It has once again been a busy few weeks for Wigan Harriers with the races coming thick and fast at this time of year. Along with cross country events at Leigh and Towneley Park, the black and red vests have been on display from The Great North Run, to the Northern Relay Championsips, St Helens and Consiton.
Over the past couple of weeks we have also seen club members taking on the Berlin Marathon, Rivington Pike Half and Full Marathons, the Ormskirk 10k and the Macclesfield Half.
On 30th September, Julie Platt was on International duty in Berlin for her second marathon of the year. Julie recorded a stunning 3:17:17 PB at London earlier in the year which may have been enough for most people in a season! Julie reports a crowded start which prevented her getting into her stride for the first few miles. She also had to contend with a friendly European runner who thought it would benefit them both to run together. With his target time of 3:25, Julie managed to give him the slip to run to her own schedule!
Julie passed the Half Marathon point in 1:36:05 putting herself on a PB smashing 3:12 pace. Far from fading in the second half, her 5k splits continued to fall until she ran her fastest of the entire race from 35 to 40k. Consistent pacing and effort have typified Julies recent Marathon efforts, and with a perfectly judged positive split Julie crossed the line at the Brandenburg Gate in 3:11:34 to shred her PB. It puts her performance in perspective that she was the 105th woman over the line from nearly 8000 female finishers! Even more impressive is that this placed her an incredible 14th in her age group. Well done Julie from everyone at Wigan Harriers.
On the 30th September Kevin Edwards took on the Macclesfield Half as his last outing before the upcoming Preston Guild Marathon. Kevin wasn’t aiming to break any records for once, with his target being to run a consistent marathon paced 7min mile effort throughout. This he achieved in style, and still managed to finish in 6th place in his age group in 1:30:35. Kevin says he was pleasantly surprised to find the route less hilly than expected. He can be pleased with 56th place from 804 starters.
The Rivington Pike Half Marathon on 7th October saw Junior Club Coach Stuart Holding running a fine effort over our local hills. Stuart covered the 13.1 trail miles in 1:56:14 to finish a fabulous 95th out of 321 starters.
This year organisers also put on a full distance marathon for the first time, and our own Gary Wane was amongst 57 brave souls to take on the challenge. Gary was keeping a good pace over the tough terrain, finding the off road experience to his liking. With bright sunshine all day weather conditions were perfect for running, but the course was wet and muddy throughout. This heavy going began to take its toll with 4 miles left as Gary found tired legs struggling over marshy ground. He managed to push on through the pain and record a Trail Marathon PB of 5:18:10 for 38th place.
Shona Taylor rounded of a busy month of cross country and road relay duties for the club to push her 10k times in Ormskirk on the weekend of the 7th October. The race was well supported by local clubs, but the start still suffered from a little congestion due to a few “non-runners”. It is an indication of how high her standards are at the moment that Shona counts herself slightly disappointed with 5 seconds off her PB! With the way her running has been progressing over recent months it is clear that her times will continue to tumble.