Bright times for runners

editorial image

As the sun starts to shine, the race calendar becomes very busy, with Garstang Running Club competing in many races on the fells, trails and roads.

Fell runner Mick Cottam signed up to the Hardmoors 110-mile race, and did himself and the club proud, completing the route in just under 30 hours.

Also choosing the longer distances, the club had two members take on the challenge of the marathon. Club newcomer Mike Percy travelled to Scotland for the Edinburgh Marathon, and broke the four-hour barrier to finish in 3.59.24.

Also competing in the marathon, but deciding to opt for a foreign marathon at Stockholm, was Jane Sherriff. She dug deep to finish in 5hrs 15mins giving her 3,523rd position with several thousand runners behind her.

The club had two representatives at the Fishwick five-mile trail race. Despite taking a wrong turn, Andy Vause finished in sixth position, with Gary Heyworth close behind in 12th.

At the Lancaster 5k, Simon Gora was the only member of the club, but he raced well to break the 20-minute barrier in 19.38.

Also on his own, but with 42,000 others for company, Chris Airey competed in the Great Manchester 10k. Despite a poor start due to the number of people, Chris ran a negative split (second 5k quicker than first 5k) to finish in 45.32, just outside his personal best.

Three club members took to the country roads of Great Eccleston for the four miles race, organised to raise funds for Great Eccleston Scouts. First home was Richard Jones in 17th, followed by Sheena Cottam in 71st, and Debi Spencer in a personal best time (38.41) in 105th.

Debi was back in action only three days later at the Levens 10k. This time swapping the flat country lanes for hills, Debi finished in 74th with Denise Hughes, making a welcome return to racing, three places in front in 71st.

The club was out in force at the beginning of June, with representation at six different races. At the Catforth 5k evening race, the club had two runners out, both of whom recorded PBs. Chris Horner finished 11th in 18.35, and Mary Hewitt took first place in her veteran category in 26.12.

At Fleetwood 10k, Richard Jones was the sole club competitor in the out and back route. Despite warm conditions and a tough head wind, Richard finished third, in just under 40 minutes.

Similar conditions greeted runners at the Run the Lanes 10 miles road race. Duo Andy and Gary were back out in action. This time Andy successfully navigated his way around to finish in 11th, with Gary in 39th.

Choosing a fell race over the roads was Sheena Cottam, who competed in the Pengeant fell race. Sheena enjoyed the race (and the weekend camping), where she finished in 128th position.

Julie Graham took to the trails for the Staveley 17K race, where runners were rewarded with sticky toffee chocolate pudding for finishing – maybe this is what spurred Julie on to finish well in 1.53.11

Four club members saw “Geoffrey” in a mile- long tough climb at the Longridge seven miles! With 3.5 miles of climb to start, the second 3.5 miles allows runners to extend their legs and pick up speed.

First home for the club was Tim Warner in 54.16, closely followed by Phil Cray in 55.28. Next home was Helen and Greg Hunter, separated only by a second, finishing in 59.26 and 59.27 and both very happy to break the hour, with Helen walking away with a prize for winning her age category.