Anticipation is mounting ahead of the 2018 Tour of Tameside with less than five weeks until the event gets started with the X-Trail 10K on Thursday 14 June in Daisy Nook and Park Bridge Country Parks, Ashton. Re-introduced in 2015 the 'four races in four days' series attracts 1,000s of local and 'not-so-local' runners.
The original Tour of Tameside was launched by Ron Hill in 1986 and became a much loved fixture on the North West racing calendar. Many of the original tourists from 30 years ago have returned to the 21st century version and relished its multi-race format.
One dual generation runner is Nick Langridge, originally from Hyde but now based in Gloucestershire. Nick Langridge told runABC North: "I took up running after an illness and found my way into competitive racing. The Tour seemed like the big challenge so I worked up to it and entered my first one in 1986.
"In 1988, I found a new job in Gloucestershire and joined a local club however I continued to travel up for the Tour week until its demise. My most successful years were the later ones where, in the V45 category, I managed to finish second, third and second in successive years and won three stages in my age group.
"I thought the Tour had finished but heard rumours of its resurrection. I then bumped into Tom Dable of Kenilworth, another Tour enthusiast, as we often meet in the Gloucester Cross Country League where both our clubs compete. He confirmed the Tour was on and that his entry was in for 2016. That persuaded me and soon I was lining up for the first race.
"I found myself near Tony Hillier at the start line, who I hadn't seen since the last 2000 Tour. He turned round and without a 'hello' or 'how are you' said: "Where've you been?" Didn't you know we started last year?' which I thought was great, the spirit's still alive."
Nick Langridge will be again on the start line in 2018 and is looking forward to meeting up with friends old and new.
To whet North West runners appetite for this year's Tour of Tameside, event organiser Sports Tours International will once again be staging the 'Talk of the Tour Evening’, which will take place on Thursday 10 May (6-9pm) at Curzon Ashton Football Club.
On the night there will be a wide selection of Tour memorabilia old and new, many familiar faces and a chance to see the 2018 plans. There will be refreshments available at Curzon Ashton FC's superb function suite at the Tameside Stadium.
To secure your place at this event contact Sports Tours International via email - Kevin@sportstoursinternational.co.uk
More details of the 'Talk of the Tour Evening’ here.
The 2018 Tour of Tameside will be run over four days:
- X-Trail 10K (Thursday 14 June);
- Hell On The Fell Race (Friday 15 June);
- Hero Half Marathon (Saturday 16 June);
- Dr Ron Hyde 7 Mile Race (Sunday 17 June).