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Birkenhead victory for Striders Ladies

With the summer evening racing season in full swing, St. Helens Striders headed across the Mersey to the Wirral to take on the Birkenhead Park 5 Mile Race. The race forms part of the Merseyside Grand Prix (MGP), a series of 10 races throughout the year with individual and team honours fiercely contested by the county’s athletes. Five races into the series, the competition is beginning to hot up.

It was a sensational performance from the Striders’ ladies team with 5 athletes finishing inside the top 20, which saw them claim victory in the team standings. A titanic battle between the club’s leading lights saw Kelly Hamilton come out on top to finish first female Strider and 5th overall in a superb 32:29, with Rachael Fairclough in 6th place with an equally impressive 32:41. Next came the irrepressible Hannah Whittaker (11th) in a new PB of 33:26. The scoring for Striders was completed by the club’s organiser-in chief, Kylie Barlow (18th) and the vivacious Claire Scott (19th), who continues to impress on her return from injury, with a new PB of 35:46. With five races left in the series, Striders Ladies team have every chance of being crowned MGP champions later in the year.

On a great night for personal achievements, a number of the ladies’ team performed superbly to record new Personal Bests. Sharron Burt’s excellent form continued with an outstanding effort of 37:54. Jenny Martin flew around the course to finish in 39:55, chased hard by Sue Heaps who crossed the line in 40:25, securing 3rd place in the V55 age category to boot. Rachel Tickle also secured a new best of 40:50, as did Zoe Fillingham in 47:20.

Rachael Fairclough and Kelly Hamilton go stride for stride at Birkenhead
Jenny Martin with a flying finish at Birkenhead

For the men, Chris Hazeldine continued his phenomenal recent form with an 11th place finish in a whirlwind 27:22 with the ever-popular Daniel Cheetham next home for Striders in 29:25. Dylan Redican made up the top three, crossing the line in 30:02. Other scorers for Striders in the team competition were Kieran Allen in 32:16, followed closely by John Williams, with a new PB of 32:23, knocking an extraordinary two minutes off his previous best. Philip Lawrenson also delighted his teammates by breaking the club’s V50 age group record as he raced across the line in 33:20, just metres behind son Andrew Lawrenson’s 33:10. Darren Eckersley showed he is back to his best after a long struggle with achilles injuries with a PB of 34:52. The men’s performance was enough to secure 6th place overall in the team standings.

Down in Cheshire, Brenda Cahill performed superbly at the Tatton Park 10k in a time of 50:57, while teammate Clare Pickavance was in hot pursuit, finishing in 51:25.

Striders’ intrepid globetrotter Katie Taggart found herself on the other side of the Atlantic as she took on the MEC Greater Vancouver Half Marathon in Canada. On a glorious morning, Taggart took in the city’s sights as she skipped around the course in 2:09.

Katie Taggart all set for the Vancouver Half Marathon

Performance of the weekend, however, belonged to Striders’ very own ultramarathon superwoman, Collette Flaherty. She took part in the epic Urban Legend 66km race around Otley, West Yorkshire. In an extraordinary effort over the mammoth distance, Haydock legend Flaherty finished 3rd female overall.

Collette Flaherty receives her 3rd Place trophy at the Urban Legend 66km Race.


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!

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