The Great North West Half-Marathon is one of the more popular races in the regional calendar and over 1,000 eager competitors took part on its 23rd staging
Held again in Blackpool, the race started and finished opposite the Hilton Hotel, using the Promenade walkways between Talbot Square and Anchorsholme.
Cool and unseasonably calm weather made for excellent running conditions and fast times, with Luke Scragg from Mansfield taking first place in 1hr, 8mins, 54secs.
Lytham St Annes Road Runners had nine members participating, including Peter Cruse, who was the second M45, and Joe Greenwood, who also broke the 90-minute barrier.
Marathon newcomer Kevin Ashworth ran much of the race with clubmate Steve Quarmby.
Kevin enjoyed the experience and his good time has given him the confidence to try other races at this distance. Meanwhile, rapidly improving Steve clocked up yet another personal best.
Stuart Henderson and Rob Goodall also recorded PBs. Stuart found himself near the eight-minute-mile pacemaker and managed to stay with him for 12miles to knock over five minutes off his previous best.
Even in cool conditions, hydration is essential and several club members gave up a large chunk of their Sunday to man a water station.
Lytham results: Peter Cruse 12th, 1:18.48; Joe Greenwood 109th, 1:29.39; Willie Richmond 230th, 1:37.04; Mark Willett, 240th, 1:37.39; Steve Quarmby 305th, 1:40.13; Kevin Ashworth 307th, 1:40.14; Roy Stevens 332nd (fourth M60), 1:41.34; Stuart Henderson 472nd, 1:46.29 and Rob Goodall 914th, 2:11.32.
Rob Goodall and Debbie Copper ran in the Dark ‘Un fell race. Run at night near Darwen, this is not for the faint-hearted. It is only five miles but what goes up has to come down ... and in the dark that is not easy.
This was Debbie’s first night race and Rob’s first fell race. They finished last but treated the race as a training event for the Lakeland 50 ultra marathon in July.
Pam Hardman popped over to Malta to run in the Malta half-marathon. In warm conditions and with some hill climbs, Pam did well to clock 1:55.41, finishing 590th from 1,854 and eighth F50.
Andy Reid won the club handicap with a personal best time, while junior Nicole Hadlow had a fine run to finish second.
Tony Rudd moved up to second in the table after this, the penultimate race of the season. This month’s race will effectively be a run-off between leader Kevin Ashworth and third-placed Rob Goodall for the title.