A balmy summer evening welcomed 55 runners to the second of the three race Catforth Village 5k road race series in Preston.
Representing Harriers were Tracey Dutton, Michael Dutton and Gary Fitzpatrick who was running his first competitive 5k. Tracey and Gary were clearly in a ‘who can wear the brightest trainers contest’….. it was a photo finish referred to an independent adjudicator – result to follow.
After a quick warm-up on the country roads leaving the village hall the Harriers gathered at the start line sweltering in the heat for a 6:30pm start. Wishing each other well all thought of tactics to take on this short but none the less challenging race.
All three Harriers started off well and settled into the course which stuck to the fairly quiet roads around the picturesque village, starting and ending at the local school.
Although a flat, steady and well-organised route, just after completing two miles, the Harriers faced an unexpected strong head wind, promising a challenging finish.
Enjoying the race at the 4k mark Gary Fitzpatrick, after a considerable period of making his mind up, overtook one of the runners from Wesham Road Runners on a corner with whom he spent the rest of the course in close competition.
The race was won in an impressive 16:53 by race regular Jason Parker from Preston Harriers.
The thought of a pie and a pint waiting at the village hall helped to spur him on and Gary Fitzpatrick finished the race in fourth place in a time of 17.46 with what was by now two Wesham Road Runners snapping at his heels.
Tracey Dutton finished strongly gaining 15th place and second lady with a time of 20.07. In no time at all Michael Dutton was tearing up the final leg; finishing in a time of 24.40 and grabbed 38th place. The enthusiastic crowd cheered what were excellent efforts all round.
Although this was a Saturday evening fixture in the middle of holiday season it was good to see runners from a number of clubs giving it their all which made for a competitive and enjoyable race.
Everyone gathered at the village hall after the run for the results and awarding of prizes plus a well-deserved pie and a pint. BUPA Great Run – take note – this is the sort of nutrition and hydration that runners need at the end of a race.
Traceys great run of form was awarded with a prize for her second lady finish. Congratulations Tracey, another great effort.
There was no rest for our runners however. Tracey was to represent Harriers at a track event the following day and Gary Fitzpatrick took himself on an early morning 45-mile bike ride in preparation for the Wigan Hospice Manchester to Blackpool charity ride next weekend – this time with just a glass of water waiting at the end.
In all a great race, hosted and organised well and a good night out for the Harriers.
The next and final race in the series is on August 17th for which there will be a team prize so a good Harriers representation would be great.