The amazing Gina Biggs has been putting us all to shame with her latest challenge. Seven marathons in seven days. (Who thought she would stop at 100 marathons?).The Enigma ‘Week at the Knees’ in Milton Keynes saw her battle through the pain barrier with times of 6.12, 5.59, 6.38, 6.30, 6.13, 6.33 and 6.43.
All this weekend’s races had to contend with strong, icy blasts from the east but the Sweatshop 10 mile attracted a large contingent of Red Rose. Simon Croft started the Championship season off with a fantastic run to gain second place in a time of 56.26, only 6 seconds behind the winner, Rob Affleck. Ben Donoghue donned his racing shoes and ran a very respectable 67.39 to be 3rd V40 and Manolo Mendoza almost matched him, taking 3rd place V45 in a time of 68.23. Janine Needham got her season off to great start finishing 3rd female and first F40 in a time of 73.30. Sam Edwards had great run finishing first in her age group in a time of 78.43 with Pauline Moorcroft hot on her heels in 78.46. Ruth Travis finished in 79.43 to be 3rd F45. The Red Rose women took 11 out of the first 30 places with first place in age group categories for Carolyn Douglas 86.49 and Joan Gouldthorpe 88.42.
Red Rose finishers. Stuart Smith 71.24, Steven Willetts 72.11, Michael Oddie 75.17, Philip Davidson 77.35, David Raynor 79.53, Laura Houghton 80.58 Ann Cleave 81.40 Ian Wharton 83.04,Richard Field 83.38, Natalie Moore 83.56,Steve Taylor 84.28, Sue Brookes 86.26, Mary Conway 91.20, Kathryn Abbott 93.43, Alison Mercer 95.25,Allan Howard 1.40.30, Tim Nuttall 1.46.33,Carole Williams 1.49.57,Kelly Day 1.52.23, Lisa Baron 1.52.23 andJohn Wiseman 1.52.23.
The Limassol Marathon experienced warmer conditions and it appears to have suited Ben Smithers who finished in a great time of 3.41.57. Faisal Ali also took part finishing in 6.12.32 and Sonja Muller completed the half marathon in 2.58.14.
The Trimpell 20 is a very important event for many runners who are targeting Spring marathons. Today’s weather conditions must have tested their resolve to the limit with even the lead runners out for 2 hours in freezing conditions. New member, Philip Marsden ran an impressive 2.15.45 to be placed 25th out of a field of over 500. Everyone who completed the course can be well pleased with their achievement. Our runners were Sarah Sutcliffe 2.44.51, Richard Hally 2.56.01, Chris Corrigan 3.12.17, Iain Mitchell 3.12.54, Lorna Taylor 3.12.54, Helen Greenhalgh 3.36.44, Ruth Watkinson 4.44.56.
We had 15 runners in the Cartmel Trail 10k. Teamwork and encouragement made for a great day out with David Bayliss our first runner home, just beating the hour in 59.43. Vet 60, Peter O’Grady came in next in 62.47. The rest of the team consisted of Brian Hanley 64.38, Austin Trelfa 66.54, James Butler 71.43, Shane Collins 73.05, Jim McLean 76.06, David Barnes 76.18, David Watson 84.42,Fiona Gutteridge 88.46,Amanda Berry 91.54, Davina Bowling 91.54, Jacqueline Winslow 95.53, Laura Scott 98.33, Dawn McLean 98.34. In the 18k Race, John Barker was well placed in 32nd with a time of 1.34.02, with Andrew Christie in 70th in 1.40.05. Nicola Hughes was 13th lady in 1.40.35 along with Dan Hughes on the same time. Cat Holden finished in 2.19.33. Four more runners ran the 18k Challenge. Dave Raynor was 73rd in 1.54.18, followed by Sarah Maltby in 2.23.40 with Claire Shaw on the same time beating her time of last year by 8 minutes. Michelle Griffiths ran a time of 2.30.33. A trio of runners , Katy Cleece, Ros Crompton and Wendy Ward crossed the line together in 2.42.33 and Nina Colquhoun and Josephine Walsh completed the team in 2.55.52.
Susan Heatley ran 31.55 for the Wigan 5k as the half marathon was cancelled.
79 runners took part at the Witton parkrun with 6 Red Rosers performing well. Philip Davidson and Steve Worswick were running in support of Alfie Kirkley, a prisoner they met on a visit to Black Combe. He was inspired by another prisoner to run in the weekly parkrun held within the prison. It had such an amazing effect on his physical and mental health that on his release he wrote a letter to the man who persuaded him to start running and to assure him that he would continue to make it part of his new life. Our other runners performed well in the freezing conditions. Mary Conway 30.53, Sue Tonge 31.41, Sarah Watkins 34.48,Jon Carberry 34.48
Our sole runner at Lancaster parkrun was Samantha Edwards who warmed up for the Sweatshop 10 mile with a time of 25.34. At the Portobello parkrun in Edinburgh, Esther Stanier and husband Joel enjoyed their tourism with times of 26.38 and 26.42.