Preston Harriers’ flagship road race was relaunched with a new sponsor and a revised course, but the competition was as fierce as ever. Runners were glad to be racing again and the weather conditions were good, if slightly chilly. This year’s race incorporated the Northern, Lancashire and Fire Service championships and runners came from all over the north of England to test themselves on the fast roads around Hutton and Much Hoole. A group of three runners quickly broke away, and these provided the ultimate podium placers. Harry Wakefield from Salford Harriers won the race in 50:53, nearly a minute ahead of clubmate Chris Livesey in 51:47 and Chris Prior from Cardiff AAC was 3rd in 52:31. Andrew Benson was again the first Harrier to finish, taking 5th place in 53:31. He was soon followed in by Sam Evans (7th in 54:41) and these two combined with Rob Affleck, who was 1st MV50 in 56:18, to win the 2nd team prize behind a dominant Salford. Preston Harriers also fielded a “B” team of Philip Marsden, David Parkinson and Mariusz Kovacs, who were 4th out of 12 teams. The first woman was Sophie Cowper from Rotherham Harriers in a time of 61:42. Out of 178 finishers, 39 achieved new personal bests, and many runners thanked Preston Harriers for the good organisation and friendly marshals at this popular event. There was also a five mile race, with 42 finishers, 12 of whom ran new personal best times for the distance. It was won by Ray Clark of Wallasey AC in 27:39, and Steve Hallas (31:13) and Julie Tyrer (48:54) flew the flag for the host club. Preston Harriers would like to thank their sponsors, Porsche Centre Preston, and all club members and friends who helped on the day and made the event such a success. Next year’s race is pencilled in for 20th November 2022.
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