- Created on Sunday, 30 September 2012 19:26
- Last Updated on Sunday, 30 September 2012 20:16
- Written by Steve Lomas
Sundayâ€™s Macclesfield Half Marathon saw a total of over 800 runnersâ€™ complete its testing course and another 135 entrantsâ€™ compete in the associated 5K.
The organising committee for the half marathon, led by Mandy Calvert, should be congratulated for their efforts - sustained over many months - in organising another successful occasion which raised nearly ÂŁ12,000 for the East Cheshire Hospice as well as other local charities.Â
The committee would like to thank the dozens of members' from the Macclesfield Harriers' club as well as the many other organisations that helped make theÂ event run very smoothly.Â Competitors from other local Clubs commented on how well they thought proceedings were organised, for example, the water stations' organisation.
The day was not without sadness, however, with many people present still in shock after learning of the death of the popular Wilmslow RC runner, Ray Eagle, who lost his life in Fridayâ€™s tragic air crash in Kathmandu.Â Just before the Half Marathon started, Wilmslowâ€™s Nick Bishop led a tribute to him, saying he was a runnersâ€™ runner and an excellent club member.Â Members of other local clubsâ€™ also knew him for being very friendly and one subject that the media didnâ€™t mention in recent reports was simply that he was an outstanding runner for a man of his age.
There was much relief from competitors and spectators that the forecast rain was delayed in its arrival until after the racesâ€™.Â However, there was at times, a blustery wind which troubled runnersâ€™ at certain stages of the routes'.
The Half Marathon was won by Altrincham ACâ€™s Mohamad Aburezeq in a time of 1:09:52, ahead of Tarus Elly of Salford Harriers (1:10:38).Â Wilmslowâ€™s Damian Nicholls, well-known for being a very fast local runner and anÂ ex Harrier, was third in 1:13:50.
The ladiesâ€™ first two to finish today are also familiar faces in the Macclesfield area.Â Olivia Walwyn-Bush, another of Altrincham AC, claimed her fifth win in the Macclesfield Half Marathon which this year was her fastest yet after really attacking the first few miles of the course.Â She, therefore, beat her own course record in the process, setting a time of 1:17:48.Â Then Sharon Johnstone, another former Harrier, followed up her win in the Stockport 10K last week, with second place here.Â She was under pressure, needing to finish the race as the first Cheshire club based runner in order to claim the overall 2012 Cheshire Grand Prix individual ladiesâ€™ title.Â She did it in style, in a time of 1:30:38 and so duly won the overall Grand Prix prize for the first time.Â Edna Bradley, an unattached runner, was the third lady, in a time of 1:32:14.
As for the Grand Prix team Championship, South Cheshire were already crowned the men's winners and Wilmslow RC topped the ladies' finalÂ table.Â In both cases, the respective Clubs were the deserved winners.
The Harriers were led home by James Noakes, a superb finish into 6th place with his fastest time on this course. His performance today erased from memory his bad experience from the previous year when he had to pull out, mid-race, due to being unwell.Â His finish here meant he was the 2nd overall vet and the 1st M45.
Mark Walker complained that he set off too fast today but he may well reflect that a time of 1:19:28 on this hilly course was not too shabby.Â It was good enough for 14th place in this prestigious race and it will also mean that he will finish no lower than 4th in the men's Cheshire Grand Prix final table - probably even higher.
Next was Jim Heron who has not run a road race for several years and so a time of 1:29:15 must have been very pleasing and he was the 5th M45 as a result.Â Â
David Woodhead, running here for the Harriers as second claim, does many races through the year - mainly for Pudsey Harriers - and his race sharpness helped him cope with the terrain of todayâ€™s half marathon route and he ended up with a time of 1:31:13.
Then it will be no surprise to many people that Barry Blyth broke another Club record todayÂ - itâ€™s hard to think of the last road race in which he didnâ€™t break a record.Â This time, his effort of 1:32:24 ensured his name will be down as the holder of the M65 half marathon record, bettering Harry Newtonâ€™s previous best mark of 1:42:03.Â He was also the 1st M65 for the race today.
There were other notable performances by Harriers and many of those were attempting the course for the first time.Â These included performances by Tim Walton, Andrew McEvoy, Phil Barnes, Alexander Dickie, Keith Mulholland, Daisy Pickles, Oliver Johnstone, Peter Vince, Paula Nimmo, Sally Ann Hales, David James, Stephen Pickin, Julia Dickie and Susannah Middleton.Â
Otherwise, of these runners just mentioned in the above paragraph, even if they had run the race before, there were those who mainly concentrate on fell running (Phil who was the 4th M50 and Stephen), one in the middle of triathlon training (Oliver), one who had completed a half-marathon the previous weekend (Peter) and one (Alexander) who had just turned 17.Â Â Daisy was the 23rd lady, Paula, 43rd lady and Sally Ann was the 6th F50.Â
The full results can be found here;
A summary of Harriersâ€™ results are here;
James Noakes, 1:15:32 (6th place and 1st M45)
Mark Walker, 1:19:28 (14th place)
Jim Heron, 1:29:15 (5th M45)
David Woodhead, 1:31:13
Barry Blyth, 1:32:24 (1st M65 and new Club M65 record)
Tim Walton, 1:33:24
Andrew McEvoy, 1:33:38
Philip Barnes, 1:36:19
Duncan Dickie, 1:36:51
Alexander Dickie, 1:39:35
Keith Mulholland, 1:41:24
Daisy Pickles, 1:42:27 (23rd lady)
Oliver Johnstone, 1:43:13
Peter Vince, 1:45:39
Paula Nimmo, 1:46:39 (43rd lady)
Sally Ann Hales, 1:47:45 (6th F50)
David James, 1:48:40
Stephen Pickin, 1:49:46
Julia Dickie, 1:55:13
Susannah Middleton, 2:03:41
Fifteen minutesâ€™ after the half marathon began, there was the running of the first ever Macclesfield 5K which was organised by the Half Marathon Committee and is intended to complement the main race.Â Like the half marathon, it started on the track and this shorter race was also staged very successfully and helped to contribute to the above mentioned charitiesâ€™ funds.
Kevin Acton of Stockport Harriers, who is a junior of just 15 yearsâ€™, became the inaugural winner in a super-fast time of 16:47.Â Warrington ACâ€™s Katie Brough ran a high-class time of 17:11 to win the ladiesâ€™ prize on what cannot be considered a completely flat course which takes in Priory Lane, Victoria Road , Prestbury Road and Kennedy Avenue before heading back up the hill to the track.Â Her time also meant she achieved overall fourth place in the race.
Harriersâ€™ Mat Bigley was third overall and first Harrier home in a very speedy 17:03.Â There were some also some other very promising performances from some younger Harriers including James Stott (12th place), Aaron Shaughnessy (19th place), Daniel Graves (21st place) and Jordan Ross (51st place).
The full results from the 5K are here;