A triumphant PUMA Stockport 10

Report: Jane O'Hara -

The Stockport 10 is always a special race. This year, based on what runners tell us, it was better (if wetter) than ever. It was also bigger than ever – almost 800 runners started on the Stockport Harriers track in Woodbank Park. It has also, for the first time, become the PUMA Stockport 10. And of course 2011 is the centenary year of Stockport Harriers, so everyone involved was keen to make this year’s race an exceptional one.

The race was won by Matt Barnes from Altrincham & District in 50:55, followed by fellow Altrincham runner  Mohammed Abu-Rezeq in 51:44. Antony Ford from Sale Harriers came third in 51:47. The women’s race was won by Olivia Bush of City Of Norwich AC in 58:44, with Stockport’s Sarah Lomas second in 1:00:47 and Rachel Wood from Blackburn Harriers third in 1:05:20. James Scott-Buccleuch was the first man home for Stockport in 53:58, and there were some other great results for Stockport runners too. Paul Payne won the V40 category in 58:11, Gavin Astin won the V45 category in 59:40, Kerrie Wood-Doyle won the L45 category in 1:06:32, Steve Shaughnessy  was second V55 in 1:05:39 and David Mellor  won the V60  category in 1:09:41. Stockport took the ladies’ team prize and  Altrincham & District took the men’s team prize, with Stockport coming second.

Full results can be viewed on www.race-results.co.uk.

This year we also welcomed Michael Rimmer to the race. Michael, Olympic athlete and European 800m silver medalist 2010,finished in what we believe is a personal best over ten miles in 55:47.

One of the greatest things about the PUMA Stockport 10 is that it not only attracts many elite athletes (including Olympians, Commonwealth Games athletes and other international runners),  but is also a hugely enjoyable event for runners of all abilities. Time and time again we are praised for the unique and friendly atmosphere, the inimitable and quirky goody bag, and the friendliest and most supportive marshals of any race, anywhere. This year has been no exception:

“I haven't done many races, I must say though of all the ones I have taken part in, yours was by far the best organised, your marshals were an absolute credit to themselves and you, despite standing around in the abysmal weather, they all smiled, all were helpful and encouraging, they really made the race for me.”
“One of the best events ever. Weather proved interesting but loved the hills and the general organisation and that compere on the mic....awesome!!!”
“First time for this one and only entered after persuasion from a friend, and oh am I so glad I did! It will be one of the first races on my calendar every year now. Organisation was superb...oh I really can’t list all the good things, just do it!”
“I give this race a great review every year because this is now the race I've done more than any other. Fantastic course. Super track stadium start and finish. This race is special and never fails.
Another great feature of this race is the sense of humour. Stockport, you really know how to put on a good show, even when the weather tries (and fails) to make it a washout.”

Last year the race was voted the North of England’s most popular ten-mile road race by readers of Runner’s World magazine. This year Runner’s World sent a photographer and will review the race, so look out for the coverage in the March issue, which will be published in February.  You can check out the amazing feedback we’ve had so far on the Runner’s World website. Thanks to everyone who has rated the race so far. If you ran but haven’t rated the race yet, please do.  You can also add your comments to Twitter and Facebook.

Presenting the prizes at this year’s race were Chris Davies, MEP for North West England (who came first in the V55 category!), and Stockport Harriers’ very own Tony Audenshaw, who was also our hugely entertaining compere for the day.

This year, we are delighted to say that we will make a significant donation, likely to be more than £500, to St Ann’s Hospice. St Ann’s Hospice is 40 years old this year and it is also the centenary year of Stockport Harriers. The hospice offers special, unique care to around 3,000 patients, families and carers every year who are affected by cancer and non-cancer life limiting illnesses.

We’d like to thank everyone involved in the PUMA Stockport 10. You all helped to make it a great race: the organisers, including our new race director Neil Thompson, our outstanding marshals, everyone who helped in other ways, everyone who ran, and everyone who spectated and supported our runners. We’d like to thank PUMA for being a fantastic sponsor and St Ann’s Hospice for being a tremendously supportive charity partner. We’d like to thank everyone who donated prizes for our famous goody bags. There are some people we don’t want to thank though, and those are the people who nicked the trestle table and water from our mid-point drinks station before the race started. However, many thanks for the local cattery for stepping in and rescuing us with a new supply of water. We hope the thieves don’t return next year. Everyone else – see you in December 2012!

A triumphant PUMA Stockport 10. Well done, everyone!

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