The South Cheshire 20 remains a ‘must do’ race for runners preparing for an autumn marathon. However, it is a challenge rather than a warm up…
Sunday's (4 September) race lived up to its reputation as an ideal testing ground for the big day. With a 9.30am start from Shavington Sports Centre in Crewe, this perennial favourite, there are very few races at this distance, attracted 169 participants wanting a good 20 miles in their legs.
The field included a good turnout from the host club, South Cheshire Harriers along with others from Yorkshire and the North West. Many of these used the race as part of their training schedules for Chester and Yorkshire marathons whereas those from neighbouring Staffordshire focused on gaining points. These are vital for age group rankings in the North Staffs Road Running Association (NSRRA) and this race is one of 20 in their programme.
This event started and finished at the Sports Centre, taking runners along hilly country lanes that would determine if their fitness levels and resolve were marathon-ready! A 4-hour time limit also acted as an incentive.
Jason Cherriman of Leeds City AC was first across the line in 1:52:11. This is excellent preparation for Toronto Marathon in which he will be representing England. Ben Gamble of Tipton Harriers was second in 1:52:21 with Martin Green of North Wales Road Runners third in 2:02:13.
Zoe McLennan of Chester Tri Club won the women’s race in 2:13:19. Gemma Hargraves of Almost Athletes was second in 2:16:30 with Victoria Walls of Spectrum Striders third in 2:21:43.
A percentage of the proceeds donated to the race’s official charity, CS Basics