Congleton Harriers running club
Congleton Harriers regularly provides pacers at the weekly Congleton Park Run on the first Saturday of the month at Astbury Mere (writes Nick Budd).
Normally this involves five or six pacers running at times ranging from a 20-minute pace through to a 34-minute pace. This month they tried something a bit different — a pacer for every finish time between 20 and 30 minutes, plus the usual 31- and 34-minute times. There was a high turnout of 357 runners, bolstered by a Couch to 5k group, Eaton Bank having their regular monthly turnout and possibly some going along just to support international women’s day. Whatever the motivation, there were plenty of runners for the pacers to encourage and it seemed to work as there were over 60 personal bests set by runners around the pacers. There was also a lot of positive feedback given so it’s an experiment that will be repeated again later in the year.
On the racing front, there were a couple of Harriers in action on Saturday taking part in the Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round Fell Race — a 10.4-mile run on and around Pendle Hill in Lancashire incorporating 1,936ft of ascent.
Tom Walker finished 52nd out of the 232 runners in 1.22.01 and Andy Roberts was 58th in 1.23.06.
There were plenty of 20-mile options on offer on Sunday with Harriers participating in three separate events. The Knighton 20 is a regular attraction for Harriers who are prepping for either of the main spring marathons - London and Manchester — and there were six in action among a field of 320. John Carbutt was 54th in 2.22.49; James Yates 139th in 2.49.58; Martin Sands 158th in 2.54.59; Kelly Hurlstone 186th in 3.04.42; Beth Cliff 190th in 3.07.58 and Gemma Brinkhurst 230th in 3.20.11.
Three Harriers chose Wrexham instead for their 20-mile fix. There was a field of 296 runners and all the Harriers running managed to finish in the top three of their respective age categories. Emma Weston was 50th overall, 1st in the F45 category in 2.25.26; Mel Worthington was 71st, 3rd in the F45 category in 2.33.23; and Paul Crean was 184th, 3rd in the M60 category in 3.07.49.
The final two Harriers taking on the 20-mile distance were on the trails and footpaths of the Irwell Valley, nestled between Bolton and Manchester. The Irwell 20 is mainly a flat run, albeit muddy and slippery in current conditions. Out of the 337 runners, Sarah Proudmore finished 126th in 3.03.35 to also take 3rd place in the F50 category. David Whittaker finished 136th in 3.08.15.
Elsewhere there were a few opting for a shorter outing at the Chester 10k. Out of the 3,937 runners, Chris Moss was 218th in 43.11, Suzie Roscoe was 1,244th in 52.34, and Mark Wilkinson was 2,220th in 59.07.
The final Harrier in action, also taking on a 10k, was Claire Cheetham out in Valencia, Spain, where she finished in 44.45 to set a pb.