LOCAL athletes are getting into the spirit of the festive season as they prepare themselves for the annual Christmas Cracker run.
The field is traditionally made up of not only serious fell and club runners, but also a significant number of entries wearing fancy dress costumes.
These costumes get more elaborate year and year at the colourful event staged by Staffordshire Moorlands AC over eight-mles of multi-terrain.
As usual, an assortment of Father Christmases are likely to be joined by Elvises, cavemen and an assortment of other colourful characters for the race at Meerbrook on Sunday, December 15.
Two miles of the course follow the exposed ridge of The Roaches.
On the advice of the Buxton Mountain Rescue Team, if the weather conditions are considered to be extreme, the race will be switched to a less exposed five-mile course around Tittesworth Reservoir.
Last year's race was won by Rob Grantham (Chester Triathlon) in a time of 54:45. Chris Meir was the first Moorlands AC competitor to finish in fifth place, clocking 59:00. The race organisers warn that dogs are no longer permitted to accompany runners or walkers along the course, following concerns raised at previous events.
Leek & District Darts League
Second-placed Ashcombe Park threw the Division One title chase wide open by beating leaders Dyers Arms III 7-2.
Ashcombe took all three doubles and the first singles before the hosts hit back through Chris Barber and Jason Sales.
However, Tony Banks, back after an absence, clinched the match before Key and Whitworth mopped up the Dyers tail end. Travellers Rest are beginning to dominate Division Two after crushing lowly Abbey 8-1.
Dyers Arms III 2 Ashcombe Park 7; Ball Haye Tavern III 7 Ball Haye Tavern II 2; Snooker Club 3 Ball Haye Tavern I 6; Wellington 3 Butchers Arms 6; Dyers Arms II 2 Dyers Arms IV 7. Highlights: 180s - A Beardmore, E Dunn-Fox (BHT I), J Smith (Wellington). Least darts - 14 A Beardmore, 15 R Smith (Butchers Arms), 16 C Mellor (Snooker Club), 17 B Mycock (Snooker Club), 18 G Whitworth (Ashcombe Park). Highest checkouts - 161 J Smith, 110 G Scoobie ((BHT III).
Stafford Arms 4 Lazy Trout 5;Travellers Rest II 8 Abbey Inn 1; Benks 8 Travellers Rest I 1; Ashcombe Park I 6 Red Lion
Leek & District Dominoes League
Ball Haye Tavern B 3 Rock 6; Dyers Arms A 5 Hollybush 4; White Lion 8 Wellington A 1; Wellington B 6 Ball Haye Tavern A 3. Bye: Red Lion C.
Hare & Gate 6 Valiant 3; Red Lion (W) 6 Mill Street Club A 3; Mill Street B 5 Dyers Arms B 4; Benks 3 Blue Mugge 6. Bye: Rock B.
Rock A v Wellington B; Ball Haye Tavern A v Dyers Arms A; Wellington A v Ball Haye tavern B; Red Lion (C) v White Lion. Bye: Hollybush.
Rock v Dyers Arms B; Blue Mugge v Hare & Gate; Mill Street Club A v Mill Street Club B; Red Lion (W) v Valiant. Bye: Benks.