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Freckleton fun

With its fame as 'the oldest half-marathon in the UK' and the one where the mighty Ron Hill holds the men's course record, Freckleton Half Marathon certainly warrants the fact it has its own Wikipedia page.

The route is billed as rural and undulating, looping around through the village itself and country lanes with only a short portion alongside the main road. The danger of this starting in the village is that the cheers of the crowd mean runners blitz through the first 3 miles on adrenaline, only to realise there are 10 more to go!

Several Harriers turned out to run on Sunday 18th June, with many of these runners part of our Tuesday-Thursday road running group. For a good while now they have been putting lazy Saturday or Sunday mornings on pause in favour of some sunny-soggy-and-often -somewhere-in-between training sessions with this event in mind.

The runners were certainly well-supported along with the course by the volunteers and residents of Freckleton and clubmates who decided to come along and watch... you really did make all the difference to weary legs!

With temperatures pushing the mid-twenties, a cloying and cloggy heat in the air made it feel longer than 13.1 miles, however this did not deter the runners as they knew that 'finish-line feeling' would be worth it.

The Harriers' women were out in force, with Michelle Chadwick in particular running a fabulous negative split.

Chloe Reid, who was taking on this distance for the first time, also had a fantastic run and will surely be completing more events in the future, very much bitten by the running-bug.

Not to forget the men either, Stuart Nixon was the first male Harrier home, taking a very respectable 15th place overall. Jonny Slater and Roy Parkinson followed, with this distance being a different kind of challenge for both runners who have recently completed marathons and ultra-marathons respectively.

Dale Wallis probably did not need the mile-markers to remind him of the route points, having completed this run at least twenty times before, citing it as one of the best races around . Fellow training partner Carl Walsh - who was completing only his second half-marathon - may well agree judging by this shot taken just before the end of the run. The camera never lies!

So, what do do you 'Freckon' to next year's event? Keep Sunday 16th June 2024 free...

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