Stockport 10 mile at Woodbank Park on Sunday, 4th December 2016

The dry, sunny weather was in sharp contrast to last year’s wet and dull conditions, as nearly 1,000 runners set off on the track promptly at 10:00. Out of the track onto the flat paths of Woodbank Park enabled a lead group to pull away before they hit the road. Tucked in just behind the lead group, wearing her distinctive black Rotherham kit, was Sophie Cowper the eventual first lady.

Two hills and some nine miles later, Stockport’s Pat Martin was first into the stadium without any other runner in sight. Pat won in a time of 50.05 and it was some 2 minutes later when 2nd man, Sale’s Nigel Martin, appeared on the track to finish in a time of 52.40. Blackburn Harriers’ Chris Arthur was 3rd male finisher, just 20 seconds behind second place in a time of 53.00.

Sophie Cowper was never headed and finished in a time of 60.09. 2nd lady Hannah Griffiths, from host club Stockport, finished in a time of 60.39. Both these runners must enjoy this race and competing against each other, as they finished in the same positions in 2015. 3rd place saw Blackburn Harriers’ Rachel Wood slightly further behind in a time of 63.57, much to the delight of her dad Tony, Northern Athletics Chairman.

Unsurprisingly, Stockport Harriers, who were out in numbers, produced both men’s and women’s winning teams. For the men, Sale Harriers were 2nd, followed by Macclesfield Harriers in bronze medal position. For the women, following Stockport were Chorlton Runners with Macclesfield Harriers once again in bronze medal position.

Northern Athletics Results:
Men’s Individual:
1: Pat Martin, Stockport Harriers in 50.05
2: Nigel Martin, Sale Harriers in 52.40
3: Chris Arthur, Blackburn Harriers in 53.00
Men’s Teams:
1: Stockport Harriers – Pat Martin, Jack Nixon, Jack Scott-Buccleuch
2: Sale Harriers – Nigel Martin, Chris Prior, Nick Barry
3: Macclesfield Harriers – Ben Greenwood, Evan Edmondson, Billy Hicks

Women’s Individual:
1: Sophie Cowper, Rotherham Harriers in 60.09
2: Hannah Griffiths, Stockport Harriers in 60.39
3: Rachel Wood, Blackburn Harriers in 63.57
Women’s Teams:
1: Stockport Harriers – Hannah Griffiths, Jayne Lawton, Linden Hiscock
2: Chorlton Runners – Sarah Renshaw, Leona Beaumont, Emma Butler
3: Macclesfield Harriers – Kirsty Gill, Lindsay Purdie, Catharine Crossley

Ken Smith
Photos Eileen Ingham