Blackpool Pier-to-Pier Race

Report: Phil McCann -

Toni McIntosh

Toni McIntosh travelled to Blackpool for the Pier-to-Pier 15k to continue her fitness programme and get back into her racing. From reports she lead from the gun in the women's race and took a 3 minute advantage over the rest of the women's field to clock a superb 58-16, to add to that she also finished 9th out of the field of 232.

Afterwards Toni said it was pleasing to find that she had run so well and her performance is getting her back in the right frame of mind. This bodes well as she is looking forward to the National 4-stage Road Relays in Birmingham in 2 weeks time.

Manchester Area Cross Country League - Match 1

This Saturday sees the first round of the new look Manchester Area Cross Country League at Heaton Park, North Manchester, timetable below

Match timetable
Time Age Group Distance
12.15pm Under-13 girls 2,400m
12.30pm Under-13 boys & Under-15 girls 3,000m
12.50pm Under-15 boys & Under-17 ladies 4,500m
1.20pm Under-17 men & Under-20 ladies 6,000m
1.50pm Senior & Vet ladies 8,000m
2.30pm Senior, Under-20 & Vet men 9,600m

Help free Barry Thompson

Club sponsor Barry Thompson is going to jail! On Friday 13th October he is going into the old Greater Manchester Police cells at Newton Street for charity and won't be released until he has raised £1,000 for St. Ann's Hospice.

You can help Barry by making a donation on the day at

Club Trophies

Can anyone who holds a club trophy please return to the Club House as soon as possible in time for this year's prize presentation.

The Great North Run

Thumbs-up from Phil

Phil McCann all smiles after a memorable Great North Run

Report: Phil McCann

Again a fantastic event in the North East with Becky Lynne who trains with us at Stockport winning the mile event on the Saturday to make her finish of the season complete.

On Sunday it was a warm start to the 26th Great North Run with the forecast supposedly to be wet and overcast!

With 50,000 runners lining up along the central motorway in Newcastle it was a wonderful site to see so many take up the challenge.

In the women's elite field along side the likes of Berhane Adere, Benita Johnson Susan Chepkemei and Joe Pavey we had Sharon Glendon and Vicky Barrett hoping to perform well.

Jenny Knass having to withdraw still recovering from her injury was disappointed she couldn't run. It was wise to miss this event with her Amsterdam 1/2m coming up in 2 weeks time to make sure she was fully fit.

In the mass field from the ladies' squads we had Debra McCann, Michela Stepto, Alison Coulson, Jayne Lawton, Ruth Lee, Jane Nyland, Natalie England, June Sinnott and Gloria Norton. It was pleasing to have so many ladies at this event especially with the difficulty in gaining an entry.

The race got underway with the elite women's field, slightly smaller than last year and the leaders were soon away after the first mile with Sharon and Vicky not having a good time at all. Sharon suffering with a virus should have not started and suffered throughout. Vicky struggling to get into the race found it was just not her day.

In the mass start Michela still recovering from her 40 miler a couple of weeks earlier found it hard going. Debra, Alison, Jayne and Ruth were out by 3 or 4 minutes, others too were a little disappointed with their times, however the Red Arrows were as usual fantastic and when they roared over the Tyne Bridge as I was crossing that gave me such a lift and full of emotion.

The event was further improved by adding an additional water station at 3 miles which was welcome site on a warm day.

Again the bands on route were excellent if only to take ones mind off the pain. As a coach I had got my pace judgment all wrong even I can make mistakes! My target of 1-50 was out of site and it was a case of damage limitation.

At 10 miles another one of my ladies squad Jane Nyland was along side me and again she was suffering with a virus and should not have run.

The problem seems to be even though you can defer your entry if things go wrong it can be and expensive weekend having not been able to run. However with the sad news of another death at the race ones health is of most importance.

Onto the sea front and the last mile my ears were still ringing from the noise of the spectators. Fellow Harriers who were there watching roared at me and I pushed on to the finish line to stop the clock at 2-05.

After a quick chat with my UK Sport colleagues who gave me a welcome cheer it was off to collect my medal and goodies. Having met up with my wife Debra we quickly changed and saw the Red Arrows start their fantastic display.

We then boarded the bus to the Metro station and quickly boarded the train back to the Hotel. It seems that the organisation of the event is getting much better with them getting the runners away from the finish with more buses and trains available.

Next year's event is on the same weekend of 30th September so make sure that when the entries open you get your entry in pronto and keep your fingers crossed.

