More than 200 runners, including one that should have been part of Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics and another who ran this year’s UK fastest 10 miles, took the sights of Walmer Bridge in their stride competing in the 2021 City of Preston 5 and 10 Mile Road Race.Advertisement
Stockport-based Liverpool Harrier Jonny Mellor, who was the UK’s fastest 2020 male marathoner but missed out on Olympic selection after an ankle injury forced him out of the British Olympic marathon trials, was first man home in 23:45 in the one lap 5 mile race from the village hall. He missed the course record by just two seconds.
The first local male runner home was Wesham Road Runners’ Rob Danson, who was third in 25:28.
In the ladies’ 5 mile race, first home was Cheshire’s Sara Avery in 30:35 with Red Rose Runners’ Sophie Pilkington second in 33:04.
Over the two lap 10 mile course, Michael Young, of West Cheshire Athletics Club, took first place, knocking two minutes off his 2020 winning time to claim victory in 53:53.
The women’s 10 mile winner and third placed runner overall was Emily Kearney, of Wirral Athletics Club, who is on an athletics scholarship at university in America. Her time of 55:47 is the fastest 10 mile time set by a female in the UK this year. She too retained her City of Preston title, beating her 2020 time by 46 seconds.
The first local runners home over the two laps were Josh Crowther, of Blackburn Road Runners, who was fifth in the men’s race in 56:09 and Melanie Koth, of Lytham St Annes Road Runners, who was second lady home in 1:10:06.
Race organiser Michael Brennand, of the Central Lancs Running & Triathlon Club (CLAN), said: “We are very lucky in that we always attract half a dozen or so elite athletes. The rest of the field is then made up of a mixture of good club runners, fun and charity runners. This combination makes for a great atmosphere.”
The race was sponsored by care home provider Athena Healthcare Group. It also continued its support of Rosemere Cancer Foundation by again making it its official charity.
Charity runners, plus a donation of £10 by CLAN for every volunteer race marshal Rosemere Cancer Foundation provided, is expected to net the charity more than £2,000.
Among those running for Rosemere this year was Simon Blackburn, of Penwortham, who is on course to raise £1,295 after successfully completing the 10 mile event in a personal best time of 1:29:26, almost three minutes faster than his 2020 finish.
City of Preston debutant and mum-of-two Kelly Atherton, of Buckshaw Village, raised £500 by running an impressive 49:02 in the 5 mile race.
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Next year’s City of Preston Road Race will take place on Sunday, 14th August 2022. Entry is now open and will be half price until the end of the month. To enter, go here.
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