St Helens Tri rounded out the decade with an assortment of festive running races close to home, in two different ways. The Murphy family made the trip to the annual Boxing Day 5 Mile Road Race at Greencastle in Northern Ireland. The trio were closely matched early on, but this time Oliver stole the show as he pulled away towards the end to duck under the 38 minute mark. Chris finished in 38:03 while Claire, who is odds on to take the club cross country championship, was rewarded with a 40:04 at the end of a long hard season. Closer to home, Diane Taktak’s Tour of the North West concluded at the Boxing Day 10k at Worden Park Leyland where she finished the classic course in under 70 minutes, a fine effort in the awful weather.
Conditions were rather better for Mark Livingston at the final signature event of 2019, the Ribble Valley 10k in Clitheroe. This ever popular race attracts an elite field every year and the first runners home regularly beat 30 or even 29 minutes, indeed this year the top two broke the existing course record. Mark has often been part of a family team this year supporting his son Ben on the comeback trail but Mark can still more than hold his own and here he was in his element, finishing the race in a time of 46:16 placing him well in the top half of the field, and round off an amazing five years where St Helens Tri defend the second half of the decade with some never to be forgotten occasions, from the running of the first ever St Helens Triathlon in September 2015, to Steve Williams’ first European Championship in July 2018, and then the mother of them all when Sarah Taktak completed Ironman UK 12 months later. It’s been a memorable ride, and long may it continue!