Chester Half Marathon 12 May 2013
As always a great turnout by the Deestriders for this local, hugely popular and brilliantly organised and supported event, now opened to 6,000 runners
First in was Craig Davies, who just two weeks after his amazing 2.53 in the Manchester Marathon hadn’t fully recovered and indeed had been ill in the interim. This race was unsurprisingly quite a struggle especially from 6 miles onwards, but he still managed an impressive time of 1.23. Next in was the massively improved Mark Williams with a huge 7 minute PB of 1.26. Jay Jennions, just two weeks after the race of her life at Manchester, found the half hard going as well with the wheels falling off after a strong first 8-10 miles, but still managed to come in the right side of 90 minutes. Chris Hyndman was not so fortunate but still, 1.30 shows the great progress he has made in past months. Paul Hunt did a brilliant 1.36, with Nick Chadwick hot on his heels to do well as well just a few weeks after the Rome marathon. Rose Rogers proved once again to be unstoppable in her dominance of the LV60s with a tremendous 1.43, while David Morris is a valuable asset to the club with a terrific 1.45. The power’s back on as Phil Taylor had one of his best races in ages with 1.47, and an excellent performance too from Kev Burns (1.48). Dean Olsen did well to break two hours with 1.58 while Mike Norris and Sue McIndoe were very unlucky to just miss out by seconds and surely the killer hill in the final half mile had something to do with it. Mike’s been injured for some time now but has managed to keep fit through triathlon training and so kindly used the race as an opportunity to pace Sue, who did wonderfully, taking 6 minutes off her previous best. Cheryl Jones got another half PB with an excellent 2.07, while training partner Bev Goodson found it harder work but still managed a course PB with a very creditable 2.17. Val Blair ran strongly for 2.26.
Greater Manchester Marathon- Sunday 28 April 2013
Deestriders Craig Davies and Jay Jennions, supported by club members Bev Goodson (who kindly drove) and Cheryl Jones, together with Helsby Running Club’s Helen Owens, travelled to Manchester to take part in this hugely popular event, akin to the London marathon on a smaller scale in terms of the depth of organisation and support throughout. The course was flat and fast as promised, the weather was excellent- cool, dry and though fairly windy, the wind helped more on the return leg when it was really needed. Boston was remembered on the start line with a 26 second silence, followed by 26 seconds of applause.
Craig, a hugely impressive newcomer to Deestriders, had not actually had much success at the 26.2 mile distance to date, in particular struggling injured to a demoralising 3.34 in the Chester marathon last October. However, his subsequent performances at the shorter distances, which quickly established him as one of the club’s top performers, indicated sub-3 potential and he trained for a sub-2.55. He was rewarded for his dedicated training, overcoming his distance demons with a stunning 2.53, thanks to close splits marred only by a stitch in the final stages, which he managed to overcome to finish strongly.
Border League runner-up Jay Jennions already had a marathon PB of 3.09 (London 2011), but her most recent attempt, also at Chester 2012, did not end well (3.18) and having entered the race at fairly short notice, her training was more concentrated than it had been, but she played it beautifully, going through halfway in a relatively conservative 1.33, which enabled her to stay strong right to the end, overtaking many in the closing stages for a big PB of 3.06. Helen, who had driven Craig and Jay to the Wilmslow Half in March when snow in Flintshire made travel for them impossible and as such earned herself a ride in their club’s car for this event, had trained incredibly hard for the marathon, despite illness and injury along the way. She looked poised to go under 3.45 but unfortunately was unwell on the day and as such struggled. Nevertheless she showed exceeding determination to finish in an excellent 3.52, breaking her previous PB by two minutes.