What an incredible weekend of competition from Wigan Harriers!
We kicked off with the final event of the cross country season on Saturday when 13 men and 5 women turned out to represent the club. A further 21 people raced on Sunday with Mike Harris and Shona running on both days. In total, over 37 members raced last weekend alone!
That’s an awesome number of club members out there representing the town. If we needed any confirmation of the benefits of belonging to a running club, the long list of PB performances this weekend provides it.
St.Helens 10K – We had 7 Harriers vests on display in the St Helens 10k with Gareth Holland recording a 44:16 finish, Nina Fisher battling a chest infection for a 44:38 and Paul Mason with a 53:40 and a calf injury he may rather forget!
Anne Marie Craven scored a PB of 48:13 to secure a fabulous 4th place in her category and Sarah Edwards brought it home in 1:09:51. You can read all about Paul Bryers 41:04 here whilst Joanne Fairhurst tells us about her St Helens run below:
Joanne Fairhurst: “56.10 for me. Harder course than last year as the park now open. Got to the top of Cowley Hill Lane after Nina,Tim Paul passed me going back down at about 4k looking strong. Quick reccy down the park and realised oh what evil so and so is making us run back up the park next to city road then back out and then back up city road a second time. EVIL and certainly gets the hill demons out of me. Tried to get the racing line but obviously missed somewhere along the line as the Garmin measured it long. Would have been my first sub 55 and a PB by 41 secs from Maddog at Southport if the course accuracy was there. If you can do this one and get a good time then flat 10ks easy peesy. Good prep for Berlin marathon in Sept
Trafford 10k – Trafford saw another good turn out with 5 Harriers taking part and a bag full of PBs to show for it at the end!
Warren Moorfield was first home in a red and black vest to notch a impressive 39:36 PB. He was chased home by Chris Burgess sporting an obviously cursed race number. Chris had taken the place from an “under the weather” Graham Millington, only to be struck down with a stomach issue himself mid-race and finishing in 40:04
Karen Schofield surprised nobody with a 44:47 PB as she turned some superb training efforts into race day success. Just 13 seconds behind her was Tony Foster running out of his skin to chop nearly 3 minutes over his previous best here last year. Tony has been chalking up some big miles as part of his marathon training recently and the obvious side effect has been a real boost to his 10k pace!
Also knocking lumps of his previous best and taking a shiny new PB home was Keith West. Keith not only broke the magic 50 minute barrier for the first time, his 49:28 represented a 7 minute improvement in one go!
Wrexham Half Marathon – Over in Wales we had 4 runners taking part in “the other” Wrexham Half – the one that doesn’t feature an extra half mile or a fudged start. Full details can be read here courtesy of Mark Glynn.
In summary: Mark marked his return from injury with a stunning 1:24:14. Chris Green is another member in the thick of marathon training who is reaping the benefits with a fantastic 1:34:21 PB. Gary Charlton and John Moran ran together to pace Garys daughter to a huge 20 minute PB. That is they ran together until John had an altercation with a metal bollard which the bollard appears to have won……
Outlon Park: – Scott Wiggans is a new recruit to the Harriers and took on his first ever half marathon at Oulton. For a notoriously hilly course he can be more than pleased to break the 1:40 barrier with a 1:39:32 debut.
Shona Taylor – Lancaster xc and Roddlesworthe Roller
“Sat mid lancs xc – sooo cold! Em twisted her ankle on the first turn across a road (Moral: spikes on tarmac – straight line only) so not her day. My big ambition for the season is to get into the front half of the race (don’t laugh all you fast people!) and at Blackpool I did it. Not Lancaster though – sat plumb on the half way line.
Sun Roddlesworth Roller. Unremitting drizzle, a few degrees warmer and none of Saturday’s gale. Can’t remember how I got onto this one a few years back but it’s my kind of race. Got a good flow going – albeit slowly on the up hills – managing to glide over the uneven rocks without too may slips or stubbed toes to interrupt the rhythm. Battles with a couple of ladies (whom I eventually beat) and a bloke who kept passing me on the up hills and I’d blast past him on the downs (thinking, not for the first time, “if only I could learn how to run up hill I might be quite good…”). He took off on the last gentle down slope to the reservoir and I couldn’t do anything. No death defying final sprint left but 48:14 on the line was a pretty nice improvement over last year’s pb of 51:00 so quite happy with that. As we were leaving they were reading the results out – a moment longer and I might have heard I’d got lady vet 50. Later discovered I was 17th out of 55 ladies so well in the front half of the field. Definitely be back.”
April Morgan – Stafford 20
“Conditions looked favourable for my “Wigan Harriers” debut at Stafford university for the 20 mile road race which I’ve ran several times over the years; I moved onto the start line ready for the 10:30am start a few minutes later we were away and doing the standard lap of the campus before hitting the road and the first long steady climb which you negotiate on all three laps which consist of 8 miles, 6 miles, 6 miles.
Everything was going really well and right on schedule hitting 10k & HM distance bang on target until the heavens decided to hit us with the worst rainfall seen for many months creating ankle deep water on many parts of the course. By mile 14 it was a case of digging deep as my body began to feel the cold and was now affecting my performance but I continued to push onto my last lap of the course.
Miles 18 – 20 were the toughest I’ve experienced in a long time and I eventually crossed the finish line in a disappointing 2:39:04 when compared to previous times of 2:36:43 in 2013 & 2:31:33 in 2014.
It still remains one of my favourite races and is always good preparation for the marathon, next stop Manchester marathon and fingers crossed for better racing conditions and a really good run in the Wigan Harriers vest.”