Bumper field took part in Hartlepool race

The start of the ten-mile road race.
The start of the ten-mile road race.

The weather might not have been the greatest but it didn’t stop Bill Cain from smashing a Hartlepool record.

He was first home in the annual Hartlepool Mail ten-mile road race in 1983. Bill did it in an impressive time of 47 minutes and 55 seconds and finished 47 seconds ahead of the 193-strong field.

Typical British Easter weather conspired against competitors in the 16th Mail ten-mile road race but the worst of it held off for the duration of the race

Hartlepool Mail reporter, 1983

Judy Coad, the wife of the Mail’s general manager Tony Coad, set the runners on their way and the Mail reporter at the time said: “Cain was in no mood for hanging round.”

In fact, he was one of three Elswick Harriers in the top nine which helped them win the Mail team trophy with Hartlepool’s Burn Road Harriers A team in ninth.

Among the top finishers for Hartlepool athletes were Tony Connolly, Ian Cook and Mike Frostick.

That year, there was a separate race for women for the first time and it was held over a five-mile course. The Mail report said it “proved very popular and no less exciting than the men’s race.”

Sheila Glass won the race and the top Hartlepool finishers included Joanne Newbury, Pat Connolly and Chris Frostick.

Did you take part in the Mail road races and what are your memories of it? Get in touch and tell us more.

Or is there another Hartlepool sporting event from the 1980s you would like us to reminisce upon?

Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk