Relay runners set standards

Preston Harriers ahead of the Great Scottish Run
Preston Harriers ahead of the Great Scottish Run
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A successful round in the qualifier for the National Road Relay Championships allowed Preston Harriers to take a men’s and a women’s team to compete at Sutton Park, Birmingham.

The women’s race went first. Preston were led by Philippa Walsh (17.24), Jenny Gornall (19.34), Victoria Cowling (18.55) and Catherine Slater (17.14) brought the team home in 49th place.

For the men, after a ferociously paced opening mile, things settled down for the 6km route.

The team was led out by Chris Tully (19.29), David Rigby (18.47), Matthew Livingstone (19.35) with 
three debutants Jordan Donoghue (20.51), Daniel Whitlock (20.52) and Andrew Newton (21.04) bringing the team home in 60th place overall.

l The Chester Marathon saw five Preston Harriers runners in action. David Rigby and Robert Affleck led the way.

Rigby gradually pulled away from a persistent Affleck to record a fantastic personal best 2.31.13 and fifth overall, with Affleck powering through the line for sixth overall in 2.33.11.

Kevin Curran (3.05), Steven Macurus (3.13) and Peter Cowling (3.16) rounded off a great day.

At the Cardiff Half Marathon, lone Preston Harriers athlete Dave Wakefield put in a cracking effort to record 1.51 over the challenging route.

The 35th annual Great Scottish Run took place in and around Glasgow city centre, with 30,000 people taking part in the various races including junior, wheelchair, 10K and the half-marathon.

The event attracted an international quality field of elite runners including Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie, the holder of the all-comers’ record of 61 minutes 09 seconds set in 2013. He unfortunately pulled out after three-and-a-half miles with breathing difficulties.

For the fifth consecutive year Preston Harriers were represented. Richard Smith finished in an impressive 1.19.35 – 87th overall – and secured the coveted trophy for first-placed Preston 

Andy Grimshaw came home in 1.28.44, 335th overall, Steve Mort (1.36.24, 878th), Charlotte Rawcliffe (1.46.52, 2,400th), Eddy Little (1.53.28, 3,578th) and Andy Helm (1.55.48, 4,066th).

Support from the public and organisers throughout the half-marathon course was excellent, with a new addition for this year ‘The Great Wall of Support’ – an enormous electronic screen placed within the last mile of the course displaying supportive messages from friends and family to the tiring runners as soon as their shoe-attached transponder chips crossed the timing mat shortly beforehand.

With the granting of IAAF Gold Label Event status this year, the Great Scottish Run has been given the same prestige as the London Marathon, the Great North Run and the Great Manchester Run.