Despite the best efforts of Storm Dylan, Clitheroe was a mild 8 degrees in winter sunshine.
The centre of attention was obviously the 2 Rio Olympians, Laura Weightman and Jonny Brownlee, amongst the 1500 entered athletes. The race was away on time, with the efficient Blackburn Harriers organisation coping with the more than usual late arrivals.
Despite the date of the race, the attraction of closed roads and a quality field ensured that the race limit had been reached a few weeks before race day.
Making her 10k road debut on the very last day of 2017, Laura Weightman put her considerable reputation on the line against several of the region’s top female road runners.
She did not disappoint!
Not only did Laura win the women’s race in a time of 32.31, which is in 5 seconds of the course record, she also entered herself on the Power of 10 in second place for the year.
Laura sat with the leading women’s group of Stevie Stockton, Kirsty Longley and Amelia Pettit for most of the first half of the race, before moving up a gear and pulling away to finish almost 2 minutes ahead of 2nd place Stevie Stockton, with Kirsty Longley just over a minute further back in 3rd place. Salford Harriers Carla Davies was 4th.
Last year’s winner Marc Scott and Jonny Brownlee quickly moved into a group of 6 athletes at the front, which also included Preston’s Patrick Dever, Wesham’s Robert Danson and host club’s Ben Fish.
Several times individuals attempted to pull away from the group, but it was not until the 7th kilometre that first Marc Scott, then Jonny Brownlee were able to pull away. Marc Scott crossed the line in 29.37, 4 seconds behind his 2016 time, with Jonny Brownlee some 17 seconds behind him.
Patrick Dever was 3rd, Robert Danson (NA 2017 10 Mile champion) 4th and Ben Fish 5th.
1. Laura Weightman, Morpeth Harriers 32.31
2. Stevie Stockton, Leeds City, 34.27
3. Kirsty Longley, Liverpool Pembroke Sefton, 35.47
1. Blackburn Harriers.
2. Sale Harriers Manchester
3. Ilkley Harriers & AC
1. Marc Scott, Richmond & Zetland Harriers, 29.37
2. Jonny Brownlee, Bingley Harriers & AC, 29.54
3. Patrick Dever, Preston Harriers, 30.03
1. Preston Harriers
2. Blackburn Harriers
3. Richmond & Zetland Harriers
Report Ken Smith
Photos Eileen Ingham