Three Lions impress in Edinburgh

There was a record turnout of 23,000 runners for the Edinburgh Marathon, and whilst glorious sunshine and 20 degrees of heat may have been good for the spectators, it made it tough going for the entrants.

For a trio of Stainland Lions, though, the last few months of hard training proved to have paid off. Phil Tucker led the Lions home in his first marathon with an outstanding run, crossing the line in 50th position and setting a new club record of 2:51:46.

Lee Greenwood had suffered stomach problems but decided to go ahead with the race, and though missing the personal best he had worked hard for, had a good run in the conditions to finish in 3:27:30. Paul McCormick, also in his first ever marathon, underlined his massive improvement in recent months - and showed he had yet more potential by finishing in 3:44:57.

Stainland Lions enjoyed the sight of 44 of their runners on the start line in front of Kirkstall Abbey for the latest round of the Yorkshire Veterans League races.

These events are always well organised and the Stainland contingent included nine Lions who are not yet Vets but were among the many guest runners joining in.

Josh Whiteley, running as a guest, was the first Lion to finish in 34mins,48secs placing him in fourth position overall. Lucy Thompson, also a guest, was the first lady Lion in 39:37.

The first three Lion vets were Jon Collins in 38:08, Mark Pigford 38:21 and Tristan Sheard 38:31. Their first three lady vets were Julie Field 41:53, Amanda Zito 42:28 and Aileen Baldwin 44:16 while Baldwin also took first place in the F60s, Zito was first F45 and Judith Greenwood first F65 in 59:07.

Halifax Harriers’ senior track and field team put in a creditable performance in the league meeting at Sheepmount stadium in Carlisle. The performance was especially notable given the small number of athletes who were able to travel and compete in hot, challenging conditions.

The three ladies managed to claim victories, with Clare Denham winning the shot putt, Claire Ryan taking the long jump and Lorna Gill taking the triple jump. Gill also backed Ryan up by taking the long jump B string event. These successes were backed up by the trio filling a multitude of events and gaining some very valuable points.

The men’s sprint team led the way with victories for Luke Sutcliffe and Tom Frazer in the A and B string 100m with Sutcliffe also taking victory in the B 200m. Keiran Royston backed up his high jump victory with good performances in the 200m and 400m ably backed up by Andy Irvine in the 400m on his return from injury.

Team captains Paul Sutcliffe and Paul Willis filled as many middle distance events as possible with Ben Crowther also putting in a fine performance in the 5000m.

The day was finished off in style with a victory in the 100m relay with Luke Sutcliffe anchoring the team with a stunning finish. The 400m relay team, led off by veteran captain Paul Sutcliffe, chased the eventual winners all the way, as Harriers finished fourth in the match just 17 points adrift.

Fewer Calder Valley Fell Runners than expected turned out for the Saddleworth Fell Race, the latest fixture in the Club Championships.

Carl Coughlan was first Calder Valley member back in 16th place, with Carole Fryer second woman home overall, and first FVet40.

Further afield, Calder Valley runners were in action in the Lake District as Lee Shimwell made an attempt at the Bob Graham Round – 74 miles, 42 peaks, and 28,500ft of ascent in under 24 hours.

With the added pressure of fellow club mate Barbara Lonsdale’s stunning sub-21 hour round, completed just two weeks ago, Shimwell was relieved and delighted to complete the round in 21hours 51min, significantly faster than his target time of just over 23 hours.

Also in the Lake District, new Calder Valley member Holly Page continued her excellent debut season by finishing as second woman home in the Hutton Crag Fell Race. Calder Valley’s Andy Thorpe also had a great run, coming home in eighth place overall.

Off the moors, Calder Valley member and international athlete Helen Fines was awarded the title of ‘Sue Ryder Yorkshire Woman of Achievement in Sport’ at a prestigious event in Leeds.