Sunday, 13th December 2014
With the year coming to a close, the winner of the Steve Kenyon Endurance Challenge Trophy was announced. Named after the Bolton’s running legend of the 1970s and 1980s (see inset, courtesy of SK), the competition lasts 11 months and covers the eleven CLGP races, a relay race, five fell races and all four Red Rose Cross-Country mud-baths! Using the WAVA technique to compare results accounting for age and gender, a ‘level’ playing field is created, with the best scores from any 8 races counting, though at least one FR and XC terrain must be included. Cue the good-natured intra-club battle, as the Speedy Gonzales come under pressure from the junior Whippersnappers and ‘experienced’ Veterans.
2014 heralds the first female winner of the trophy, as Catherine O’Dwyer’s 644.64 points was comfortably the best. The F35 runner has had a stupendous year, particularly in the first half, setting new Personal Bests at the classic 5K, 10K and HM distances, not to mention the 5M and 6M events. On the track, the 1500m and 3000m barriers on also fell, with the Bolton 10K course record also victim in April. Congratulations!
Just behind, as coordinator Ian Selby commented, “it was the closest of close battles” for the podium positions. In the end, M45 vet Andrew Doyle’s 606.80 just pipped Karl Darcy (606.66) and M50 vet Nick Howarth (597.37).
It comes hot on the heels of BUH&AC celebrating taking 3 of the 4 available CLGP trophies – Team A, Team B and Veterans. With just the Women’s title proving elusive, the Blue Vests are hoping to address its absence from the clean sweep in 2015. In the meantime, members of the endurance squad (precisely a quarter!) gathered to ‘strike a pose’ with the ‘trophies’ at the track on Thursday, before celebrating via a Festive meal on Saturday.
The in-form Karl Darcy was unaffected by the dancing cheer as he romped to his maiden victory in the Longridge 7 Miler the following morning. His time of 41:21, best of the 244 runners, was more than three minutes ahead of Wesham’s Lee Barlow. Longridge 7M results