Race Report 09/01/2020
Runner Vince Ashton, who became a ‘parkrun tourist’ after being diagnosed with MS, has bagged his 90th location.
The Radcliffe AC member notched up the milestone where he clocked 29:14 at Woodhouse Moor parkrun in Leeds, the world’s fourth oldest.
Vince was diagnosed with MS in November 2011 and explained: “I pulled out of racing as it was maybe causing too much stress so I started parkruns in November 2013.”
After starting local at Bolton, Heaton Park and Worsley Woods parkruns, he decided to try some new ones so he wouldn’t have the stress of being tempted to try and beat his times.
Since then he has clocked up 90 different locations – even travelling to the USA – and said: “I have met up with loads of friends at each one and when my body is not feeling able to run, I volunteer and marshal.”
Vince started having seizures, which affect around five per cent of MS sufferers, in 2018. No longer able to drive, he relies on lifts and public transport to get to parkruns.
He added: “The goal of getting to at least 100 different venues before my legs give way totally gives me the sense of accomplishment in something.
“The parkrun at Jamaica Pond in Boston was the most beautiful one but the one I’ve enjoyed the most is actually Watergrove near Rochdale.
“The hardest ones have been Whinlatter Forest in the Lake district – which is one of the toughest in the UK – and Woolacombe Dunes, running through sand dunes on the south coast.
“Each time I run I have a guide with me to ensure they know if I’m a bit out of sorts with my balance and my condition. I’m also an ambassador for invisible conditions when running as people do not know what pain and comfort others may be in.
“I will keep going until my body says to stop.”
Several Radcliffe runners made the most of Saturday’s calm weather before the arrival of Storm Ciara.
Despite its name, nine had calm conditions for the nine-mile Windy Hill Fell which had 1,280ft of climbing from Littleborough.
David McGrath ran 1:11:49; John Wrigley 1:19:10; Andy Haines 1:19:18; Dave Rushton 1:20:29; Paul Swyers 1:27:18; Lee Turner 1:26:59: John McNicoll 1:36:31; Hayley Winder 1:43:05 and Mark Wolfenden 1:49:21.
Sheila McNulty and Kath Davies also had good weather for the 46th Anglezarke Amble.
Organised by the Long Distance Walkers Association, runners and walkers could opt for either a 17 or 25 mile course which started in Rivington. The pair completed the shorter option, which include Rivington Pike, Winter Hill and Great Hill, in 4hrs 17mins.
Olivia Whittaker set another great personal best of 24:45 when she was first JW10 at Heaton parkrun. Also running were Mark Garner who finished in 21:16; Sheila Jones 23:40; Nick Barnes 24:25; Alison Howarth 25:38; Sarah Jackson 31:32; Bev Quinton 35:09; Iain Harris 35:22 and Katie Davies 36:11.
At Bolton parkrun Mark Williams was 29th in 22:51, while Elaine Bailey ran 29:57 and Tracy Wroe set a huge new pb of 32:02.
Vince Ashton bags his 90th parkrun location
Long-distance challenge for Sheila McNulty (left) and Kath Davies.
Some of the Radcliffe representatives at Windy Hill.