Hallowe’en half-marathon produces times so good they’re almost scary!

MILES OF SMILES -- Gainsborough Strider Miia Wren is all smiles as she clocks a personal-best time by a massive 13 minutes in the Worksop Hallowe'en Half-Marathon.
MILES OF SMILES -- Gainsborough Strider Miia Wren is all smiles as she clocks a personal-best time by a massive 13 minutes in the Worksop Hallowe'en Half-Marathon.

A half-marathon to mark Hallowe’en yielded an array of best times by Gainsborough Striders that were so good they could almost be described as scary!

Four personal-bests (PB) and two seasonal-bests were clocked among the ten Striders taking part in the Worksop Hallowe’en Half-Marathon, all adding up to a combined improvement in times of 24 minutes.

Pick of the bunch was Miaa Wren, who carved a massive 13 minutes, equivalent to one minute per mile, off her previous best as she came home in one hour, 54.10 minutes.

Improvements of six minutes and four minutes were recorded by Stephen Toward (1:47.47) and Craig Williamson (1:42.49) respectively, while the other PB came from Wayne Greenfield, who was the first Strider home in 1:23.56.

Meanwhile Gary Atkinson (1:42.14) and Mick Wood (1:57.38) secured their best times of 2015, and Lee Fenlon was delighted with his 1:40.47, considering it was his first competitive run after a summer of recuperation.

Joann Proctor was also chuffed with her time of 1:50.36 in her first run in Striders colours, while Hanna Bennett’s time of 1:54.10 was only 16 seconds (about 50 metres) shy of her PB.

The only disappointment of the race saw Matt Huteson succumb to illness after storming through the first 10k in 36 minutes. He eventually struggled over the line in 1:38.36.

Elsewhere, on a weekend of wonderful autumnal weather that brought out a swarm of Striders runners, pride of place went to Jane Benson, who tackled the demanding Snowdonia Marathon, which involves strenuous climbs, many on unsuitable paths. Before the race, she announced it would be a ‘recovery run’ after her winning effort in the Thames 184-Mile Ultra-Marathon, so a time of just under four-and-a-half hours was considered to be mission accomplished.

Three PBs were clocked by Striders in the Brigg Poppy 10k, with Craig Ward coming home in 41.36 minutes, Simon Hunt in 41.56 and Sam Garrison in 56.27. Sian Turner’s debut for the club saw her cross the finish line in 59.27, while other times included 41.56 for Phil Marsland, 45.52 for Angela Boyle and 49.07 for Shaun Boyle.

Junior Striders took the plaudits at the latest Saturday Parkruns, most notably Jasper Humphries, who registered a PB of 21.50 minutes at Penrith in Cumbria.

At the Gainsborough event, Archie Proctor (29.03) and Chezney Kelsey (36.22) recorded their fastest runs, while Grace Housham, the youngest competitor by some years, completed her first parkrun in a time of 41.54.

Only one senior Strider, Marcus Joy, achieved a parkrun PB, clocking a fine 22.14 at the Clumber Park event, although Kevin Housham gave it a good go, just missing his by nine seconds.

The club’s next junior training session will start from Trent Valley Academy at 5.30 pm on Tuesday. The next senior sessions are from DW Sport in Marshall’s Yard at 7.15 pm on Tuesday and from Queen Elizabeth High School at 6.30 pm on Thursday. New runners, beginners or experienced, are welcome to join in, but please remember to wear high-visibility clothes.