Runaway success

SIDE BY SIDE: Sunday's Buxton Half Marathon winner Mark Powell (above right) pictured alongside runner-up John Morrissey as the pair pass the Duke of York in Burbage. Photo: Mark Fitzgerald.

SIDE BY SIDE: Sunday's Buxton Half Marathon winner Mark Powell (above right) pictured alongside runner-up John Morrissey as the pair pass the Duke of York in Burbage. Photo: Mark Fitzgerald.

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ONE OF the largest field of runners for many years lined up to take part in last Sunday’s 30th Buxton Half Marathon.

Organisers have hailed the success of the 13.1-mile race, labelled as one of the toughest half marathons and also one of the most scenic.

Race Director Simon Moorhouse said: “Everything went swimmingly. Apart from the strong wind, we had almost perfect conditions.

“We had 432 entries for the race and 368 finishers. Last year we had 270 finishers. Certainly, this year was probably the largest turnout we have had since its hey-day in the 1980s, and plus it was our 30th year. It just seems to continue going from strength to strength.”

Overcast and windy conditions greeted the runners who took part, with a strong head wind affecting the race times, meaning local runner Andy Wilton’s course record of 01:10:38 from 1995 still remained.

Mark Powell, from Tipton Harriers, was first across the finish line, in a time of 01:15:30, for his second win in the last three years.

He finished nearly two minutes ahead of John Morrissey, from Wigan Phoenix, while James Scott-Buckley, from Stockport Harriers, finished third. The first female runner to finish was Sarah Lomas, from Stockport Harriers, in a time of 01:29:00, closely followed by Rebecca Harrison from Cheadle and Jennifer Hopes, also from Stockport, in third.

Darren Hawkins, for Buxton & District Athletic Club, had a fine run to clinch 22nd place in 01:28:51 and also secure the prize for the first local runner to finish. Leanne Bolton won the first lady prize, while Stockport Harriers won the men’s team prize and Cheadle took the honours in the ladies team category.

Mr Moorhouse added: “I would like to thank race sponsors Lomas Distribution for their continued generous support, and also the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton Water, Buxton Mountain Rescue Team, Buxton Police, St John’s Ambulance, Sweatshop, Clear Black Wine Company, and all who helped marshal and assist on what was another hugely enjoyable and successful event.”

Results: 1st, Mark Powell, Tipton Harriers, 1:15.30; 2nd, John Morrissey, Wigan Phoenix, 1:17.03; 3rd, James Scott-Buckley, Stockport Harriers, 1:17.32; 4th, Kev Lilley, Sheffield RC, 1:19.13; 5th, Andrew Pead, Goyt Valley Striders, 1:20:57; 6th, Malcolm Fowler, Wilmslow, 1:21:35; 7th, Gareth Briggs, Staffs Moorlands 1:23.21; 8th, James Corden, Stockport, 1:23:53; 9th, Mike Nolan, Dark Peak, 1:24.33; 10th, Kelvin Amos, Staffs Moorlands, 1:24.50. Selected Buxton AC runners: 22nd, Darren Hawkins, 1:28:51; 32nd, Steve Lee, 1:32:31; 44th, Nigel Critchlow, 1:34:25; 58th, Jason Tatton, 1:35.46.