Warmest of welcomes for Sotos runners

Sotos race.'Leading women third Jay Jennions, second Caroline Betmean and winner Erika Robinson
Sotos race.'Leading women third Jay Jennions, second Caroline Betmean and winner Erika Robinson
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WHILE most of us welcomed some overdue summer weather it was far from ideal for the Sotos 10k and Fun Run in Fleetwood.

Even so, 350 athletes managed to complete the annual charity race.

The fourth Sotos 10k saw the competitors head south from Fleetwood’s Sea Cadet base to Cleveleys.

The runners stick to the roads until they reach Westbourne Road, then turn towards the sea and head back up the very hot promenade, though at least the athletes were running into a cooling wind on their return.

Matthew Pierson led a strong Holmfirth Harriers team to victory in an impressive 31mins, 55secs.

Stuart Robinson of Blackpool’s Wyre and Fylde maintained his rich vein of form to take second place in 32.22, 16 seconds ahead of Deeside’s David Mountford in third.

The ladies’ winner was Erika Robinson of Buckley Runners, who surged to the front from the off and never let up, recrding an excellent 37.10 for 14th place overall.

Blackpool’s Caroline Betmead, a Fleetwood resident, was a clear second in 37.59 (16th overall), seven days after winning the Freckleton Half-marathon. Caroline was over a minute in front of third-placed Jay Jennions of Deestriders (35th).

Alex Rowe of Wesham Road Runners was the outstanding veteran. The evergreen vet 50 was seventh overall in 34.50.

Blackpool’s Steve Waterhouse (v40) was second vet in 36.22 and tenth overall.

The second lady veteran, behind v35 Betmead, was Blackpool’s Bev Wright in 41.47 (fourth lady, 41st overall), with Wesham’s Joanna Goorney (v40) third (fifth lady, 43rd).

Other Fylde club runners in the top 20 were Blackpool’s Luke Berry (9th, 36.15), Lytham Road Runners’ Andrew Draper (11th, 36.42) and Wesham M40s Brian Yates (17th, 38.00) and Jason Barlow (18th, 38.09), who had a race to the line.

Blackpool veterans Robert Newman (100th, 46.55) and John Bradley (153rd, 50.49) were the first v65 and v70 respectively.

All the proceeds help people with Sotos, a genetic disorder characterised by excessive growth in the first few years of infancy.

n The fun run covered a route of just over a mile around the boating lake.

Caroline Betmead’s fine form is certainly rubbing off on daughter Molly, who was an outstanding winner.

Molly led from the first hooter to win in a very impressive 6mins, 14secs.

Oliver Kitchen was second (6.49) and Charlie Longworth third (7.08).

GEORGE KENNEDY