Stockport Harriers' Race Series Update

Report: Tony Park -

Last Sunday saw the third but last race in our inaugural Race Series and eight Stockport Harriers athletes made the journey to the North side of town for the Swinton 10m road race.

While many of us have been used to competing against Wilmslow, Bramhall and Macclesfield in many of our events…it was with some excitement that we encountered new faces from the likes of Burnden, Astley, Royton and Todmorden where they run hard and won't thank you for being soft!

A couple of people were discussing running shoes at the start, but when one said t'other…"twenty quid forra pair o shoes? He must be a ponce…" and another couple were discussing something else stating that "this southern jessie wuz all ower mi…" I knew I better keep schtum!

Once again, many other races were in direct competition with the likes of the Macclesfield HM and others being preferred by some runners, so it was left to a tiny crew to fly the Stockport Harriers flag. There weren't any Baxendales, Butterworths, Hitchmoughs nor Bracewells amongst us…just Dixon's, Harrison's, Woodham's and a Park. God only knows what would have happened if the locals realised that 25% of our contingent had double barrelled last names!

Anyway, it was a relatively mild day with no wind to talk of so pretty good conditions to run in. The first half a mile or so was a tight squeeze around the local school, and although there were plenty of marshals about…cars seemed to ignore runners which made things a little cramped. Once the 263 runners arrived onto the East Lancs Road we were able to 'stretch out' and get into some sort of rhythm.

The course itself was basically two laps around the streets of Swinton and although advertised as flat…there were plenty of decent hills to keep people working hard. The streets themselves were awash with roadworks, pedestrians, moving vehicles and as such you still had to watch were you were going in order to avoid an accident. The conditions, however, did make for fast times and the first Harrier home was Mike Dixon in a fabulous time of 63:59…a new PB for Mike.

The last 200 yards or so was up a small hill to the finish line where Andy Fowler passed Kerrie Wood-Doyle…and although Kerrie tried her best to catch Andy back up…you might as well 'shut th'oven door'…Andy made it to the line with a couple of seconds to spare.

The final results were as follows:

100 - Mike Dixon (63:59) PB
99 - Kerrie Wood-Doyle (69:14) SB
98 - Tony Park (71:03) PB
97 - David Chrystie-Lowe (71:30) SB
96 - Nigel Harrison (79:11) SB
95 - Louise Harrison (82:02) SB
94 - Jeremy Woodham (85:39) SB

All in all, a good change in both location and distance, but the general consensus was that we probably won't include the race in next years calendar.

Congratulations to Mike Dixon on his first 100 points of the season, to Nigel Harrison for reaching his eight races and to Jeremy Woodham on another successful race after his long lay off.

With only two races to go…very little has changed at the top of the leader board for the Best of 8.

James Corden, Phil Burns and Stephen Crook lead the mens while Kerrie Wood-Doyle, Jill Tavini and Sam Thomas stay in front for the ladies.

For most points Phil Burns is out in front followed by Tony Park and Stephen Crook…while in the ladies Kerrie and Jill are followed by Amy Barter.

All details are on the attached spreadsheet.

The next race is the Congleton HM on Sunday so hopefully see more yellow vests out to gain points on sunny Cheshire!

Have a great week running!

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