Gt. Manchester Run, Junior Run & City Sprints
Manchester & SHM were truly on their feet for the Gt. Manchester 10k, Junior Run & City Sprints of the weekend of mid-May. Club members of every age and section stretched their sinews to marshal, run and officiate as they've done every year of this weekend of running.
On the Saturday, dozens of our little 'uns ran their hearts out in the Junior Games around Sportcity, often escorted across the finish line by proud parents.
(aged 7) came second in her race missing first place by a few
seconds, Bethany Thornton came third. In the girls
9- 11 years, Sale was again well represented and were champions on
the podium. Eleanor Twite lost first place by 6
seconds but was running a year young in her age-group, Eleanor is
presently ranked 2nd in the UK as a 600m Runner. Julia
Hassall came third and ran well.
Club's volunteers, too numerous to mention, were on high alert serving every aspect of each event over the two days with expertise time and commitment, their good cheer lifting the drooping spirits and heavy legs of green-hooped vest spotted among the 38,000 that snaked along Bridgewater Way, Man United and the Lowry and back to Deansgate.
Club Chairman David Brown CBE was the chief starter again this year for all the coloured waves as he has been every year of this event. His wife Carol, our club secretary, was also on the finish line again recording the times of the wheelchair races, the elite ladies and elite men's races which were given to the media. In the evening Dave again started all the televised street sprints along Deansgate whilst Carol dealt with the finish, recording the positions as the chief assistant to event referee Tony Riley.
As 38,000 bedraggled spectacles exited the finish zone, many resolving never to run again, 8000 were 'bombarded' with Sizzler entry forms by Fechin Mc Cormick, Jill Sanders and Steve Gavin promoting the popular 5k series.
In the 10k road race, following not far behind Ethiopia's world renowned hero and winner Haile Gebrsellassie were our own elite. Anthony Ford clocked 29.09 and was likely to be disappointed being just a few seconds short of his 2008 PB and dipping under twenty-nine minutes for the first time. He finished in the same 10th position. Our international cross-country specialist, Sonia Samuels also hoped to improve on her inaugural 10k at Salford on Good Friday but again it eluded her by just a few seconds, clocking 33.30
Next across the line was Adam Elliott who clocked 32.02. He was running his fourth ever 10k with a best of 31.13 from the Leeds Abbey Dash in 2007.
Tim Kennedy ran out of his skin. In his first ever Gt. Manchester Run, he recorded a massive PB of 34.17..... and there's more to come!
Paul Barrett's was a mediocre 39.17 but then he sandwiched the race between a 16 mile training session - for whatever reason! On Paul tail came Christopher Hertzog with a very impressive 39.44 followed by another newcomer Suzanna Hassall with 46.14 Mark Tyldsley hadn't been getting in the training and his 46.42 was 'a confidence run' following injury. It's puts him on the starting blocks for his favourite event - the marathon This was his fourth GMR 10k with a best time of 41 minutes.
Keith Tyrer had 'a great time' running in Fechin Mc Cormick's 'shoes' and clocked 47.04. Come on, Keith, I lent you my 'shoes' so you'd sprout wings for me. Well done! This was Mark Ferns 7th consecutive GMR. Though with a lifetime best of 41.29 and a GMR best of 43.23 in 2007, 47.33 wasn't such a bad performance considering his present circumstances. This was Naomi Grant's 5th GMR and last year's was her first in a club vest. She improved her GMR time by more than a minute to 55.41 but her PB of 54.26 was clocked in last year's Sunderland 10k This was Wendy Kearsley's 4th GMR with a best of 55.56 from 2007.
The Brown family were further represented with Chris and Sarah retaining their record of having run every event since its inception. This year even Chris's girlfriend ran it for the first time never having run a 10k before! Bethan Roberts also had every reason to be pleased with 53:54. She was five minutes faster than last year and now straining on the lease for this year's Sizzlers.
Soon to retire headmistress of Withington Girl's School, Janet Pickering ran her 7th GMR (2003 - 2010 inclusive with the exception of 2005 when she was unwell). Her PB is 55.03 in 2004 and this year's 1.09.34 was her slowest. She still finished a congratulatory 54th in the L60 Female category. She has, over the years, raised more than £7000 for the Kirsty Appeal and her school's projects in The Gambia. Watch out for faster times next year after she retires.
This event went off really well especially for two of our Sale Harriers, Andy Turner and Shaunna Thompson. Andy was well pleased to produce the world's fastest ever 200m time of 22.30 and this coming off the back of an earlier victory in which he broke Colin Jackson's British record. Likewise out 18-year old Commonwealth Youth Games 100/200m champion managed to clear up the injury that she's suffered last year to take a very good scalp of Christine Ohuruogu for the second consecutive year. Said her coach Bob Gaisie, Racing against such hi-calibre athletes is great preparation for Shaunna's main target this summer - the World Junior Championships in Moncton,Canada. To medal at those championships Shaunna will need to produce a PB and this result shows she's "on target" but there is still a lot of work to do"
(Written by Fechin Mc Cormick)
Posted 02/01/2012 22:13