Last Sunday, members of Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers turned out in force against the elements racing in events from from 10 miles to 55 miles.
Locke Park 20 mile is a 20-lap run around the park, with all laps of one mile distance.
Seven Harriers completed the full 20 miles with Phil Thompson coming home first in 2 hours and 44 minutes.
This was a great start to the team and next in was Simon Lawlor in 2hrs 53 mins.
The weather was windy, however, because of the loop it was against them at times, and worked in their favour at times.
Chris Sharpe was next home in 3hrs 9 minutes, having never attempted anything further than a half marathon before.
Chris did say ‘never again’ at the end, however he is very capable of stepping up to a marathon distance.
Graeme Surtees hit a wall well into his run but battled on well to cross the finish line in 3hrs 34 mins, followed by Cary Surtees in 3hrs and 45 minutes. Julie McGrath completed the team in 3 hrs 50 minutes.
A 100 miles further away, three Harriers took on Hull 20 mile road race which is a slightly undulating route through the back roads of Hull. The wind was not kind and due to the route, the three girls were very exposed between miles 12 and 20 which meant that they had to run into winds of 19 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 30mph. Digging deep,
Jo Beddow found the finish line in 2hrs 54 mins followed by Claire Earle in 3hrs 07 minutes.
This sets Claire up fantastically for the London Marathon on April 23.
Jan Naisbitt was overwhelmed at the finish line as she had suffered a strong dose of flu in the fortnight build up to the race and this had impaired her training immensley.
Jan previously had never attempted a run over the half marathon distance and did amazingly well to finish in 3hrs and 14mins on a challenging route on a challenging day. Both girls being capable of sub 3hrs in the right conditions.
Paul Wilson lead out more Harriers in Thirsk across a 10 mile route.
Paul again is training for the London Marathon and gained a well deserved personal best over 10m, finishing in 55 mins 55 secs.
Bryan Astill was next over the line in 70:44 and it is great to see Bryan back racing himself after giving so much of his time to coaching over the years.
Bill Hornby had a great run in 73:45 and Carl Marchant gained a personal best in his vet category in 75:14.
Two more runners took on the serious challenge of the Hardmoors 55 miler.
This is a brutal course in parts and with the addition of the windy weather, this proved to be a great test of strength and determination.
Andrew Lilley completed the gruelling task in 11 hours and 34 minutes with his 3-year old-son waving him on along the route.
Stuart Whittaker completed the 55 miles in 13 hours and 16 minutes which sets him up very well for his next task – the Hardmoors 110 miler.
Stuart is running this race to raise money for the Bubble Foundation and has trained hard for these events.