Striders follow in the footsteps of Brendan Foster

Husband-and-wife duo David and Helen Sweeting crossing the line together at the end of the Ferriby Ten-Mile Race.
Husband-and-wife duo David and Helen Sweeting crossing the line together at the end of the Ferriby Ten-Mile Race.

Eighteen runners popped over the River Humber to follow in the footsteps of the great Brendan Foster in the first big outing of the new year for the Gainsborough and Morton Striders athletics club.

The Ferriby Ten-Mile Race is one of the oldest events in the calendar, having first been run back in 1954. Since then, it has attracted many top runners, including Olympic medallist and recently retired BBC TV athletics commentator Foster, who set the course record of 48.01 minutes back in 1980.

Not surprisingly, no-one has come close to breaking that time since, but this year’s winner did set the fastest time in the country this year so far, at 52.15.

Jordan Skelly was the first Strider to finish, in a personal best (PB) 57.00, which earned him a highly respectable fifth place and catapulted him to second in the club’s all-time records.

Not for the first time, Lorna Allison was the first lady Strider across the line, returning to Gainsborough with yet another trophy as her 71.30 time gave her top spot in the over-40 veterans’ category. It was also quick enough to have her name installed as the quickest ever lady Strider in that age group.

A further eight runners obtained PB times, with Helen Sweeting’s 83.47 more than 11 minutes quicker than her first attempt. Mark Cutts (75.51) improved by eight minutes, while James Croft (62.44) and Craig Williamson (74.52) were both six minutes faster. The remaining PBs were from Wayne Greenfield (62.13), Carl Currie (62.41), Hanna Bennett (81.00) and Dan Gleave (82.08).

Three runners had their first race at the distance. Aaron Hill finished in 63.27, while Lauren Staves was delighted to learn that her time of 74.46 was the fastest ever by a junior Strider. Fellow junior Morgan Cutts (95.37) had a much harder time but, like many before him, he will have learned much on his debut.

Other Strider times came from: Mark Rodgers (64.53), Phil Marsland (71.12), Simon Hunt (72.04), Glenn Peniston (80.53) and David Sweeting (83.40). With the exception of Marsland, these runners were using the race as part of their training schedules for upcoming marathons.