Super Steve the Hat-Trick Hero

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The holiday season normally makes for a quiet time on the racing front at St Helens Tri but  a few weekly staples plus some new ventures far and wide did their job in keeping the scoreboard ticking over as the calendar turned to August. Indeed it was on the first day of the month that Chris Green scored one of the club’s best results all year at the Tuesday night time trial. These events have never been more competitive (indeed there have been weeks when the top 10 all went under 22 minutes) but Chris recorded a 22:34 which was less than ten seconds away from his season’s best time and also rid him for eighth. Richard Seville tackled the Capernwray midweek triathlon hosted by Epic Events and gained ground throughout the event, finishing with a particularly impressive run split to place 21st.

The running stated two days early for once as club reporter Robert Chesters made the trip to Leek Cricket Club for the final round of the North Staffordshire multi terrain series. These races are held on most Thursdays during the summer months and comprise a variety of courses held on tarmac, grass, mud and even a bit of fell running. In addition to taking part in the race I was also the subject of the Sportrait series being developed by local photographer Mick Hall, who also appears at many races closer to St Helens. Therefore the best course of action would be not to fall over and cover oneself in mud before the cameraman spotted me, but that was easy to say. Rather more difficult to carry out, especially as the first hill went on for over five minutes into the Staffordshire moorlands. In fact this was just as difficult as the run stage of last year’s Howgills Triathlon (which itself is taking place this coming Saturday) but it was actually the greasy descents that caused me most trouble, and not just the one where I lost where the yellow arrows were and ended up having to make a U-turn! However, a short steep uphill followed by flat hard packed mud in the final mile was more to my liking and I crossed the line 16th in a time of 35:11, before enjoying a post race drink in the cricket club bar while watching the end of season prize presentation. Look out for this series in 2018, as nine events are planned across the area and they should serve as a useful strength building exercise for the cross country season.

The Saturday Parkruns brought plenty of cheer on home soil as Chris Murphy responded to the recent upturn in form from Joseph Duffy as he led his teammate home by just under half a minute. However, Kevin Dunbar stole the show at the St Helens event as he p,aced third at Victoria Park, all the more impressive at the beginning of one of his pre determined blocks of endurance training. Others travelled a little further with Charlie and Oliver Murphy finishing about three minutes apart at the Omagh Parkrun in Northern Ireland while Reuben and Connie Wilson marked their trip to Wales with an outing at the Penrhyn Parkrun, where Reuben managed to beat the 30 minutes mark very convincingly.
The club’s focus shifted south and east the following morning as the Anglian Water Standard Distance Triathlon took place featuring two of our athletes who have qualified for the Rotterdam ETU Championships. Myka Heard had an impressive race as she set a new swim PB and placed fifth in her age category. On many other occasions that would be the big story of the day but Steve Williams continued his remarkable run of victories in the M65 age division as he recovered from losing ground in the water to put nine minutes between himself and his nearest challenger and he simply confirmed his superiority with a strong final stage to convincingly win his third race in a row, capping off another successful weekend where he and Myka joined Chris Green and Kevin Dunbar at the top table. Next week’s events include the Howgills Triathlon featuring the aforementioned fell run to finish and the City of Preston 10 and 5 mile road races, events for which entries are still open at the time of writing.

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