This weekend saw the daddy of them all – the mighty London Marathon, with a dozen Lions among the 42,000 runners lining up alongside some of the top names in international marathon running. It was a great weekend for the club, with Simon Rawnsley, Gerry Banham and Judith Greenwood all setting new club records in their respective age categories and the amazing Rushworth family clocking up a club first – all four members of the family have now run a marathon! But before all that, this...
Bunny Run Relays and Series Results
It was another fine evening on Penistone Hill for the final event in this year’s Bunny Run series. It dropped a little cool as the sun went down, with 69 teams lining up to compete in the Bunny Relays. The Lions fielded three teams - the “A Team” of Jim Harris, Andrew Laird Boldy and James Penson, the “A Star Team” of Leon Severn, Richard Crombie and Dan Marsden and “The Lonesome Bun” – the unstoppable Aileen Baldwin running all three legs of the relays on her own! Never mind Lonesome Bunny, she’s more like the Duracell Bunny. After the race, the series results were announced, and there were no fewer than three trips to the winners’ enclosure for Aileen – 3rd in the relay race solo category, 10th woman overall for the series and F60 series outright winner. Aileen lost count of her prizes in the end, but her total Easter egg haul for the series was somewhere north of fifteen. James Penson was 3rd M40 for the series. Jim Harris said afterwards: “It was a proper Stainland Lions team effort; Aileen won all the Easter eggs and the rest of us helped her eat them.” The evening ended with a chocolate throw out at the pub. Not quite sure what this is but clearly it can’t be a bad thing!
Roger Colson 5K, Cowm Reservoir
This week’s race, a counter in the Lions main club championship, saw the runners battling headwinds as an evening squall blew in across the reservoir. Despite this, both Colin Duffield and Richard Brewster managed to improve on their times set at last week’s race over the same course. Simon Rawnsley was first Lion, in his final sharpener before the London Marathon. David Farrar was 1st M55, Heather Moffat 1st F45 and Jan King 1st M65. Sue Cash was 1st (and on closer inspection only) F50.
Results: Simon Rawnsley 20:45, David Farrar 21:23, Steve Hallam 22:22, Lance Parker 22:45, Colin Duffield 23:38, Heather Moffat 24:29, Jan King 24:34, Richard Brewster 25:10, Sue Cash 27:04
Madrid 10K and Half Marathon
Five Lions headed to Spain for the Madrid 10K and Half Marathon. Dick Spendlove took on the Madrid 10K which started at 8am while it was still nice and cool. He ran fantastically well to finish 2nd M70. The remaining four Lions tackled the half marathon, one of the top races of its kind in Europe, with great crowds and, according to the organisers, “a running experience full of tradition, modernity and dynamic environment”. Darren Reece was first Lion, and not even the fierce Spanish sun could tempt him to run without his trademark base layer.
Results (10K): Dick Spendlove 48:38
Results: (Half Marathon): Darren Reece 1:24:25, Richard Crombie 1:41:51, Phil Richards 2:29:01, Melissa Vincent 2:29:02
The Three Peaks Fell Race
Familiar to most people as a walking challenge, the Three Peaks is also one of the oldest and most famous fell races in Britain. Imagine running a marathon not through city streets but over Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Leon Severn was first Lion, battling severe weather and finishing in just over 4½ hours. David Culpan did well to finish at all, after suffering a fall early on and struggling to get back going again. The runners were pleased to receive support on the course from their fellow Lions Ben Carter who was on hand as part of the race sweeping team and Aileen Baldwin.
Results: Leon Severn 4:38:36, Martin O'Brien 5:11:14, David Culpan 5:16:56, John Bassinder 5:17:00
Abraham’s Tea Room Round
By now you may be asking, that’s all very well but what has James Penson been up to? Never one to let a weekend go by without a huge race of some sort, James completed the 30-mile Abraham’s Tea Room Round on Saturday. This is a fell running challenge to run over of all the summits that can be seen from the Abraham’s Tea Room café window in George Fisher in Keswick. James completed the anticlockwise version of the challenge in unpleasant weather in 10 hours 45 minutes.
Blackpool Half Marathon
Two Lions competed in the Blackpool Half Marathon on Sunday. Billed as ideal for PB chasers and “people who didn't get into the London Marathon”, the race is run over a flat one lap route which includes Blackpool Promenade and all the top landmarks and tourist spots.
Results: Gina Anderson-Keeble 1:59:50, Ally Audsley 2:00:33
It was a record-breaking London Marathon this year, the busiest ever, with over 42,000 runners (exceeding even the attendance record of Huddersfield parkrun). The logistics are mind-boggling. There were over 1,000 marshalls needed at the start line alone! The Lions had twelve fabulous runners in the race, and between them they clocked up some outstanding achievements
· Stephen Hall took 12 minutes off his 2018 time to finish first Lion in a new personal best time of 2:44:18
· Simon Rawnsley took an improbable 23 minutes off his 2018 time to set a new M50 club record by just two seconds
· Gerry Banham, who can’t set foot outside his front door at the moment without breaking a club record, set a new M60 record and recorded a new personal best time by over 3 minutes. Fantastic work by Gerry, to be running his best times in his sixties! He must have sold his soul to the devil.
· The amazing Judith Greenwood set a new F70 club record. Judith was running her sixth marathon alongside the equally amazing Lesley Henderson, and both women could be spotted a mile off on the television coverage with their bright pink hair as they kept pace with decades-younger runners
· Emma Forester Thompson and Wendy Paulson both ran personal bests
· Andrew Falkingbridge carried club mascot Leo the Lion the whole way round the route
· Will Rushworth ran his debut marathon and in the process completed the family set of marathons. Dad David was first off the mark, running London in 2015, Will’s brother Cameron was off next, completing his at York in 2016, and Mum Ginny ran London last year. Will’s time of 3:43:19 is just one second faster than Cameron’s York time. Could this be the fittest family in Calderdale?
The club is enormously proud of each and every one of its marathon runners and very grateful to coaches Mark Pigford, Tanya Blake and Graham Robertshaw for all their help in preparing the runners for their big day.
Results: Stephen Hall 2:44:18, Jamie Westwood 2:54:00, Simon Rawnsley 3:02:13, Maria Harron 3:28:02, Emma Forester Thompson 3:32:23, Gerry Banham 3:37:31, Will Rushworth 3:43:19, Gail Schofield 4:28:50, Wendy Paulson 5:27:29, Leo the Lion assisted by Andrew Falkingbridge 5:28:20, Lesley Henderson 5:40:26, Judith Greenwood 5:42:48