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Pickering Running Club members overcome Yorkshireman Marathon obstacles
2:15pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in Sport
MUD, guts and glory were the order of the day as Pickering Running Club members faced literal and metaphorical obstacles.
The Yorkshireman Marathon takes place in and around Haworth, a picturesque backdrop for a very challenging race.
Climbing almost 1,500 feet, the route traverses moorland and narrow footpaths, skirting wind farms and reservoirs, and crossing a viaduct with views over Bronte country, before finishing on a steep, cobbled hill.
Steve Watson, Kim England and Peter Winter all took on the individual marathon, while Sue Slack and Philly Hare, and Bob Horsman with friend Rob Armitage, attempted the paired event.
The race had become Watson’s personal nemesis when, two years ago, he was unhappy with his performance. This time, it was conquered when he knocked 26 minutes off his previous time in a fantastic three hours 58 minutes 51 seconds, despite being sucked into boggy marshland.
England came in next in her first attempt at the race, as fourth lady in 04-20. Winter fought hard to take almost 30 minutes off his previous time, coming in 23 minutes behind England. Horsman and Armitage trotted in a couple of minutes later, for an improvement of over 30 minutes since last year.
Treating the event as preparation for an upcoming mountain marathon, Slack and Hare breezed around in 06-36-47 after taking a couple of wrong turns.
Meanwhile, in Ripon, four Pickering team members took on the 5k challenge race, the Spartan Sprint, among more than 1,200 competitors. The event presents a plethora of obstacles, with the main difficulty being the deep, sticky mud, so time becomes irrelevant.
Paul Tyson Smith, a stalwart of these events, came 86th in an impressive 54 minutes 18 seconds. Sadie Pattison, Sally Raines and Helen Scott completed the course as a trio, laughing their way around in 86-22. Pattison said: “It was the most fun I’ve ever had in a race.”
Meanwhile, PRC newcomer Ailish Lilley proved she’s no novice after completing the English Half-Marathon in Warrington.
The 50-year-old lined up with 3,000 other runners following an aerial display by a team of RAF sky divers – the 13-mile event starting after the parachutists touched ground and donned their running gear for the road race.
Finishing in two hours 28 minutes, Lilley beat her previous time by five minutes in what was her second half-marathon after taking up running a year ago.
She said: “Warrington is my home town and I was keen to take part in a race on my home turf.
“The conditions were ideal and the festival atmosphere spurred me on. I even managed a sprint finish. It definitely helped that my friends and family were in the crowd.”
Lilley is one of a group of Pickering runners in training for next month’s York Marathon.
She added: “I never saw myself as a runner but after joining the club I realised I could do anything I put my mind to. I’ve done the distance at a walking event so I’m raring to go.”
Earlier that week, Nick Cousins was the sole PRC representative at the annual Roseberry Topping Race, in slippery and misty conditions.
The 1.5-mile scramble up the landmark took in over 700 feet of ascent and tests the mettle of runners in the fast and steep descent.
Cousins finished in 18 minutes 08 seconds – beating his previous time three years ago in more favourable conditions.
The Viking Four Peak race at Carlton Bank this coming Sunday starts the winter fell series.
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