Athletics Run-Down: The shore thing

Joe Greenwood in the Hilton Blackpool Half-Marathon.
Joe Greenwood in the Hilton Blackpool Half-Marathon.
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North Shore had two large races in two days over the weekend, with the Hilton Blackpool Illuminations 10k on Saturday, followed by their half-marathon on Sunday.

These are run in aid of the Hilton Foundation, and Lytham St Annes Road Runners featured in both.

In Saturday’s race Graham Webster took the honours, finishing eighth overall from nearly 300 competitors. Webster was also the first vet 60 by over seven minutes.

Also doing well was Peter Cruse in 11th. Cruse is returning to racing from injury, and was the first vet 50 on the day.

Mark Willett took part in both races, and had one of his slowest 10k races as he was kind enough to pace someone less experienced to a personal best. His performance the following day, while nowhere near his best, was more typical of him.

It was definitely a case of déjà vu on Sunday, with Joe Greenwood finishing two places in front of Simon Denye in a local half-marathon for the second week running, and Sylvia Gittins claiming the first female vet 60 position.

Greenwood and Denye were 18th and 20th respectively in the Hilton Blackpool Half-Marathon. Both were back with a time of under 1.25, despite the usual breeze on the promenade.

Vet 65 Gittins again improved her half-marathon time to finish an excellent 18 minutes in front of the next lady over 60. Finishing 300th overall from more than 500 was another tremendous achievement by evergreen Sylvia.

Hilton race results for Lytham.

10k: Graham Webster 8th, 39.37; Peter Cruse 11th, 40.21; Graham Young 135th, 54.49; Rob Goodall 141st, 55.20 and Mark Willett 162nd, 57.11.

Half-marathon: Joe Greenwood 18th, 1.24.11; Simon Denye 20th, 1.24.59; Mark Willett 45th, 1.31.50; Vicki Cummings 259th, 1.55.33 and Sylvia Gittins 300th, 1.59.07.

In the club’s handicap on Thursday, a remarkable 15 of the 24 runners earned bonus points for either personal or season’s best times. Louise Charnock won on the night, with the quickest being table-topper Joe Greenwood.

Greenwood’s performance might keep him at the top of the table, but second-placed Rob Goodall is closing after a run of good scores.

Over the border, Trevor Willoughby flew the flag for Lytham in the Ryedale 
10-Mile race, finishing in 80.10.

On Saturday, Andy Sneddon was again taking on the tough trails of the lake district in the Derwentwater 15k challenge.

The 1,475ft climb, with mud, rocks and bogs to navigate, was more of an assault course than a trail race, so Sneddon did well to come 343rd out of more than 400.

Finally, Tom Howarth was fifth in the Great Eccleston Scouts Fast Four-miler in 24.54 on Sunday. On a flat course, Stuart Wharrier was back in 36th position from the 50 finishers. Vet 65 Jim Whitworth was 45th.