Marathon marvels on Blackpool Promenade

Neil Tate of Lytham St Annes Road Runners
Neil Tate of Lytham St Annes Road Runners
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Some 2,265 runners converged on the resort from far and wide for yesterday’s Blackpool Marathon, Half-marathon and 10k, which featured some notable performances from Fylde coast athletes.

performances from Fylde coast athletes.

Despite the counter-attraction of London, almost 700 athletes assembled on the Middle Walk, North Promenade, to contest the 26.2-mile marathon, completing two laps of a Prom-based course between Squires Gate and Little Bispham.

The fast, flat course suited old and young alike as the overall winner was 54-year-old Paul Burton in 2hrs, 49.00, while the first lady home was 18-year-old Emma Loughlin in 3.06.23 (22nd overall).

Neal Emmerson of Radcliffe AC finished second (2.49.39), with Gareth Pritchard in third place just six seconds behind.

Leading the way for Fylde coast athletics clubs were Ugis Datavs of Wesham Road Runners, 11th in 2.59.48, Neil Tate of Lytham St Annes Road Runners, 16th in 3.02.10, and his clubmate Alex Tate, 26th in 3.08.49.

Second lady and first veteran was Darlington’s Alison Matthews in 3.07.44), with Gemma Brown of North West Road Runners third (3.24.05). Fourth lady was Kerry Ormerod of host club Fylde Coast Runners in 3.24.57.

Over a thousand took part in the Half-Marathon, dominated by Lewis Gamble-Thompson of New Marske Harriers, who won by over four minutes in 1.11.44. Scott Matthews of East Cheshire Harriers was second (1.16.03) and Gary Rowlinson of Sale Harriers third (1.17.19).

The first lady and 36th overall was Alexandra Potter of Wakefield in 1.30.56, with Jessica Kennedy of Derby second (1.31.44) and Sarah Hawksworth third (1.35.38).

More than 500 ran the 10k won by Blackburn Harriers’ Joseph Monk in 33.15, with Robert Little of West Cheshire AC second (36.01) and Robert Cartwright third (27.36). Fourth was 60-year-old Fylde favourite Paul Muller, completing the race for Horwich RMI in 36.57.

Sale Harriers’ veteran Lynda Rowlinson won the ladies’ race in 44.44, finishing 24th overall, with Lauren Corbett of Teviotdale Harriers second (45.25) and Becky Burke of Liverpool RC third (47.53).

Over-50 runner Katherine Grant took fourth place for Lytham St Annes Road Runners in 48.08.