Podium 5km races, Barrowford, 8 August 2020
Preston Harriers literally hit the ground running when road racing began again under the new Covid-19 socially distanced format. The popular Podium 5km races at Barrowford saw many fast times and Harriers were in the mix, with Daniel Bebbington recording a PB of 14.23 to win the men’s A race. Andy Benson was 8th in the same race and also set a new best with 14.37 and Steve Hallas ran 18.13 in a later race.
Blackpool Run the Lights 10km 15 August 2020
Jamie Robinson posted the fastest female time in this event, a speedy 37.53. Other Harriers taking part were Alex Venables (37.01) and Luke Suffolk (42.03).
Tatton 10km races
The National Trust property of Tatton Park, near Knutsford, makes an ideal venue for the new format of racing. There is ample space for parking and for the runners to spread out and keep their distance both before and after the race. The course is very scenic and takes place on closed roads within the park, which allows plenty of room for safe overtaking and minimal contact between participants. The main difference between the new style of racing and traditional events is the lack of a mass start. Instead, runners are set off at intervals in small groups, with the placings being decided afterwards when all the chip times have been recorded. It’s not a proper race and most runners miss the opportunity for a head to head battle with their rivals, but, as with many aspects of the “new normal”, it’s better than nothing and definitely an improvement on endless virtual races. At the Tatton 10km on 9 August, Harriers’ Carla Davies was the fastest woman in a time of 36.53. Carla was back at Tatton for the Chase the Sun evening 10km race on 26 August when she was second fastest woman and 1st FV35 in 37.15. This race was very well attended, with approximately 500 runners enjoying fine weather and the chance for a fast run in beautiful surroundings. Other Harriers to top their age group in this race were Mark Lee, who was 1st MV55 in 37.57, Kevin Hesketh (1st MV65 in 44.06) and Marian Hesketh, who was 1st FV65 in 52.40 in her first race for 2 ½ years after a struggle with a serious knee injury.