Seville’s Iron in the Fire.
Striders’ Cub Secretary Richard Seville travelled to Frankfurt, Germany to compete in the IRONMAN™ European Championship. After whetting his appetite for the epic triathlon event in Austria last summer, he lined up alongside Europe’s top competitors for this prestigious event. A year of single-minded dedication to his training had left Seville ready to face the 2.4 mile swim through open water, 112 mile cycling course and 26.2 miles of running between gun and glory. Record temperatures, pushing 40°C, turned the city of Frankfurt into a cauldron but Seville was undaunted. He completed the course in an awe-inspiring time of 12:13 – a superb result in any conditions but truly spectacular in the oppressive heat of the smouldering city.
There was a huge Strider presence at the Southport Half Marathon, which provided the seventh race of ten in the Merseyside Grand Prix. With the ladies’ team topping the standings, it was an opportunity to consolidate their position.
The inspirational Rachael Fairclough was first home in 9th position overall in a time of 1:32. A 12th place finish for Hannah Whittaker in 1:34 added more vital points to the team’s total. Completing the team scoring for Striders were Lisa Cheers in a battling 1:42, with Claire Scott following her home in 1:46. Sharron Burt, fresh from her recent ‘Strider of the Month’ award, impressed in her first attempt at the 13.1 mile distance, finishing in an excellent 1:54, while fellow first-timer Zoe Fillingham also ran splendidly. Anita Hall crossed the line in 2:04 to the delight of her friends and family. The race also formed the first event in the ‘Tour of Merseyside’ – a series of 6 races over 7 days totalling 52 miles. Katie Taggart, Jo Jackson, Rebecca McKenna and Jane Marshall sensibly ran within themselves conserve energy for the gruelling task ahead, while Rachael Fairclough’s excellent showing puts her in 2nd Place for ‘The Tour’ in the standings after the first race.
For the men, Chris Hazeldine was the standout performer as he blazed around the course in a phenomenal 1:17, despite the powerful headwind that buffeted the runners on the final stretch. His outstanding time was enough to secure 6th place overall. Next home for Striders was the ever-consistent John Williams, with an excellent 1:30. Tom Chadwick (1:31) and Philip Lawrenson (1:32) completed the point scorers for the Grand Prix competition. Race addict Eric Ranson performed with his customary aplomb as he crossed the line in 1:33, with Andrew Lawrenson earning a superb new PB in 1:36, beating his previous best by over two minutes. Darren Eckersley, on a rare off day, finished in 1:39, but is sure to be back to his strong running best on his next outing. Another ‘Tour of Merseyside’ competitor, Mark Hamilton, enjoyed a comfortable run to complete the course in 1:50 and set himself up nicely for the week ahead. Ian Burt, another competing in the half marathon for the first time, did himself proud with a solid 2:03 clocking.
Midweek saw the 2nd Harrock Hill race of the summer. The series of 5 monthly races sees runners scale the heights of Parbold Hill and negotiate farmers’ fields, rickety stiles and inquisitive livestock along the 5.3 mile course. First home for Striders was Kane Green in 7th place and a time of 36:12, with Philip Lawrenson next in 40:26, just edging out son Andrew who finished in 41:58. There were also good performances from Tom Chadwick, and the dynamic duo Rachel Tickle and Kerry Riley.
A couple of Striders made their way to the Warrington 5 Mile Trail Race on Saturday. Eric Ranson, paying no heed to the prospect of a half marathon the next day, finished in a superb 37:02, earning himself 1st palce in the V45 category, while Sarah Charlton also impressed in 48:00.
In the most unusual event of the weekend, Karen Mason travelled to South Yorkshire to take on the Round Sheffield Run. This race featured 11 individually timed races, totalling 20km, one after the other, circumnavigating the city on the off road trails. Mason ran with the customary smile on her face to finish with an aggregate time of 2:15.
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!