Race 2 of the 2016 Merseyside Grand Prix took place at the weekend with an almost unbelievable Penny Lane Striders turn out for the Spring 10k in Sefton Park. The 100 entrants mark was broken, easily the biggest attendance from any single running club.
The weekend weather couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm and spirit of the attending Striders and certainly didn’t have an impact on their performances with another batch of astounding PBs, successful comeback runs and mojo-finding!
There were two terrific team performances as the Men raced to a brilliant 3rd place behind Liverpool Harriers and KHAC, while the Women smashed it out the park and came home in 2nd place, hot on the tails of Wallasey AC.
4 of the first 15 athletes home were Striders with Orla Carty, Sharon Samson, Louise Warn and Oonagh Jaquest scoring for PLS. Annemarie Wiliams also put a great shift in to win her category, even after a week with a cold.
In the men’s competition, Stephen Watkin, Sam Evans, Jay Clarke, Andrew Starkey, Colin Dobbs and Andrew Leslie provided the highest 6 placed finishers for the club and all finished in the top 30 of an extremely competitive and high class Merseyside field.
The next two races in the Grand Prix calendar are Walton Hall Park 5 miler on May 17th, followed by Birkenhead Park 5 miler on June 8th. Get your names down on these as they tend to sell out quite early. Also, remember that the Penny Lane Striders 10k is part of the GP but entry is not open to members of the club. This is to ensure that we can guarantee the race has the best looking and most enthusiastic marshals in the world…us lot!
If you want to know more about the Merseyside Grand Prix, visit http://merseysidecountyaa.org.uk/road-running/road-running-grand-prix/
If you have any queries about the events, then please get in touch with Andy Cantwell, Jane Hallows or Tim Warn who will be glad to help.
Well done everybody, and that includes volunteers, marshals and spectators!
Sunday saw the first ever running of the Penny Lane Striders 'March Mile' at Wavertree Sports Centre. This unique event saw club members take part in a series of 7 heats culminating in a final to determine the fastest male and female, alongside two overall handicap winners.
Fastest mile winners were Stephen Watkin and Sarah Jackson, with Joe McGlynn and Sarah Meyers taking overall victory.
Many thanks to everyone who took part, and particularly to Claire Meadows for organising the event, ably assisted by Neil Hannett, Helen Osborne and Andy Cantwell.
Our very own Michelle King took time out from marathon training to record her first ever race victory at the Liverpool 10 mile event last Sunday. Michelle's PB time of 1:10:59 saw her finish first out of a field of 125 women.
A great day for Penny Lane Striders saw no fewer than nine of our runners finish in the top 25, with PBs for Lawrence Eccles (3rd position overall) Andrew Starkey (5th) Paul Brady (1st, M45 category) and Nichola D'Cruze, with Steve Pemberton (1:21:43) coming home first in the M60 category.
No fewer than 78 Penny Lane Striders took part in last weekend's Liverpool Half Marathon, with a mixture of seasoned campaigners and club newcomers forming part of the 4,800 strong field.
No fewer than 31 of our runners recorded personal best times: one of the highest numbers we've achieved in any race to date and a testament to the hard work that's been put into training during the cold and wet winter months.
Amongst the runners coming in under 2hrs 10 there were PBs for Jon Windle, Jo Bruchez-Corbett, James Stansfield and - competing in her first ever half marathon - Elinor Chapman.
Six of our runners came home with PBs between 1hr 50 and 2hrs: Joanne Harrison, Neil Braithwaite, Kerrie Davidson, Rob Cooper, Helen Osborne and half marathon debutant Andy Bates.
Between 1hr 40 and 1hr 50, there were impressive PBs for Stephen Gorman, James Roberts, Robert Farley, Charlotte Sanderson, Mel Scholer Whitty and Adam McGlory, who was also taking part in his first half.
Still more PBs were recorded in the 1hr 30 - 1hr 40 category, by Nigel Foo, Kevin Keane, Greg Hocking, Katie Johnson and Richard Costain.
Not to be outdone, there were PBs galore for our Group 1 runners with Graham Douglas, Jay Clarke, Dan Thomas, Phil Riding (recovering impressively from a painful training run altercation with a car door) Luke Harrison, Marc Littlefield and Marc Goudie all dipping well under the 1:30 mark. And first home for the club with a first ever sub 1:20 half was the relentless Stephen Watkin.
Congratulations to everybody who took part in the event, including the many Striders and their families who turned out to support our runners!
For 2016 we have introduced an online club shop, to enable you to purchase a wide range of Penny Lane Striders branded sportswear. To access the shop, please click here
The race calendar for the 2016 Merseyside Grand Prix series has been released. As in previous years, the 10 race series is spread across Merseyside, covering a wide range of race distances and where possible, supporting races that are hosted by our local clubs.
6th March St Helens 10k
2nd April Halewood 5k
1st May Liverpool Spring 10k
May (TBC) Walton Park 5M
8th June Birkenhead Park 5M
26th June Penny Lane 10k
3rd July Southport Half Marathon
July (TBC) Sefton Park 5M
Aug (TBC) Mystery 5k
11th Sept Wirral Half Marathon
For further details see www.merseysidecountyaa.org
On Tuesday night over 120 runners took part in our annual Lamplight 5k race, run in memory of our much loved former Treasurer and coach Andrew Stansfield (see this page for more details about Andrew and the event)
As in previous years, the race was run on a handicap basis with runners setting off at different intervals based on their fastest 5k time from the current season. First runner home was Misha Callow, closely followed by another of our new members for this season, Leslie Schofield.
On Saturday we held a special event to mark the 30th anniversary of the club. Teams of three competed in a relay race, with each runner completing two laps of Princes Park before handing over the baton to a team mate. Congratulations to overall winners Trevor, Rob and Matt, and many thanks to everyone who took part. A full report of the event can be found in the November edition of the Striding Report.
Brilliant afternoon, thanks to everyone who helped organise it. Can we do it again next year? (Lesley)
Never felt so good to be part of Penny Lane Striders. Fantastic day with the best bunch of people. Great organisation too! (Stuart)
Great day and well done to Claire and all those who helped to organise a great event. Nice food too back to Aigburth Peoples Hall! (Neil)