The British Summer continued true to form at the Amberswood Trail races near Wigan this Sunday with a fine drizzle producing a muddier than expected experience. Over 130 entries for the 10k race along with around 40 runners in the 2.5k event gathered at Springview Sports Club for the only second running of this event. Some were perhaps more grateful than anticipated for the hot showers and changing available after the races, not to mention the pie and peas served up by organizing club Wigan Harriers.
The 2.5k was first off at 10.30am with a loop around the Amberswood lake to test the selection of new runners and youngsters who took on the challenge. The future of UK runing looks secure judging by the speedy efforts of the juniors who tore round the course to collect their commemorative medals back at the club house.
Next out were the 10k runners who took on a meandering off road course that took in lakeside paths, woodland trails, a jaunt across a soggy meadow and a few sections of proper mud. The event attracted a large number of unattached runners along with a healthy showing from the local running clubs. Astley and Tyldlsley had a good presence along with Horwich, Spectrum Striders, Phoenix and Wesham.
A magnficent contingent of runners from the Remember Lola charity (https://www.justgiving.com/RememberLola) also took part rasing money for Meningitus Research. The glowering skies were brightended by several Remember Lola runners taking part in fancy dress, leading to the fabulous sight of a crocodile and an elephant being tracked through the wild trails of Wigan by a pair of Tigers!
An impressive run by Glyn Kay of Horwich RMI saw him with a healthy lead by the second of the two laps, and he was never really under threat from there until a well deserved win in 37:04. Second place went to Martin Rutter of Stockport in 38:05, with the the third spot taken by Mark Glynn in 39:05. It was a similar story in the ladies race with Angela Allen of Leigh Harriers holding a commanding lead over the tight battle going on behind for 2 and 3rd places between Suzanne Gregory of Astley and Kelly Anne Towns. Angela won in 42:21 with Suzanne and Kelly coming home in 47:38 and 48:12 respectively. With experienced front runners reporting a tough and testing course the efforts of the rest of the field were yet more admirable as they were encouraged on their way by enthusiastic marshalls from Wigan Hariers.
Prize giving back at the race HQ was better attended than many such events thanks mainly to the pies and peas and cups of tea available. Those who stayed on were treated to a celebrity guest appearance from a genuine Olympic Torch baton kindly brought along by Sally Howarth of Telford AC. Many took the opportunity to have their photograph taken with this iconic piece of history.
First Wigan Harrier home was Shona Taylor with a magnificent run of 55:45. Her efforts also earned her a category prize as first lady V45. Special mention must also go to Gary Wane who has been training with Harriers of late and picked up a PB on a not very PB friendly course in 46:38 to come in 27th overall. With a performance like that there will be a full membership application on its way to you shortly Gary!
Host club Wigan Harriers were well pleased with the positive feedback from competitors this year. With one or two tweaks to fine tune the event for next time, the organizers were delighted that so many runners defied the weather and enjoyed the day to such a fine degree.
A big thanks is also due to Chorley Sweatshop who not only donated £5 discount vouchers for all race finishers, but also very kindly donated the race numbers for both events. Many local races owe a debt to Sweatshop and their admirable policy of grass roots support.
We hope to collate photographs from the event over the next few days and intend to offer some sort of free download service when its all sorted. In the mean time enjoy this video of the first lap of the 10k below:
Download: AMBERSWOOD 10K 2012 RESULTS