A team of St. Helens Striders ventured into the Lake District hills for the latest in the Lakeland Trail Race Series at Hawkshead. The 16K event featured gruelling hills, including the forbidding ‘Coffin Trail’, and precarious descents where any loss of concentration could result in calamity. To add a further layer of jeopardy, the day was marked by an incessant torrent of rain that cascaded down the hillsides.
These obstacles were no match for Striders’ Kelly Hamilton as she stormed around the course in an outstanding 1:25 to claim a famous victory. Her performance was all the more remarkable as Hamilton had to recover from a crashing fall on the slippery rocks of the Coffin Trail in the closing stages of the race. Cherryl Orrick also showed her grit and resilience as she fought back from a heavy tumble to finish strongly in 1:54.
First Male home in the race was Kane Green on his return to racing in 1:15 to cross the line in a creditable 8th place overall. There were also excellent performances from Pete Medlicott (1:44) and and Darren Eccles (2:07). Mark Hamilton, husband of race champion Kelly, rounded off a great day for the family with an impressive 1:44 finish, topped off by winning the spot prize raffle at the conclusion of the event.
In the 10K event on the same day, Karen Mason and Libby Eccles tackled the hills together to complete the race in 1:51, followed closely by Janet Holmes in 1:53.
There was another podium finish for Striders at the Chase the Sun 10K at Tatton Park. Competitors at the event fight to reach the finish line before sunset, and Shaun Phoenix had plenty of daylight in hand as he finished 3rd in an outstanding time of 35:58.
At the Oulton Park 10K, Striders stalwart Peter Teeling motored around the track to take the chequered flag in 48:33.
A week earlier, the red rose county of Lancashire was the destination for the ever popular Preston 5 Mile Race, Anthony Ellis was first Strider home in a fantastic 34:18. Hot on his heels, Gareth Davies chased Ellis all the way to clock a time of 34:57. Veterans Tony Dagnall and John Barr once again defied their years with incredible times of 35:37 and 37:44 respectively,V70 category. Sharon Swift was first home for the ladies in 38:17 to continue her seeming never ending list of recent PBs, and Brenda Cahill also lowered her previous best in a time of 39:47 to finish in third place in the FV60 category. There were also great performances from Martin Farrar (39:07), Dean Thackeray (40:06), Jason Mather (43:33), Jo Herriot (44:09), Jo Moss (50:05) and Lesley McGrail (49:37). After Anthony Ellis’ superb performance at the front of the Striders pack, he was able to greet his parents David and Jackie Ellis at the finish line as they finished in 48:09 and 50:58.