A RECORD SIZZLER 2013
Written by Fechin Mc Cormick
The rain may have put a real dampener on the prize-giving that had so much potential with 9 Olympians in attendance to award the prizes, but if ever it needed to be demonstrated how weather affects performance, the fourth and final 5k Sizzler proved it.
We had 9 Olympians taking part spanning 10 Olympic Games and 50 years! They are Ron Hill (Tokyo ’64 & Munich ’72 Marathon), Alan Blinston (Mexico ’68 5000m), Jeff Norman (Montreal ’76 Marathon), Michelle Scutt - nee Probert (Moscow ’80 4 x 400m bronze medallist), Susan Crehan (Seoul ’88 10,000), Ann Griffiths – nee Williams (Barcelona ’92 1500m), Tom Lancashire (Beijing ’08 1500m), Nick Mc Cormick (London ’12 5000m) and Stuart Stokes (London ’12 Steeplechase).
Many Sale Harriers who participate in the annual series usually produce their life time best performances, not surprising over a fast, flat course. This year’s hot, humid conditions made the exception with, in the 3rd race, for example, only two club runners of nearly thirty producing a faster time. Last night’s race, run under sombre clouds before the rain poured was ideal for faster times and saw most Sale Harriers run their fastest Sizzler times of the summer. A straw poll of others demonstrated the same.
With 458 finishers - the second highest ever for a final Sizzler, it was certainly yet another ‘sizzling’ evening despite the clouds and rain. Total numbers this year have now broken all previous records. It was a little disappointing that not more of the region’s top runners turned out for the Northern 5k championships to make this a classy, competitive annual road race and a perfect preparation for the emerging regional and national relays. Nevertheless, it’s not to be underestimated that four broke the classic 14.30 barrier and earned themselves bonus £50’s; there’s not many races than can boast 18 people breaking 16 minutes and a massive 42 breaking 17 minutes.
The Sale Harriers who thrived beneath the cloudy skies as against the previous hot, humid evenings were U20 Ryan Moore (15:27), who made his 2013 Sizzler debut and smashed his PB he made in last year’s Sizzler. World & European Junior triathlon champion Georgia Taylor Brown displayed her fantastic ability with 16.47 to be the club’s first female finisher. M55 Andy Yates (18:14) was 30 seconds faster than any of his previous three races; Kevin Foster (18:24) was nearly 40 seconds faster: Francis Sweeney (19.16) ran his fastest by 6 seconds; Gary Lyons (19:08) was also faster by 30 seconds; Simon Bond (19.34) recorded a new PB by 12 seconds; Michael Barry (20.13) ran his fastest by 17 seconds; M60 Mike Dunne (21:31) is amazing! Just months following major heart problems he’s improved 40 seconds from the heat of two weeks ago; Helen Reagan (21:24) was over 20 seconds faster than her Sizzler best this summer; Ann Chinoy (21:44) ran her fastest of the four races by 15 seconds to record a fantastic new PB; Richard mc Hugh (21.11) was almost a minute faster; Cat Jones (22:22) will be delighted to have run more than a minute faster than her previous best Sizzler; Lynne Yates (22:45) was 15 seconds faster over her previous best for the four; M65 Dave Farmer (23:14) also ran his best of the series by almost 30 seconds as did M60 Geoff Beattie (23.12) and Eileen Fenner (31:31) smashed her PB by over a minute. Several others like Peter O’Neill (17:59), Alistair Kell (19:53), Borys Darmas (19:10), Aidan Raftery (19.25), Sarah Douglas (19:40), Jerry Smith (20:50 and Brian Bradshaw (23:12) also came very close to their fastest times of the series. Well done to all.
Sale ladies (Taylor-Brown, Darmas, Douglas) won the Northern title with Stockport AC runners-up and the men were 2nd team (Moore, Greenwood, Howlett) to champions Blackburn AC
Now the series has ended, it’s time to thank especially those key people. They are Brian Goulden, the course director of marshals and his merry men and women, Paul Thompson who sorts all the documentation; Philippa Edwards and her indispensable, skilled entries team; Dave Rodgers and his expertise in setting up the finishing funnels and David Brown and his highly pressured finish zone officials. The series that has consumed much of my life since I launched it last February is ended for another year. Onwards to 2014!
Posted 16/08/2013 14:18