The weather was not the only thing that sizzled at last weekend’s 50th anniversary of the Freckleton Half-Marathon.
Preston Harriers’ Robert Affleck and Gethin Butler put in a blistering performance with consistent pressure from other local athletes.
Right at the start, Ben Fish of Blackburn Harriers blasted away from the line to take the lead which he maintained to retain his dominant reign as champion.
Affleck was in close contention throughout the race and was able to turn up the pressure to burn off his nearest protagonist, John Mason, an ex-Freckleton man visiting from Canada, to record 73.04 and a superb second overall.
Butler raced within a chasing pack of five runners all vying for supremacy over each other and over the closing stages he turned up the heat to leave his nearest rivals in his wake and attain fourth overall in 75.03, first MV45.
As the temperatures soared, Neil McDonald’s reservoir of pace ran dry at mile nine, requiring him to dig deep to get himself over the line in 87.29 as third counter and guarantee a Preston Harriers team victory.
Next over the line was Kevin Curran who put in a creditable performance with 89.18 to complete the Harriers entry.