Lions battle the elements to record personal bests in Manchester marathon

THE Greater Manchester Marathon returned after a 10 year absence and around 4,500 runners took to the streets and countryside around Trafford.

The weather was again the main story with the runners battered by strong winds and freezing rain and the first aiders busy treating many for hypothermia.

However, there were still some amazing performances, the race being won by Dave Norman from Altincham in 2hrs 24mins and 46 secs. Four Stainland Lions runners battled the conditions well and amazingly all recorded PBs, Richard Hand had an excellent run despite feeling the onset of hypothermia in the later stages finishing in 131st position overall in 3:06:04, Sarah Greenwood following in 3:28:09, Jimmy Smith 3:33:57 and Janet Carter also in 4:12:48.

Five Halifax Harriers also braved the elements and posted some remarkable results in the circumstances as everyone beat four hours with Steve Sladdin taking part in his first marathon posting an unbelievable 3:17:00. Andy Haslam ran 3:24:40, Tristan Kent 3:31:02, Raymond Hall 3:54:50 and Luke Meleschko 3:56:36 completed the quintet.

It was much the same story for the Ravenscar Half Marathon - a challenging off road half marathon with 1,750ft of climb. It follows the coastal paths on an up and down course with and tracks through woodland. Stainland’s Richard Brown recorded an excellent 1hr 50min despite the best attempts of the weather to blow the runners into the sea.

STAINLAND’S Steve and Sue Shepherd chose the only race to escape the weather by entering the Hawkshead trail challenge which was fortunately held on the Saturday in more favourable conditions.

Sue finished the tough course in 2hrs 17mins and 44secs, just ahead of husband Steve in 2:18:08.