Road Relays Champs Blackpool

A strong contingent of Harriers headed the short journey north to Stanley Park for the Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships. It was a return to the same course of two years ago accompanied by glorious sunny weather.

Here’s Becki’s account of the day including the start of the Ladies race. (Statto was oblivious to the drama back at the track, sweltering out on the course)

Waking up to blue skies and the glorious sun on Saturday morning set the scene for the 6 stage relays in Blackpool.

This was a first experience for us Kaufman’s, role reversal of me running and Andy on child and spectator duty. Again I weirdly didn’t have any nerves just excitement for the event.

What a turn out for the Harriers: 3 full male teams and 4 full female teams, gone are the days of looking everywhere to make 1 full female team!

2pm and the men were off. They shot off past the cheers of the tent; Howard, Mike and Gaz W all looking determined to get their teams off to a good start.

2:05 a little bit of a mix up, on the website it was a 2:15 start for ladies which made it a little messy. Mel and Pat shot over once seeing the other ladies lining up, we all hoped Jayne was there but no Shona in sight. Once spotted she had to jump over the fence and start at least 30 seconds after everyone else, but what a storming first run she had considering dealing with that pressure!

The fun had started and it was time to know your team and who you were running after, plus when to attempt to get onto the track to warm up on the grass. After many years of being a spectator, I came in useful when spotting Harriers returning to the track and recognising different running styles (please don’t tell me how you can tell its me!- Editor’s note multi coloured leggings help somewhat!!). For our team D, Pat set off with a fantastic run in 28.56 and passing the team to Mandy, who pushed herself out of her comfort zone and being really happy with her sweltering run with a brilliant time of 31.24 (much faster than last year!)

Here it was, my turn to push myself for the team. It was a lonely run which made it more important for me to concentrate and keep on track (no watch just had to go off how I was feeling). Men shot past and the ladies A teams started to come by but this didn’t faze me, I was on a roll! The inclines, declines, tree stumps and lovely runs next to ponds made everything interesting, however the heat didn’t! Drips of sweat running down my forehead, heavy breathing and dry mouths made it even more obvious.

Stevie Nics came flying past looking amazing and then I knew Danielle (A team) would be gaining on me….how far would I get before being caught. Once again I surprised myself and got further than expected.

As I could see the track I realised I’d given everything as my ‘kick’ wasn’t as noticeable as usual, yet the cheers from the Mass of Black and Red Harriers must have helped to push me around the track towards Emma. I finished my 5.2K in 29.20, another happy smile from me!

FACT: something learnt = no matter how hard you push it, no matter how much your lungs feel like they won’t work anymore, NOTHING (and I mean nothing) hurts as much as sweat dripping into your eyes!!! Oh gosh, the pain! I had made it back to the tent and decided to pour water onto my head to cool it…DON’T unless you have a towel waiting to wipe the water before it hits your eyes.

The male and female results show how well everyone ran, well done to all Harriers and thank you to all who cheered us home!

The Ladies

27 Wigan & District H & AC ‘A’ 1:26:53
Jayne Taylor (33) 20:42
Nina Fisher (33) 22:25
Julie Platt (31) 22:11
Danielle Brearton (27) 21:35

48 Wigan & District H & AC ‘B’ 1:38:55
Shona Taylor (62) 25:36
Jacqueline Jones (53) 22:30
Catherine Fisher (53) 26:18
Deborah Raisbeck (49) 24:31

61 Wigan & District H & AC ‘C’ 1:54:22
Melanie Wane (71) 30:20
Pauline Foster (66) 27:12
Pauline Taylor (62) 29:03
Lindsay Freeman (62) 27:47

62 Wigan & District H & AC ‘D’ 2:01:46
Pat Cole (70) 28:56
Amanda Borthwick (68) 31:24
Rebecca Kaufman (64) 29:20
Emma Souness (63) 32:06

The Men

55 Wigan & District H & AC ‘A’ 2:22:54
H Avery (53) 22:44
Gary Fitzpatrick (55) 23:00
Daniel Gray (47) 22:23
Stephen Nicholls (52) 24:42
Colin McEvoy (57) 25:27
Tim Pilkington (55) 24:38

79 Wigan & District H & AC ‘B’ 2:38:09
Mike Harris (93) 25:30
Paul Mason (90) 25:41
Paul Bryers (86) 26:04
Barry Abram (85) 27:35
Paul Platt (84) 26:24
Gareth Holland (80) 26:55

99 Wigan & District H & AC ‘C’ 2:56:44
Gary Wane (103) 27:08
Kevin Edwards (98) 26:51
Luke Critchley (98) 29:06
Paul Fisher (102) 29:48
Tony Foster (101) 29:02
Paul Derbyshire (100) 34:49

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Just to reiterate Becki’s comments, a fantastic well done to everyone, excellent performances. Also a big thank you to the roadies and supporters who did a great job positioning the Harriers tent in the BEST place ever and providing a massive cheer for every runner heading out and coming back in!

Rumour has it that Dave Collins hasn’t washed his face since Sunday!

Onto the Cross Country season – hurrah!!

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