At the end of August runABC North spoke to Chris Livesey ahead of last Sunday's first running of the re-vamped JD Gyms City of Preston 10K. The former GB international was as excited to be part of his office team - the PAR group were fielding 11 runners - as he was at the prospect of a podium place.
However the man who now runs for Salford Harriers clearly had something to prove at work. He led a field of 1500 from the start on Market Street through autumnal Avenham Park and on to take in some memorable countryside scenery around the River Ribble before returning via the park to the city centre where the Mayor of Preston Trevor Hart was at the finish line to clap and high five runners.
Robert Affleck was in close attendance in the first half of the race but Livesey pulled away in the later stages to finish on 33:38 with Affleck second (34:06) and Ben Swarbrick (35:57) third.
Kirsty Longley followed up her recent success at the City of Salford 10K with first place in the women's race (and fifth overall) in a time of 36:28. Lytham Road Runner Liz Abbott took second (37:23) with Victoria Mousley third in 40:08.
The PAR Group team won the Business Trophy with Livesey, Andrew Rogers and Stephen Bennett, who both ran under 40 minutes, the counters. Local clubs, Preston Harriers (male) and Red Rose Runners (female) claimed the main club prizes.
Blogger Sultana Ahmed looked fresh at the end of her first 10k as she finished in a chip time of 1:13:33. The mid-point runner clocked 57:25 and the field closed on 1:59:04.
The City of Preston 10K looked set to disappear from the race calendar 12 months ago when the previous race organiser stepped down. However leading North-West race organiser Sports Tours International took up the reins.
Sports Tours' Kevin Harmer said: “We are delighted with how the event went, we’ve had nothing but positive comments from runners and spectators alike. It's been a year preparing for this one day, but with the help of Preston City Council and a number of other key partners and sponsors it came together perfectly. The volunteers and spectators from the local area were also a real credit to the city and we applaud them as much as we do all of the runners."
Danny Petricco, manager of JD Gyms Preston said “The JD Gyms City of Preston 10K was a fantastic event and we are proud to sponsor such a successful race day. It was great to see so many people, including many JD Gyms Preston members, run on the day and we look forward to welcoming participants into the gym with their free 7 day pass!"
Check out the full City of Preston 10K results at run ABC North race listing.
Women's race winner at Kirsty Longley shares a joke with the Mayor