SOME 1200 windswept wonderstowed the line for the 22nd Great North West Half-Marathon, run in very blustery conditions along the Blackpool seafront.
Great Britain international Martin Williams of Tipton Harriers ran virtually a solo race out in front from the start opposite the Norbreck Castle to win in a very respectable 70mins, 09 secs from Blackpool’s own Stuart Robinson in 72.48.
Last year’s Fleetwood Marathon winner Ian McBride of Oldham was third in 73.20 on the Promenade-based course between the Gynn and Cleveleys.
Blackpool-based Paul Muller ran his usual gutsy race to take the over-50 prize in 79.25.
Rochdale’s Carly Needham won the women’s race for the second successive year with a splended time of 82mins, with Tynedale Harrier Joanne Lee second in 88.37 and Glasgow’s Jaquie Thompson third (90.26). Robinson’s Blackpool Wyre and Fylde AC clubmate Steve Waterhouse also in the top 20 (81.17), with Lytham’s Ryan Whooley and Andrew Draper, and Wesham’s Troy Watson just outside.
Paralymic and world championship medallist Shelly Woods started the race, while representatives Lytham St Annes Road Runners and Thornton Cleveleys RC did sterling work for manning the water stations.
The Norbreck served as race headquarters, while the organisers also wish to thank Blackpool Council for their assistance.