Striders’ Ladies Sparkle in Cross Country Opener. Report by Kane Green
The North West Cross Country League season began under uncharacteristically clear blue skies and in glorious autumn sunshine. St. Helens Striders were out in force, with over 40 runners travelling for the opening fixture at Clarke Gardens in the leafy suburbs of South Liverpool.
The ladies’ team produced a stellar performance in a highly competitive field, filling 3 of the top 10 places. The ever consistent Kelly Hamilton led the team home with an impressive 3rd place finish. Hot on her heels was Rachael Fairclough in 4th, who has wasted no time in getting back to her brilliant best after the recent birth of her delightful first baby. In 10th place, fresh from last week’s maiden victory in Warrington, was Hannah Whittaker. The Striders’ women can be proud of an outstanding start and can be hopeful of a successful season.
Despite injuries to some key members, the men’s team performed admirably. David Wilson ran strongly to lead the team home in 7th place overall, while notable performances from the indomitable Kevin Brennan and a fast finishing Mark Riley added vital points to the team’s score. It was a solid start for the men who will hope to match the sensational start madeby their female counterparts at the next fixture at Beacon Park in November.
Elsewhere, Kieran Allen headed to the south coast to take on the Beachy Head Marathon and conquered the challenging off-road course in an impressive time of 4:16. Brian Davies was not spooked by the 10 Mile Hallowe’en Hellraiser in South Cheshire. He ran the mixed terrain course in a time of 1:44. Danny Fegan was Striders’ sole representative at the Oldham Half Marathon, completing the race in 1:44.
More about St Helens Striders Running Club
The St Helens Striders Train on a Monday and Wednesday Evening from the Windlehurst Sports Club on Windleshaw Road. The warm up starts at 6:50pm and the prearranged training plans start from 7pm. All Abilities Welcome!
Main photo – Striders line up before tackling Clarke Gardens Cross Country