Despite runners being unavailable through injury, we managed to raise a team of 3 over-65’s for the trip to Victoria Park, Warrington. We missed the entrance on first approach because it looked so different. The high pillars for the entrance gates had gone and a smart, low boundary wall had been built. On driving into the large car park, which previously offered puddles and potholes, there was pristine tarmac – sheer luxury!
The course was flat, but heavy going, with standing water and deep mud in parts. All runners started together, with the ladies and over 70 men doing a 5K, 2lap race. There were 25 finishers for the 5K, headed by a new F35 member of Northern Masters, Helen Whitby, in 20m-50s. Sue Becconsal performed well, taking second place in 21m-34, and the F55 top spot, though she did sound disappointed to be beaten by the young upstart. Peter Covey was 9th and first M75 in 24m-22. Two M80 and one F75 competed.
Two more hard laps saw 33 finish the 10K, led by Mike Jones, M40 Warrington, in 34m-54. Stuart Thompson excelled, finishing 20th in 47m-32 to take first M65, just 3 seconds ahead of last year’s M65 winner, Eric Ranicar. Stuart was presented with a silver cup to hold for a year. Peter Ellerton finished 24th in 49m-39 (4th M65) and Neil Robson 28th in 53m-22 (6th M65) Neil had a failing artificial hip joint replaced with a new (and more successful one) last year and is steadily regaining fitness. Until recently, anyone with an artificial hip joint was strongly discouraged from running. We received the M60 team award.
This year’s event is likely to be the last one held at Warrington, as the organisers have promoted it for ten years and, with advancing age, are looking for another club to carry on the race at a different location.
Report by Peter Ellerton, mens vets rep.