And so amidst murky skies and squally showers, it arrived; the club’s second flagship event of the autumn as the Rainford 10k rolled around once again. It was six years to the day since the first running of the event and it continues to attract runners from beginner to England standard every year, as it pays tribute to local runner George Faulkner who was tragically killed while out running in 2012. Once again runners from far and wide made the trip to Rainford High Technology College to participate, but local talent would come out on top. In keeping with the “runners of all abilities” theme Matt Crehan did what he has done so many times before and took a resounding win for local club St Helens Striders in a new course record of 32:47; his contribution to the local running scene including his shop Made to Run is much valued by members of St Helens Tri. For the host club, Joseph Dennett, who has quietly worked his way through the ranks over the past few years, came from nowhere to lead his teammates home with 14th place overall and a time of 41:06. After Joseph came a sequence of mad scrambles to beat a particular “minute mark” beginning with Mike Gregory going two seconds under the 44:30 mark, while Chris Murphy beat his pre-race 46 minute target by just five seconds with a very driven sprint out of Ivy Lane. Peter Rawlinson was aiming for sub-50 on the back of a somewhat disrupted summer of running but he needn’t have worried too much as he handled the mixed terrain with aplomb and finished in the top 75 recording a 48:36. Lee Brownhill hasn’t been at the club as long as the likes of Joseph and Peter but he made his mark here, sneaking into the top 100 with a 50:26. Helen Curran has enjoyed a productive first season with the club particularly in sprint triathlons, but here she showed some good running form in the later stages as she put in a dash for the line and finished in 57:33, around ten seconds shy of team Costello (Dermot and his daughter Violet) who made an instant impression in her first ever 10k. A special mention must go to Sue King, who has been a most enthusiastic member of the Friday track run session team and ran the fun run with her children before the main event. Here, she was raising money for charity and amidst the morning gloom was immediately recognisable in blue and orange, and she recorded a result to back it up as she finished in a time of 1:00:53.
So plenty of winners, but full credit must go to Terry Bates and the BeUrBest team for once again staging an impeccably organised event which just gets better every year. In addition, thanks must go to the marshals, registration desk volunteers and catering team (including Marie Leahy’s family baking team) who put so much effort into making the day so memorable. Next year’s race is provisionally scheduled for October 4th, here’s to an even better event in 2020!