As part of the club's centenary celebrations, Stockport Harriers have confirmed a race in memory of their former captain, Len Mullen. Taking place on Sunday, October 9, the Len Mullen Cross Country Race invites runners to tackle the parkland course at Woodbank, Stockport.
Beginning at the athletics track, the route is run mainly over grass and paths suitable for spikes. The course descends to the River Goyt and consists of one lap for ladies (3 miles) and two laps for men (5 miles).
Since its formation, the club has enjoyed an eventful, auspicious, and at times cinematic, history. After the local members of Reddish, Marple, & Davenport Harriers decided to amalgamate in September 1911, the club have simply been known as the Stockport Harriers.
In 1946, club member and Stockport Express reporter David Coleman won the Manchester Mile event at Fallowfield Stadium in a time of 4 minutes and 16 seconds. Another Stockport Harrier, Walter Hesketh, completed a 78-hour run from Edinburgh to London in 1961. Hesketh ran the entire distance of 373-miles in carpet slippers.
The upcoming memorial race will lay tribute to Len Mullen, who sadly died in 2008 from lung cancer. Together with two other Stockport Harriers, he appeared as an extra in the 1981 Oscar winning film Chariots of Fire. In the film's iconic opening scene, Len and fellow Harrier Graham Brooke can be seen running across the beach at St. Andrew's.
In the spirit of the occasion, spectators and officials of the event are encouraged to adopt the 1911 or 1924 dress code of the day. In addition to prizes for the athletes, there will be an award for the most authentic costume.
The women's race will begin at 1.15pm, with the men's starting at 2.00pm. You can register for the event at the club website, with the entry fee priced at £5 for attached athletes and £7 for unattached.