With last week’s St. Helens 10k fresh in the memory, and the legs, Striders could be forgiven for resting on their laurels and basking in the warm glow of recent successes.
But the temptation to cross into rival territory to take on the Wigan Run Festival was too strong, and the club was well represented on the more primitive side of Billinge Hill.
In the half marathon, Chris Hazeldine’s tremendous form continued as he finished in 7th place in a blistering time of 1:17. It’s only a matter of time before Hazeldine graces the podium. Next home was Eric ‘Randy’ Ransom in a rapid fire 1:33, closely followed by Scott Barlow in a new PB of 1:36. Andrew Hill, competing in his first race at the 13.1 mile distance in 12 years, finished strongly to obliterate his own previous PB by 12 minutes, finishing in an impressive 1:38. Strong performances also came from Nick Postill, Chris Reid, Lesley Abbott, Alex Abbott, Ian, Barker, Mike Brunt and the triumvirate of terror, Peter Teeling, Peter Bennett and Colin Wilson.
First lady home for Striders was the resilient Ann Johnson, who delighted her onlooking family with a superb time of 1:52 on her return from injury. Joanne Jackson also impressed the locals as she crossed the line a whisker over the 2:00 mark. Jo Keogh and Angela Cropper also put in dogged and determined efforts to finish in impressive times.
In the 10 mile race, Cherryl Orrick led the ladies home in 1:22 to continue her recent resurgence in form. Teammates Brenda Cahill and Amanda Coogan followed her home to great applause from the disbelieving hordes at the finish line.
For the men, Tony Dagnall thrilled his fellow Striders by finishing first in the V60 category, helped along by his loyal comrades Kevin Cairns and Graham Jones.
Last event of the day was the 5k race. Jenny Martin was the star of the small but perfectly formed team of Striders in the race, finishing 11th lady in 24:16. Right behind her were Jane Marshall, Ian Spencer and Jake Cropper.
Not satisfied with a half-marathon, David Briscoe and Lynda Butchard decided a longer run was in order as part of their marathon training. Thus they travelled to Lancaster to compete in the Trimpell 20 mile race. Despite a painful achilles injury, Brisco powered home in 2:45. Butchard showed impressive form in the wind and hail taking 8 minutes from her previous best time at 3:52.
Sunday’s weather seemed almost tropical in comparison to conditions faced by the hardy crew of striders making the journey to the Cartmel 18k trail on Saturday. So extreme was the weather that plan B was actioned and the race was downgraded to 10k. Undeterred by knee deep floods, Andy and Gerry Shaw, Karen Mason, Elizabeth Phillipson, Ian Floyd, Rebecca McKenna, Darren Ecckes, Katie Taggart and Pete Medlicott showed they are made of strong stuff, all completing the race with smiles on their faces and soaking wet running gear.
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!