Coaching on the right track at Woodbank

Report: Peter Powell -

All’s coming right for coaching at Woodbank Park now that the new facilities are open and none more so than the senior pair of Anna Silvander and Andy Heyes both of which belong to the locally based New Balance residential training system for international and aspiring athletes which often encompasses the track and field facilities along with the surrounding park area when the rains ease off a bit.

Anna Silvander, a new Stockport Harrier member added international spice to the proceedings by participating in the Swedish national championships in Gavle and was sparkling with delight in taking the senior indoor national title in the 1500 metres event whilst her locally coached colleague Andy Heyes, who is a first claim club member for Hallamshire and second claim for the local club, took the honours in the Spar British athletics indoor championships.

Those honours consisted of the gold championship medal in the men’s 3 kilometres which took fifteen laps of the indoor circuit to grind down the opposition and to stop the clock in a new personal best time of 7:54:81 to second placed Philip Seseman of Blackheath’s time of 7:55:71 and both Silvander and Heyes are being coached to the highest level under the tutelage and guidance of Stockport international and former English cross country champion Steve Vernon.

Coaching is also going great guns for Stockport’s Rio paralympic bronze medallist Andy Small who is in the T33 wheelchair classification for sprints and particularly over his specialist distance of 100 metres.

He’s upping his training regime and is off to the Middle East along with his coach Rick Hoskins to participate in both the IPC Grand Prix meeting in Dubai and will be immediately following this up with a tilt at similar distances in the nearby Sharjah open athletics event.

This will set him up nicely for other major events to follow being the IPC Swiss national games at Notwill, near Lucerne in May and the main season’s target being the IPC European championships which will be taking place in Berlin during August.

The ‘Crazy Legs’ organised Stockport trail half marathon saw over 400 intrepid competitors taking off from Rose Hill, Marple for some hard and fast racing along the Middlewood way with first back to the finish (1:18:30) for the 13+ mile course being Nicholas Barber of Hallamshire who denied local runner Stephen Crook of Stockport Harriers by just 24 seconds to finish second in 1:18:54 and for the ladies it was a fantastic win for Caitlin Rice of Ribble valley Harriers who crossed the finish line in a scintillating time of 1:29:51 for which many of her male counterparts would have been happy to settle for.

First Stockport lady to complete the course was Michela Stepto in 107th place in a fine time of 1:46:35 whilst the second and third men to finish for Stockport Harriers were Tony Potts, 8th in 1:23:19 and crossing the line in 1:27:53 for an overall position of 19th was Nathan Mayo.

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