Greater Manchester marathon

Report: Peter Powell -

Christies’ patient runners did justice to the cause and helped themselves to an impressive finish in the Asics Greater Manchester marathon and completed the relay competition, returning to Old Trafford in a cumulative time of 3:26:10.

This was no mean time for the team of Alan Barlow, Dave Wood, Barney Gilligan, Dave Arden and Jenny Knass who completed the course in a high up position of 7th out of 121 finishing teams, proving beyond all doubt that there is good physical exertion to be had after cancer treatment and in the process raised in excess of £1,000 for this most worthy of causes.

In the individual finishers, Stockport enjoyed 2 of the top 10 positions and first to cross the line was Alex O’Gorman in 2:26:44 to record 7th and just 3 places behind in 10th, local Harrier, Andy Nixon also slipped under the 150 minutes barrier in a time of 2:28:38 for the 26+ mile course through the Western suburbs of Manchester.

Track and field events are now starting to increase in quantity as the outdoor season commences and great pre-season inspiration was accomplished by prospective para athlete Joshua Howard who is continuing to live up to high expectations.

On departing for Italy, Howard expressed his continued enthusiasm: “A good weekend would be to beat my long jump personal best of 5:09 metres and continue to jump the distances I have been achieving in training”.

Indeed he did with Stockport’s para athlete far exceeding expectations to record a new best in 5:32 at the IPC Grand Prix in Grosetto, Italy in the T38 class and now not only easily ranks first T38 senior in the United Kingdom but also now holds second spot in the senior world rankings for good measure and at the age of 17.

He now goes forward to concentrate on the IPC European athletic championships at the same venue and is mindful of the same competition on the world stage in Rio in September at the paralympics.

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