Catching Fire in Chorley, Clumber Park and Cathedral City

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The hottest Bank Holiday on record made for some very tough going but St Helens Tri still managed to record three memorable results in two local races and a modern classic rearranged from the “Beast from the East” winter. With Che Heard’s top 10 finish in the Wednesday evening time trial at Rainford being the only notable early doors race result attentions soon turned to the Liverpool Festival of Running, the Chorley junior duathlon and the Clumber Park English championship duathlon, three events with not a single swimming pool to cool down in on such a hot weekend! First off the starting line were the competitors at the Chorley race where the club had Harriet King competing in the TriStar youth race. Harriet’s experience of the Litherland circuit league proved vital as she carved out a blisteringly fast bike split and had enough in hand on the final run to edge a three way battle for the final podium spot. Meanwhile the ever inspirational Stephen Williams made the long trip south and east to Clumber Park for an English Championship qualifier. This event was due to be held in March but in keeping with a winter where snow and 50mph winds always seemed to arrive on race days it was one of many events rescheduled and the irony of now having to race in conditions more akin to Ironman would not have been lost on the competitors but Stephen was more than up to the task, as he progressed from sixth in his age group after the first run to launch into an outstandingly fast bike segment. This lifted him to second entering the final run stage where he stayed all the way to the finish, completing the course in a time of 1:13:45.

The streets of Liverpool were awash with office parties, music fans heading to Sound City and people heading to the Liverpool Vegan Fair but for thousands of hardened runners it was also race day at the Mersey Races Liverpool Spring 10k with a new route passing many of the city’s iconic landmarks including the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Philharmonic Hall. Fresh from his stunning run at the London Marathon, Jordan Clarke used his experience of running rather further than 6.2 miles in tropical conditions to produce one of the fastest 10k performances in club history as he reached Sefton Park in an incredible 37:22 less than seven minutes behind runaway winner Degene Gezimu while it was also a welcome return to form for Chris Levy who put in a dogged shift to complete the course in under 45 minutes; we look forward to watching both members transfer their running speed to the upcoming schedule of multisport events, as while next weekend’s slate is rather sparse in terms of events, the busiest weekend of the year follows with the Slateman, Southport, St Anne’s, Nantwich and Grafman triathlons plus the Liverpool Rock n’ Roll races, not to mention the Great Manchester Run which is always a huge event with over 40,000 entrants but in light of its proximity to 22 May one year on, will be perhaps the most emotionally charged race of the season.

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