On Thursday 10th the second Inter Club event started at St Anne’s running towards Fairhaven Lake. Many Red Rose runners showed their patriotic colours by wearing Union Jack shorts. Fortunately the resident photographer stayed at home and was unable to record these events. The cold wind off the sea together with a downpour 15 minutes before the start made it difficult for runners from the gun. Plenty of individual battles ensued throughout the field. John Shepherd went off with a leading group and maintained an excellent pace to finish in 30.03 in spite of the blustery conditions in the first half and a head-on wind in the last two miles. Next Ken Addison and Joe Swarbrick ran hard with neither able to break away from the other but making good progress through the field, against younger runners from Blackpool and Lytham clubs. They both broke 31 minutes. A great run from Ben Donoghue saw him come in 31.09, underlining his recent progress. Shane Cliffe finished in 31.31 ahead of the upcoming Bluesticks Blue 10K. Other great performances came from Steve Whitney and David Williams in times of 31.51 and 32.24. Phil Butler finished in 32.33 to be the sixth counter for the Vets’ team who took first place just ahead of Wesham. Paul Woan finished in 33.33 just ahead of Stuart Cann and Simon Houghton who recorded the same time of 33.47. Another encouraging pairing was Barry Wheeler and Philip Davidson finishing in 33.57 and 33.58.
Despite running tired, Claire Bunce finished, first Red Rose lady in 34.05 to be 8th lady. Debbie Kirkman was in next still feeling the ‘marathon effect’ finishing in 36.54. The ladies team was completed by Julie Coupe, 37.34, Paula Plowman 38.17 and Karen Clark 45.23. Barry Wheeler ran 33.57 which gave him an average speed of 6.45 / mile. Richard Ward and Phil Dean battled hard against a cross wind in the second half of the race with Richard finishing in 35.45 and Phil 36.00. John Wiseman finished inside 40 min in 38.38. Michael Jeffries 46.00, was well ahead of the remaining Red Rose members, followed by Sue Harrison 49.27, Chris Clark 49.33, Wendy Ward 50.07, Sally Cape 50.15, Evelyn Elkington 50.48 Janet Saynor 55.03.
In the inaugural Preston Park Run Red Rose had 4 competitors in the field of 100. John Johnson finished in 24.45 for 34th place. Colin Manning 30.10 for 72nd. Anne and Gavin Beetham running together finished in 44.26 and 44.27 for 97th and 98th places.
Meanwhile on the fells Stuart and Nikki Roberts took part in Belmont Winter Hill race. Stuart finishing 14th in 39 minutes and Nikki 80th in 51.53.
Sunday saw the next leg of the Red Rose Road Runners Championship. Blacksticks Blue 10k was the chosen event and 28 club members turned out making a noticeable sea of red vests at the start. On the demanding course, which takes in the climb up Carwags Lane to Beacon Fell, the club had several prize winners. 6th overall and 1st v45 was John Shepherd, 38.29, 10th and 1st v55 was Ken Addison 39.27, 31st and 4th lady was Claire Bunce 43.27, 48th and 1st lady v40 was Debbie Kirkman 45.57 and finally 50th and 1st lady v45 was Claire Smith 46.16. This is by no means a course to achieve a PB but Barry Wheeler continues to run into good form with a 42.28 PB finish for an average speed of 6m 50secs per mile. Another PB came from Gavin Beetham who managed 56.39 to set a new mark, so there is much more to come on a friendlier course.. Ben Donoghue, Jose Pinon Shaw and Shane Cliffe, feeling a sore knee on the descents, all finished comfortably inside 41 minutes and the first 20 runners and must be feel confident of breaking the 40 barrier for 10k.
2 more of our v45’s, Steve Whitney and Paul Butler, came in just 12 seconds apart in 41.13 and 41.25. In 40th and 41st places, separated by seconds, came the experienced Stu Cann and Geoff Haworth. Dave Hooton and Paul Woan were 46th and 47th while Richard Ward was 51st. 3 ladies came in next, Paula Plowman dipping under 50 minutes in 79th place, Julie Thorley 101st and Rachel Park 116th. V75 Bernerd Elkington ran well for 58.25 followed by Sal Cape in 58.47. Two more runners broke the hour mark, Daniel Robinson 59.03 and Allan Howard 59.28. Janice Johnson 1.02.30, Sue Harrison 1.02.58, Janet Saynor 1.11.05 and Keith O’Brien 1.12.02 completed the line up of club finishers who all collected a Blacksticks Blue Cheese for their efforts.