Locke Park 20 Miler - 15/03/15
Andy Pearson receiving his award from Harry Gamble-Thompson
Lyne Valentine V60 2nd Aged Graded Prize winner
Report by Dave Aspin
Around 130 runners converged on Locke Park Redcar for the 2nd running of the Locke Park 20 mile race hosted by New Marske Harriers AC. Following the success of last year’s race, it was a sell out again with runners from all over the North East and beyond attending. Whilst running 20 one mile laps of a park might not be everybody’s cup of tea, those that came thoroughly enjoyed it. With what is probably unique for a 20 mile race, the chip timing provided mile splits and average mile pace at the end of every lap. The race provides an ideal training run for athletes competing in spring marathons with many of the competitors aiming to compete in the upcoming Manchester and London Marathons.
This year the race attracted GB International and Sunderland Stroller Aly Dixon using the race as part of her 2015 preparation. Fresh from training in Kenya, Aly jumped to the top of this year’s UK 10K rankings with a 32:29 at last week’s Trafford 10K.
The race was led from start to finish by New Marske’s Shaun O’Grady winning in a time of 1:55:56 with club colleague Andrew Pearson picking up 2nd, 158:05, overtaking 3rd place Aly Dixon 1:59:36 in the closing stages. 3rd male was Quakers Michael Joyeux (2:00:31) who makes a habit of following Aly home in races. 2nd lady was last year’s winner Hannah Oldroyd (2:14:18) in a time 6 seconds faster than year with Alnwick Harriers Johanna Gascoigne-Owens 3rd lady in 2:14:43.
The race prizes were awarded in order of age grading to put all competitors on a level playing field, regardless of age or gender. 1st prize went to Aly Dixon, 2nd to Vet60 Lyne Valentine also of Sunderland Strollers and 3rd to Andy Pearson with first over the line Shaun O’Grady picking up 4th.
Thanks must also be given to all the volunteers who gave up their Sunday to marshal the race, with the competitors describing them as ‘amazing’ on the race feedback blog.
The event also raised in the region of £500 for the Friends of Locke Park which is reinvested in the park facilities for the benefit of all users.
Thanks to everyone who added to the event - runners, marshals, lap counters, the ladies in bowls club, set up team, announcer & photographer. Thanks to the weather forecasters for getting it wrong - not a drop of rain! Apart for a slightly strong breeze the running conditions were near perfect and not too cold for those standing about. Most things went to plan but there are some lessons to be taken on board. If you have a comment please feel free to leave feedback.
We didn't ask anyone to drop out - but thanks to Steven King for seeing the light! You will have heard about Spen 20 - I have sympathy with both sides! For some of our races we advertise a time limit but have never enforced it. As organisers we have a duty of care to both runners and volunteer helpers and its not always easy to strike the right balance.