Congleton Harrier pacers Photo: J Jones

Press Report 8th March 2020 from Nick Budd


Paul Crean, Mel Worthington, Emma Weston Photo: E Weston
Tom Walker Photo: Davids Running Photos

Congleton Harriers regularly provide pacers at the Congleton Park Run on the first Saturday of the month.  Normally this involves 5 or 6 pacers running at times ranging from a 20-minute pace through to a 34-minute pace.  This month we tried something a bit different – a pacer for every finish time between 20 to 30 minutes, plus the usual 31- and 34-minute times.  There was a high turnout of 357 runners at the Park Run; bolstered by a Couch to 5k group, Eaton Bank having their regular monthly turn out and possibly some coming along just to support International Women’s day.  Whatever the motivation, there were plenty of runners for the pacers to encourage and it seemed to work as there were over 60 new personal bests set by runners around the pacers.  There was also a lot of positive feedback given so its an experiment that we will repeat again later in the year.

On the racing front there were a couple of Harriers in action on Saturday taking part in the Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round Fell Race; a 10.4 mile run on and around Pendle Hill in Lancashire incorporating 1936ft of climbing.  Tom Walker finished 52nd out of the 232 runners in 1:22:01 and Andy Roberts was 58th in 1:23:06.

There were plenty of 20-mile options on offer on Sunday with Harriers participating in three separate events.  The Knighton 20 is a regular attraction for Harriers who are prepping for either of the main Spring marathons - London and Manchester and there were six in action amongst a field of 320. John Carbutt           was 54th in 2:22:49, James Yates, 139th in 2:49:58, Martin Sands, 158th in 2:54:59, Kelly Hurlstone, 186th in 3:04:42, Beth Cliff, 190th in 3:07:58 and Gemma Brinkhurst, 230th in 3:20:11.

Three Harriers chose Wrexham instead for their 20-mile fix.  There was a field of 296 runners and all the Harriers running managed to finish in the top three of their respective age categories. Emma Weston was 50th overall, 1st in the F45 category in a time of 2:25:26, Mel Worthington was 71st, 3rd in the F45 category in 2:33:23 and Paul Crean was 184th, 3rd in the M60 category in 3:07:49. 

The final two Harriers taking on the 20-mile distance were on the trails and footpaths of the Irwell Valley nestled between Bolton and Manchester. The Irwell 20 is mainly a flat run, albeit muddy and slippery in current conditions, and out of the 337 runners Sarah Proudmore finished 126th in 3:03:35 to also take 3rd place in the F50 category whilst David Whittaker finished 136th in 3:08:15.

Andy Roberts   Photo: Davids Running Photos
Claire Cheetham.   Photo C. Cheetham

Elsewhere there were a few opting for a shorter outing at the Chester 10k. Out of the 3937 runners Chris Moss was 218th in 43:11, Suzie Roscoe was 1244th in 52:34 and Mark Wilkinson was 2220th in 59:07.  The final Harrier in action, also taking on a 10k, was Claire Cheetham out in Valencia, Spain where she finished in 44:45 to set a new personal best.

The club is always keen to see new members whether you are a speedy racer (on or off-road) or more of a social runner.  So, if you are thinking of thinking of joining then just come along to one of the regular/ club runs for a few weeks and try us out for size; you will be made to feel more than welcome with no obligation to join.  Regular club runs are held on Monday and Tuesday with speed training runs on a Thursday.  Mondays are especially good for runners wanting to try the club out for size and is proving to be very popular.

Sarah Proudmore. Photo S. Proudmore

John Carbutt Photo: Bryan Dale

You can find full details on our Congleton Harriers website:   You can also connect with the club on Facebook where details of club activities are posted regularly.