Safari Success for Striders’ Ladies
It was the final leg of the year-long 10 race Merseyside Grand Prix series on Sunday at the Safari 10 Mile Race at Knowsley with Striders Ladies’ team in 2nd Place going into the event.
It was another pair of sensational performances from the dynamic duo of Rachael Fairclough and Kelly Hamilton. After a fearsome battle throughout, Fairclough came out in top to finish in 2nd place overall in 1:10, with Hamilton mere steps behind in the same time to finish 3rd. Completing a superb showing for the ladies was the powerful Emma Callery, who emerged with a superb new PB of 1:11 and 4th place overall. It meant another victory in the team event for Striders’ ladies and there will be a nervous wait to endure as the final places are totted up with the ladies having every chance of leapfrogging Penny Lane Striders into first place for the whole Merseyside Grand Prix Series.
Sarah Charlton put in an impressive performance to achieve a new PB in 1.31, as did Karen Mason, slicing an extraordinary four minutes off her previous best. Continuing her remarkable 2019, Brenda Cahill broke yet another PB with a fast finishing 1.23. After a broken ankle earlier in the year, this race was the target for Amanda Coogan so she was deighted to beat her time from last year’s race in 1:40. Shelley Townley, in her first attempt at the 10 mile distance, delighted her friends and family with a determined 1.52. Other excellent performances came from Cherryl Orrick (1.27), Shelle Bradley (1.31) Christine Humphrey (1.37), Angela Cropper (2.09)
For the men, there was also another epic Strider battle. David Wilson, hitting a rich vein of form as summer draws to a close, finished 4th overall in a lightning quick PB of 58:16. Pushing him all the way was the outstandingly consistent Chris Hazeldine, securing 5th place in 58:30 despite struggling with illness on the morning of the race. Popular postie Phil Lawrenson ran a tremendous new PB in 1:08, beating his son and rival Andy in the process with Kevins Brennan and Outten hot on their heels, both in 1:09. John Williams was another beset by niggling injuries, but still managed to complete the course in a strong time of 1.11. Antony Ellis, making light of a monumental hangover, raced to a well deserved 1.15 with Mark Hamilton and Aaron Scott the next two home in well-paced times of 1.18 and 1.20 respectively. There was a well earned PB for Mark Hall as he stormed home in 1.23. The two Peters, Teeling and Bennett, matched each other stride for stride, pushing each other on to cross the line skipping hand in hand in 1.25. In his belated first outing of the year for Striders, Mark Carrier crossed the line in a highly creditable 1.28.
The intrepid John Barr ventured to sunny Spain to represent the club in the Barcelona 10k. Barr earned himself some well deserved cervezas after dancing through the picturesque Catalan city in 50:22.
Gary Eccleston and Nicola Donovan negotiated the triple jeopardy of mudbaths, river crossings and horse jumps at the Rodbaston Hall Cross Country 10K. In the battle for the happy couple’s bragging rights, Eccleston just emerged on top in 1.02, with Donovan right on his tail in 1.04.
Earlier in the week, Striders mountain goat, Kevin Brennan, stepped up his comeback from a long period beset by injury to take on the Three Shires Fell Race. With over 4000 ft of brutal climbing over the 12.4 mile course, Brennan showed his strength in blazing hot conditions to finish in an excellent 3:09. Janet Holmes also hit the mountain trails, thoroughly enjoying herself at the Snowdonia Trail 12K. As did the indefatigable Colette Flaherty, conquering yet another ultramarathon challenge at the menacingly titled Punk Panther Reservoir Dogs 60K.
The Worsley Woods 5 Mile Trail Race was the destination for a team of Striders. Enjoying their splash along the muddy trails were David Brisco, Sharon O’Connell, Mike Brunt, Jo Jackson, Angela Jones and Anita Hall.
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!