Albert Rigby 10 kilometres, Sutton Macclesfield, 2nd October 2021

Dave Evans provides his prompt and insightful report. Where would be without him? Whilst Greg Smith is responsible for the invaluable excellent photos, of which more to come.

Capturing the beauty of the testing course

October sees either an Indian summer or the first footprints of a early winter. On this occasion we drew the short straw. From the outset it was drizzly but towards the end of the race it mellowed a little and substituted a fresh wind.

Adrian on his way to the scratch victory

To make the event a bit more unpredictable the handicapper  rearranged the 4 starts with groups setting off at intervals of scratch, 2 minutes, 3 minutes or 4 , with the last wave comprising the likely fastest walkers. The course is an out and back which affords the aspirants the opportunity of repeating this exercise three times. I make the case that it keeps everyone informed of what is happening throughout which is either uplifting or depressing !

Tony Malone, the Irish O70 Masters champion overtaking Martin ‘I’ll bake a cake’ Payne, recovering from injury
Tony Bell digging deep

The two scratch performers returned the turnaround point sharing the lead with three of the eventual top  3 but as the race progressed the leading trio broke clear of the field. Adrian Edwards secured overall victory with new Irish Over 70 masters champion Tony Malone second and Tony Bell who showed quite a bit of speed across the floor and a good competitive attitude. When the chips are down , Tony digs deep. Stuart Edgar and Martin Payne were closely matched with the latter recovered from his fall at the Fred Pearce relays were he broke his radius and cut his temple quite badly. Martin presented his colleagues with a Thank You cake for their support on the day of the “accident”. Phil McCullagh and Joe Hardy performed well while Roy Gunnett completed the course quietly! Pat Evans took leave of the course at 7k with a time of 53 mins 14 remembering that she had a 16 mile walk to do the following day.

Sailash hits a climb ahead of Stuart Edgar, Phil McCullagh and Pat Evans
Joe Hardy looking stron on the uphill return

Many thanks to Eric Horwill for timekeeping and Glyn Jones for manning the far end of the course in the unpleasant conditions. Keith Ackroyd, a new judge to the walking scene, kept an eye on the proceedings and has been welcomed by the assembly. Mention was made of the Centurions 100 mile which was scheduled for Southend on Sea next year, however, due to circumstances beyond their control it has had to be reassigned to a new venue and this information will be imparted to interested parties in due course.

Roy Gunnett quiet and composed

RACE RESULT

1. Adrian Edwards 63 mins 06
2. Tony Malone 64 01
3. Tony Bell 64 mins 47
4. Stuart Edgar 66 mins 05
5. Martin Payne 66 mins 25
6. Phil McCullagh 70 mins 38
7. Sailash Shah 72 mins 31
8. Joe Hardy 74 mins 45
9. Roy Gunnett 79 mins 49
10 Pat Evans (7k) 53 mins 14.

Tony Bell receives the Albert Rigby trophy from Kath Barnard

HANDICAP RESULT

1. Tony Bell 59 mins 47
2. Martin Payne 61 mins 25
3. Sailash Shah 61 mins 31
4. Tony Malone 61 mins 41
5. Adrian Edwards 62 mins 06
6. Stuart Edgar 62 mins 20
7. Phil McCullagh 63 mins
8. Joe Hardy 64 mins 45
9. Roy Gunnett 69 mins 19
10. Pat Evans

The post-race spread, courtesy of Marshall and Kath Barnard. Many thanks.
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