The first weekend of the calendar year is often characterised by the Central Lancs New Year’s Half Marathon and the Wirral Way Trail Half, and once again it provided a welcome curtain raiser for St Helens Tri members looking for a benchmark to set themselves up for the half and full Ironman races ahead. On the Fylde Kevin Dunbar led the way as he placed 47th in a time of 1:34:05 while Helen Broderick only missed out on a sub 2 hour time by a matter of seconds, nonetheless finishing comfortably inside the top 250.
Over on the Wirral three club members raced the ever popular multi terrain course taking in much of the coastal trails on the peninsula. First home for the club was Azzam Taktak whose experience of Ironman Barcelona must have made the 13.1 miles feel like a sprint; he finished in just over 1 hour 55 minutes while David Leigh recorded 2:17:12 just 17 seconds ahead of Nick Hall, with all three making the top 250 and capping off a good first weekend of the 2020s for St Helens Tri. Next week’s signature event is the fourth round of the Manchester Cross Country League at Tatton Park in Knutsford, the series’ first visit to the National Trust site, with the finale a month later at Heaton Park in Prestwich.