RADCLIFFE AC had one of its highest attendances for years at the annual prize presentation on Saturday night at Bury Masonic Hall.
Showing the club is growing from strength to strength 81 runners, family and friends enjoyed a dinner, raffle and disco. Prizes for the club championships on road, trail, fell and cross country were kept secret until the dinner and were presented by Tom West, president and chairman Chris Paxton, who had pictures arranged on a large screen to accompany each award winner.
One of the main awards, the Norman Schofield Trophy, named after a former member, went to Neal Emmerson for some outstanding performance in races putting the club well and truly on the map in many places and coming first senior man in the championship on road and trail. Ian Warrington was awarded the Radcliffe Shield for his hard work supporting the club with his coaching and organising marshalling for the growing number of races now being run by Radcliffe. He was the leading man in cross country and second on the road. The Nellie Halstead Trophy, named after Radcliffe’s former Olympian, went to vet-60 Sheila Jones for her performances and she was first in her age group on the road, The Terry Nortley Cup, named after the club’s former president and top coach who died in 2011, went to a determined Karen Doherty growing in confidence in her racing and coming first vet-40 on the trails and third in cross country. Most improved woman was Caroline Mullineaux and the men’s title went to Kris Lee. Vet-40 Fiona Lynch, who has had some good performances throughout the season, was top woman in the cross country championship.
Among the women awards went to Lisa Carter who was first vet-45 in cross country, Eileen Royle first vet-65 on trails and Katie Percival first senior woman in cross country, and among the men Chris Paxton was first senior man on the fells, second on trails, second in cross country and third on the roads. John Andrew was first vet-40 in cross country and Ian Hopkinson second. Paul Swyers was first vet-50 in cross country, Iain Harris was first vet-65 on the trails and Tom West first vet-75 on the road.
Points achievers in the championship were Fiona, Karen, Katie Percival and Kate Holden, Chris, Ian, Neal, Paul, Ian Hopkinson and Nick Barnes.
A special mention was made of Tom and the sad decision that he has had to give up his running because of health issues. A founder member of the club Tom has had a long running career which included a marathon in just over three hours but now he will be putting his energy into gym work and walking. Our club coach Eileen was also mentioned, unable to attend because of illness.
On the Radcliffe racing scene it was a busy weekend in tough conditons with five members going to Wigan and running two events, part of the running festival there. Despite a hilly course in the first Wigan Half Marathon Neal Emmerson was a fine seventh place out of a large field, knocking six minutes off his previous best time with 1hr 19mins 19secs. John Wrigley knocked 18 minutes of his previous best coming 49th and clocking 1hr 27mins 11secs and Chris Paxton beat his previous best by five minutes comming 55th in 1hr 28mins 20secs. Peter Hunter ran 1hr 40mins 07secs having decided late into the evening to take Caroline’s place.
In the Wigan 5k there was another pb for Mike Kontowtt, getting under 20 minutes for the first time, clocking 19mins 28secs. He was 32nd and third vet-50. Ian Warrington’s wife Deborah also ran the Wigan 5k clocking 29min 48secs.
There was drama at the 15.4 mile Heptonstall Fell Race on Sunday when in brutal conditions Kris Lee and Scott Baxter helped to pull a woman competitor out of a bog she had fallen into. All three carried on in the race.The West Yorkshire event climbed 3,169 feet in the upper Calder Valley area in wild open countryside and was the first event in the Run The Moors Grand Prix which the club takes part in along with several other local clubs.
Lisa Carter and Mauro Rotondi ran the boggy fell race having already done a very muddy Cartmel 18k Trail Race in the Lake District the day before, Mauro clocking 1hr 43mins in the Lakeland event and Lisa two hours.
First home at Heptonstall was Fiona Lynch in 2hrs 50mins 31secs, just beating James Hall by one place as he clocked 2hrs 50mins 47secs.Mauro ran 2hrs 59mins 19secs: Dave Rushton 3hrs 01min 26secs: Kris lee 3hrs 13mins 10secs: Scott Baxter 3hrs 14mins 35secs and Lisa 3hrs 35mins 42secs. Sinead and Caroline were timed out but still completed more than 13 miles on their way to the finish. Caroline said it was the hardest race she had ever competed in.
In the Lancaster Trimpell 20 on a tough course climbing to the castle three members took on horrible conditions on Sunday with Chemane Brier coming home first clocking 2hrs 55mins, Amanda Hey running three hours and Sarah Oxley clocking 4hrs 20mins. In the Wilmslow Half Marathon Beverley McGrath and Caroline Taylor Smith braved the wet conditions running together clocking 2hrs 54mins with Beverley offering encouragement on the way round, and in the Cartmel 10k in the Lakes Louise Bowden ran 1hr 02mins.
In the 5k park runs Peter Hunter ran 22mins 53secs at Heaton Park, Sheila Jones 24mins 05secs: Chris Fletcher 24mins 40secs and Nick Barnes 27mins 08secs. At Bolton Paul Swyers clocked 22mins 38secs and SteveLomax 23mins 24secs.