Stockport Harriers' Race Series - Event 26

Report: Tony Park -

From the rough rudimentary roadworks of Swinton to the lovely leafy lanes of Cheshire, the Stockport Harriers 2014 Race Series saw the penultimate event of the calendar take place last Sunday with the running of the Congleton Half Marathon.

It was an early start for the committed competitors and although it felt that winter had arrived with a crisp frost and chill in the air, over 500 hearty souls lined up in perfect conditions for long distance running.

Unfortunately race numbers were not posted out in advance, so it was quite congested in the registration hall before the start. However, this was a minor inconvenience for a chip timed race that was half the price of Macclesfield. In addition, all profits after costs went to a local charity and there was a pretty decent goody bag waiting for finishers at the end. As usual there were plenty of marshals along the course that also had a quarter marathon event being staged at the same time.

And so to the race. Twenty Stockport runners had entered and fifteen of those were out to get points, albeit with limited impact on the final table. After the usual packed start runners soon got into their stride and meandered meaningfully around the course. Although there were three small hills to traverse, it also meant three respites going downhill and apart from a nasty short and steep hill just before the finish, the undulating course allowed for plenty of good times.

In fact, by the time the race concluded, Stockport runners had left their mark once again. Jamie Lomax was the first Harrier home in 9th place overall in a time of 1:14:28 while Stephen Crook, who has had a cracking season, picked up his fourth 100 points tally in a row as he was the 12th runner past the post in a PB of 1:17:46.

Dave Chadderton (V65), Dave Mellor (V60), Jill Tavini (V45) all won their age categories, while Charlie Batho, Paul Corner, Paul Plummer, Dave Chadderton (again), Simon Hilton, Jill Tavini (again) and Claire MacNeill all registered PB’s which left lots of happy yellows chatting at the finish line...must be something in the water at Woodbank Stadium.

The full results were as follows:

100 – Stephen Crook (1:17:46) PB
99 – Charlie Batho (1:19:27) PB
98 – Phil Burns (1:18:02)
97 – Paul Plummer (1:18:43) PB
96 – Steve Shaughnessy (1:19:51)
95 – Rob Cawley (1:30:32) (spoilt at Lake Vyrnwy Rob!)
94 – Dave Chadderton (1:32:02) PB
93 – Simon Hilton (1:33:40) PB
92 – Dave Mellor (1:34:11)
91 – Paul Corner (1:34:45) PB
90 – Jill Tavini (1:37:10) PB
89 – Claire MacNeill (1:38:52) PB
88 – Nick Ham (1:40:14)
87 – Matt Given (1:41:20)
86 – Jeremy Woodham (1:52:16)

These are great results by all concerned and well deserved after a lot of hard work put in by everyone this season.

It would be remiss of me not to recognise the support of all the coaches at Stockport Harriers who have helped us out so a big thank-you to Maureen, Julie, Nick, Gill, Helen, Kerrie and many others.

This now leaves us with our final race of the Series, the Langley 7 on November 1st. We are planning to handout momentos to everyone who has completed eight races after the Langley 7 in one of the local pubs so I hope those who have reached seven races have entered, and others can pop along for a bit of a social drink.

The Race Series winners have now been decided and our congratulations go to James Corden and Kerrie Wood-Doyle as the first male and female. A prize will be given out at the Stockport Harriers Awards Night on the 1st of November if you can make it.

So, enjoy the onset of colder conditions as the cross country and long distance season starts and hopefully see you at Langley.

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