SOME 800 runners put their best foot forward for charity on the Hilton Running Weekend.
The racers from all over the UK who descended on the Fylde coast certainly experienced contrasting conditions, as the strong winds and driving rain of Saturday’s Illuminations 10K race were replaced by Indian Summer temperatures for Sunday’s Hilton Half-marathon.
Fundraising for Blackpool charities was what the weekend was all about and the two races, hosted by the Hilton Hotel, raised over £6,000 altogether.
Wakefield Harriers’ Paul Lookwood was a comfortable winner of the Illuminations 10K, run between the Hilton and Little Bispham.
Paul won in excellent 32mins, 51secs, with last year’s Fleetwood Marathon winner, Ian McBride from Oldham, second in 34.29..
Caroline Betmead of the Blackpool Wyre and Fylde club was an emphatic winner of the ladies’ race in exactly 37 minutes, well clear of Lytham St Annes Road Runners’ super veteran Sue Samme (39.51).
Caroline was sixth overall, one place ahead of Lytham V45 Peter Cruse (37.23). Another local favourite, Paul Muller of Horwich RMI, was the first over-50 and fifth overall, also in 37.00.
Over 500 towed the start line for the first Hilton Half-Marathon and it was Preston Tri runner Duncan Anderson who took control early to stride clear for victory in 76.15. Stafford Harrier Steven Vaughan hung on for second place in 79.01.
Salford Harrier Hayley Kuter was the ladies’ winner and took third place overall with a very impressive 79.56.
Happy local runners included Lytham’s Simon Denye, who was the first Fylde coast club runner home in 88.09 for 23rd place, and Wesham’s Nicola Unsworth, who was the second over-40 among the ladies and 101st in 102.41.
The charities to benefit are Donna’s Dream House, Brian House children’s hospice and progress recruitment supporting young disabled people into employment.
The organisers wish to thank medal sponsors Singleton & Smart (10K) and Parkinson’s Builders (half marathon).