Great North Run
Ladies' Times Men's Times
Michela Stepto 1-33-19 Tony Lee 1-25-55
Sharon Glendon 1-39 Steve Jones 1-27-49
Vicky Barrett 1-35 Mike Deevey 1-27-55
Alison Coulson 1-44 Paul Stepto 1-29-21
Jayne Lawton 1-45 Neil Thompson 1-32-55
Debra McCann 1-47 Sean Whewell 1-33-21
Ruth Lee 1-55 John Harvey 1-36-15
Nicola Jackson 1-57-12 Lee Barratt 1-48-41
Jenny Day 1-59-43 Tony Ward 1-56-49
Jenny Kinnaird 2-00-27 Don Bremner 1-47-23
Kath Ward 2-04-13 Philip McCann 2-05
Jane Nyland 2-06 Neil Mason 2-46-54
Natalie England 2-19  
Gloria Norton 2-32
June Sinnott 2-34
Liz Mason 2-46-54

The Great North Run - the men's view

Neil's 15 seconds of fame

Neil (centre) was interviewed live on BBC by Sue Barker, but the interview was cut short with heckling from an ex-Olympic rower and a soap actor

Report: Isaac

Despite the Great North Run moving this year to the first day of October, weather reports leading up to the worlds largest half marathon were to prove accurate. Brilliant sunshine greeted the 50,000 athletes as they lined up in their thousands to make the undulating 13.1 mile journey from Newcastle to South Shields.

Stockport Harriers men's endurance team once again had a large turnout for this race - some having spent the weekend in Newcastle relaxing in preparation for the race, and others having decided to get up in the middle of the night to squeeze into the men's 'race' bus, arriving with minutes to spare.

First home from the squad proving that age holds no barriers was Tony Lee in (1-25-55), followed by Steve Jones (1-27-49) running against doctors orders with orthotics, leg bandages and enough pain killers to perform open heart surgery having overtaken Mike Deevey (1-27-55) in the last 800m.

Continuing with his come back Paul Stepto crossed the line in a remarkable 1-29-21 considering his endurance feat only 14 days earlier in the High Peak 40. Another of the day's outstanding performances goes to Neil Thompson (1-32-55) who only weeks after major surgery proved that he is more than a match for his team mate and sparring partner Lee Barratt who performed below par suffering from stomach cramps - Neil went on to be interviewed live on BBC by Sue Barker, but the interview was cut short with heckling from an ex-Olympic rower and a soap actor.

Hot on the heels of Neil were Michela Stepto in 1-33-19, who had finished 3rd lady in the High Peak 40 two weeks earlier, and two seconds behind her Sean Whewell once again missing that elusive sub 1-30 target.

Recent gruelling high mileage races and training schedules also affected John Harvey and Tony Ward's finishing times, but will, I am sure, in the long run prove beneficial.

Stockport were also well represented in the GNR Junior events on the Saturday with an excellent course around the Newcastle quay side, Richard Hindley finishing 5th in the under-13s 3.5k race in 13-45 and later in the day Amber Whewell finishing 14th girl in the 4.5k under-17s race in 19-13.

Macclesfield 1/2 Marathon

Report: Phil McCann

On the same day those who had not got into the Great North decided to run the Macclesfield 1/2 marathon on a very tough and hilly course.

Surprisingly our Jenny Murray after her severe illness decided to run which was a poor decision in my view. She was up against some strong opposition in the likes of Pauline Powell of Blackburn and Louisa Tanner of Bedford.

The report was that Jenny and Pauline were nip and tuck throughout with Jenny managing to break away in the last few miles to run a personal best and course record.

Her time of 1-19-36 off little training was outstanding after such a long lay off and I hope it hasn't done any damage to her.

Pauline Powell whose season has been outstanding finished second in 1-19-54 with Louisa in third 1-21-50.

Another Stockport Lady Toni McIntosh having withdrew from the Great North decided on the last minute to give it a try to see how her fitness was finished 5th in 1-28-42.

Sally Keigher returning too running after a lay off looking after her young children finished in 1-40-36.

All bodes well for future events if they can keep their training and health together.

Further along field Helen Todd who has been putting in some very good performances over the shorter distances was in good form to finish 3rd Vet 50 in a time of 1-50-27 getting ahead of Vicky Buckley who ran 1-52-13 and Deborah Cox 1-56-15.

Again women runners at Stockport is on the increase and the more they are recognised and perform well goes along way in promoting what is good about Stockport Harriers.

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