Thanks to all our marshalls, volunteers, runners and spectators. Another brilliant event!
Some tough running conditions saw a Tipton Harriers 1-2 in the Helsby Four Villages Half Marathon this weekend. Martin Williams lead home the field in 1:08:32, with 89 seconds in hand over team mate Ben Gamble, who improved on two 4ths and two 3rds in consecutive previous years (albeit in a slower time, giving some idea of the conditions). Christian Prior, City of Chester Triathlon, completing the podium and first from a local club, a further 28 seconds behind.
This was the 31st edition of a highly regarded opener to many people’s season. The first race was established as a local answer to the first London Marathon. Both events draw an incredibly loyal and friendly crowd, with the Four Villages ever popular with north west club runners as well as attracting high quality club entrants from further afield, together with a healthy cohort of civilians.
In the women’s race local Gemma Connolly was first home in 1:21:05, improving on last year’s 4th, followed by Belgrave’s Louise Blizzard just 4 places behind and first F40, getting closer to a PB time set 8 years ago. Completing the trio another travelling runner, this time from the East Midlands, Nicki Nealin of Huncote Harriers (another strong F40).
The strong and blustery winds and an exposed course, meant that the course record was never under threat. Nevertheless further down the field were numerous PBs — including Adair Broughton first from host club Helsby RC in 24th with 1:17:49 — on what’s never an easy course. The steady climbing from mile 7 to 10 normally finds out any weakness in legs nearing their limit.
Despite the unpredictable wind, the weather gave us a good temperatures for running and a massive improvement on some forecasts. A personal highlight was seeing clubmate Dave Feakes get a pretty respectable PB on his 50th birthday. A great race, that always gets good feedback. Here’s to the next one!
More pics at http://www.mickhall-photos.com
Results and event video over on the main site at http://www.helsbyrunningclub.org.uk/
Gemma Connolly 01:21:05 St Helens Sutton (55th overall)
Louise Blizzard 1:22:00 Belgrave Harriers (59)
Nicki Nealin 1:23:32 Huncote Harriers (70)
Martin Williams 1:08:32 Tipton Harriers
Ben Gamble 1:10:01 Tipton Harriers
Christian Prior 1:10:29(PB) City of Chester Triathlon Club