THERE was a seventh place out of 1256 in the Wigan 5k on Sunday for Radcliffe AC’s Neal Emmerson and it wasn’t even the race he had planned to run!
He clocked a fine 16mins 57secs but had entered the Wigan Running Festival’s half marathon. Snow conditions forced organisers to cancel the half and competitors were invited to join runners in the festival’s shorter 5k race instead. For Neal it tuned into a family affair as his wife Amy was already running the 5k, her first one, and clocked 38mins 40secs, six minutes faster than her target time.
Radcliffe had two runners in the top 20 with Chris Whittaker coming home 16th and getting himself a personal best time by 18seconds with 18mins 27secs. Mike Kontowtt was third vet-55 in 20mins 30secs and Debi Warrington (V45) had a pb of more than two minutes clocking 28mins 20secs.
Five took on the Trimpell 20 at Lancaster, billed as fast and flat and perfect for marathon preparation although it did have a hill at the end of the course that ran through the historic city of Lancaster and the Lune Valley. All five braved the tough wind and biting cold with Jenny Yates running London Marathon next month and clocking 2hrs 47mins: Kate Holden close behind ran 2hrs 48mins and will be in the Manchester Marathon also next month: Sheila Jones and Sarah Scott ran 3hrs 05mins both getting ready for Manchester and Lucy Dewhurst who ran 4hrs 4mins will be in the sunshine at the Rome Marathon.
Two fell races club members were to run were cancelled on Sunday and the brutal conditions also affected the local Two Crosses Challenge. A popular event for both runners and walkers starting at Tottington the longer distance of 25 miles was cancelled and four members ran the shorter 17mile route taking in the Roman Cross at Affetside and Pilgrim’s Cross on Holcombe Moor. It is not classed as a race but Paul Swyers was ninth back in 3hrs 22mins with Lisa Carter 23rd in 3hrs 59mins and Fiona Lynch and Luigi Salzano finishing 26th together in 4hrs 12mins.
Paul said it was a whiteout in places with the bitter wind whipping up the snow, at one point he went into a bog up to his waist and it was some of the worst conditions he had run in.
Karen Doherty also faced the bitter wind when she went to the seaside to run the Sweatshop 10 at Bispham, Blackpool and clocked 1hr 43mins 35secs.
It might have been National Sleep In Day the day before but Radcliffe women were up and running taking on the Pyjama Parkrun challenge at Heaton Park. Joining in the fun despite the cold they dressed in their PJs, part of a national competition at Parkruns sponsored by Millbrook Beds. Runners had to submit their photos of the event for a chance to win a super style mattress.
For junior member nine-year-old Megan Peterkin there was a personal best time by a great seven minutes when she clocked 39mins after running with club member Jen Entwistle. Sheila Jones24mins 09secs: Nick Barnes 24mins 45secs: Peter Hunter 29mins 19secs: Lisa Donnelly a pb of 31mins 42secs: Christine Berry 34mins 16secs and Iain Harris 34mins 20secs.
At Bolton Mark Williams (V50) ran 24mins 35secs: Steve Hamer (V60) recovering from injury 26mins 57secs: junior Grace Williams 29mins 07secs: Eileen Sharman (V60) 30mins 44secs: Sarah Rushton (V45) 32mins 57secs, Wayne Holden 33mins and Kath Davies was tail runner.