Preston Harriers’ Eleanor Whyman-Davies shines in Spanish sun

Eleanor Whyman-Davis sizzled in the Spanish sunshine in Valencia
Eleanor Whyman-Davis sizzled in the Spanish sunshine in Valencia

Preston Harriers’ Eleanor Whyman-Davis turned in a record-breaking display as some of world’s top athletes headed to Spain to compete at the Valencia Marathon.

Making the most of the warm winter conditions, the Helen Clitheroe-trained athlete put in a stunning performance to shatter the club’s women’s marathon record, which has stood since 1987.

Whyman-Davis also came close to making the Olympic qualifying time, finishing the race in a time of 2:33:34.

Closer to home, the Harriers were in action on both Saturday and Sunday, although conditions were slightly chillier than those in Spain. First up was the Wesham 10k.

Twelve Harriers competed with some impressive performances. First through the finish was Lee Foley on his return back from a seasonal sabbatical.

Running close to his best form he took 17th place in 37.11.

Next in was Mariusz Kovacs in 39.0,1 followed by Chris Williams in 40.16, Dougie Potter in 41.39 then closely packed Steve Townhill in 41.45 with new signing Jamie Robinson continuing her great form in 41.46.

Completing the lineup were Pete Cowling (41.53), Stephen Needham (42.47), Dale Wallis (44.49), Laura Conn (45.46), Andy Lea (46.47), Sean Sweeney (54.18), Maureen Kirby (59.59) and Sarah Clubb (68.21).

Later that same day several Preston Harriers travelled east to compete in the high-class 
Podium 5k race, on what some described as an ice rink.

Despite this, in the A race, four Harriers broke the 16 minute barrier: Kian Davis (15:08), Max Cunningham (15:29), Jack Dee-Ingham (15:39) and Byron Sowerby (15:56), whilst Matthew Fazakerley (16:19) and Alex Kerfoot (17:41) also ran fantastic times.

Following up in the B race were Thomas Chadwick (18:53), Louie Jack Clark (19:09) and Steve Hallas (19:14) all of whom ran great times given the conditions.

Two members of Preston Harriers tackled the Ravenstonedale 10K.

Kevin Hesketh was pleased to finish 25th overall and first MV 65 out of 220 finishers in a time of 42 minutes 33 seconds. Phil Lakeland was 175th in 62.44.

Simon Collins lined up slightly closer to home at the Myerscough 10-mile road race, which, despite the 
winter sun, still featured several seconds of ice covered road.

Undeterred, Collins ran a good race, setting a new personal best to finish eighth in a time of 57:58.