A blazing hot Easter Sunday morning saw one of the most eagerly awaited races in the calendar as a host of disciples from Striders travelled to the Hale Village 5 Mile Race.
First Strider home was Kane Green, who overcame the sweltering heat to finish 8th overall in an impressive 28:54.
In a delightful moment, the formidable Rachel Fairclough was next, finishing 4th lady in 32:57 with her devoted husband Peter Fairclough seconds behind while pushing their adorable son Sam across the line in his buggy. The next generation of Striders are already experiencing the racing bug.
Next home was Kelly Hamilton who finished in 33:15, producing a sensational sprint finish to outrun a close rival and snatch 5th lady metres from the finish line.
3rd Male across the line was Eric Ranson, in 33:03 and 43rd overall. Hannah Whittaker was 3rd female Strider and 11th lady overall in 34:41 despite being hindered by an early stumble.
Egged on by the bumper Easter crowd, a number of Striders’ ladies achieved new personal bests. Sharon Swift, living up to her name, delighted her followers as she crossed the line in 41:47, with Jackie Ellis also producing a great performance to lower he previous best in 46:50. It was an extraordinary effort from Ellis who obliterated her previous record by almost ten minutes. The inspirational Pauline Horsfall continued her outstanding year as she once again claimed first prize in the FV60 category with a magnificent 36:59.
Not to be outdone by their female counterparts, the men also collected an Easter basketful of lifetime bests. Grizzled veteran Tony Dagnall sprang around the course like a new born lamb to finish in a superb 35:38, while Mark Fillingham’s dedicated training schedule paid off as he secured a new best mark of 40:25. Smiling assassin Nigel Herbert also continued his rapid recent improvement with an excellent PB of 46:38.
Other notable performances came from Cherryl Orrick, Chris Reid (35:03), Peter Teeling (38:08), Peter ‘Boomer’ Bennett (40:59) and the evergreen Frank Cahill who finished 2nd in the V60 category in a superb PB of 34:34.
Good Friday saw three Striders take on the Calder Vale Country 10 Mile Race. The intrepid trio faced daunting climbs reminiscent of another infamous Good Friday climb up Golgotha. This proved no problem for Brian Middleton as he performed doggedly to claim 1st Place in the V60 category. Eric Ranson and Rebecca Mckenna also conquered the challenge to more than earn their Easter Eggs.
On Saturday, Striders’ very own superwoman, Collette Flaherty, conquered the gruelling Liverpool to Manchester Ultramarathon. She defied the heat and the seemingly endless 50 mile course to finish in impressive style.
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!