the list of the Special Award Winners and Top 3 Places in the rest of the Categories

Chair’s Award – Lawrence McDonald

Members’ Member Award – Lawrence McDonald

Men’s Captain Award – Michael Kermode

Ladies’ Captain Award – Jen Forkin

New Starters’ Award – Bernie Jones

Men’s Club Championship Winner – Suleman Badat

2nd Place – Lee White

Joint 3rd Place – Andy Dunleavy and Gareth Doherty

Ladies’ Club Championship Winner – Sarah Watton

Men’s Off-Road Championship Winner – Gareth Doherty

2nd Place – Paul Duke

3rd Place – Andy Dunleavy

Men’s Off-Road Championship Winner – Gareth Doherty

2nd Place – Paul Duke

3rd Place – Andy Dunleavy

Ladies’ Off-Road Championship Winner – Gwen Kinloch

2nd Place – Lyndsay Darbyshire

3rd Place – Anne Ferguson

Men’s Vet Champion – Lee White

Ladies’ Vet Champion – Lyndsay Darbyshire

Cross Country Winner – Gwen Kinloch

2nd Position – Lyndsay Darbyshire

3rd Position – Anne Ferguson

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