Dave Evans reports:
The Fred Pearce relays produced the closest finish yet with all 4 teams on the final approach within sight of each other, three closing in within a minute. The handicapper had some last-minute repositioning to contend with but in the end, this made the event more competitive in the light drizzly conditions. It was a nice surprise to have visitors from afar and the presence of multi-centurion Martin Fisher and sidekick Phil Carroll made the race more difficult to predict.
To get the race underway club secretary Roy Gunnett set off on his 5k with no company and it was 11 minutes before the first leg set off for teams two, three and four. At the end of the first out and back, Roy remained in first place with Tony Bell in hot pursuit and Adrian Edwards, sharpening his pace for the centurions 100 miles a mere 10 seconds adrift. Bringing up the rear but still walking well was Sailash Shah.
Leg two saw Martin Fisher shoot off from the start with the intention of moving his team from 4th to a higher position and it was no surprise to see him completing his 5k foray in the day’s best time and in second place. All competitors managed to record times around their seasonal bests so what would happen on the final anchor leg. Phil Carroll kept his cool despite setting off with a 5-minute 45 seconds advantage and showed that he has retained a very effective style which saw him enter the final straight of the finish with a lead of nearly two minutes. The other three teams made a real race of it with the trio closing on each other towards the finish.
Chris Pearce provided the walkers and supporters with a lovely buffet and prizes and a fitting tribute to Fred who kept the club together during his tenure and is still sorely missed as an official and mentor.
A special mention must be made of Eric Horwill who has continued to support Lancashire Walking club for many years making the journey from the Midlands by public transport and offering his very welcome support and advice. On this occasion, he was accompanied by Pam who is herself a very respected official and still a British race walking record holder as a veteran.
On a more sombre note, we have just been informed that Flo, the wife of our oldest member, John Payn has recently passed away and we send our sincere condolences to John and his family.
Results of the relay
1st team Roy Gunnett. 36 mins 58
Greg Smith 35 mins 02
Phil Carroll. 39 mins 04
2nd team Sailash Shah. 36 mins 11
Martin Fisher 30 mins 21
Steven Wilde. 34 mins 54
Tony Bell. 31 mins 37
Pat Evans. 35 mins 13
Ian Hilditch. 34 mins 50
Adrian Edwards 30 mins 57
Joe Hardy. 34 mins 52
Phil McCullagh 36 mins 03
IMPORTANT CHANGES TO THE FIXTURES CALENDAR
There are some changes to our fixtures for the remaining part of the year, including the cancellation of the Bury track race on September 3rd due to resurfacing of the track. The fixture will now be at Simister on the same day and will be a 10k.
The October race, originally scheduled to be held at Macclesfield on the first of the month is moving back a week, to allow club walkers to contest a 6-hour race at Chorley on that date. So amend your diary entries to show October 8th, Albert Rigby 10k, at Macclesfield.