2022 New Year Resolutions for Bolton Harriers Endurance members seem to involve living up to the group name and to push themselves harder and further. Ryan Kirkman will be doing his second Ironman, Aidie Costello is training for his debut Ironman and Beka Millington is throwing herself into the Ultra Marathon scene. Lots and lots of the groups weekend Strava runs are showing training runs of anything between 15 and 25 miles.
The Manchester Marathon on Sunday 3rd April had nine Blue Vests entered, with eight of those from the Endurance Group. Five members were running their first ever marathon.
Gary Porteous is the latest member to get the Marathon itch and has been a regular attendee at club sessions and also been busy with his own training. He can often be seen setting off from his Heaton base on a weekend for the hills round Rivington or long road runs to the Chorley area and back. It has all been worthwhile and Gary ran a super race to come back with a time of 3 hrs 31 mins. After a short recovery and some sustenance he said “my training plan didn’t get off to the best of starts as I caught COVID just before Christmas, so I had just over 12 weeks to train, but I stuck to my plan and gradually upped the mileage each week until I was averaging about 40 miles per week. My longest run and the hardest was about 22 miles which was incredibly brutal on the hills of Bolton. But it put me in good stead, and on race day I felt relaxed and and focused. During the race I felt comfortable and maintained my planned pace until about 20 miles , after that I had a bit of a dip, but I dug in and gritted my teeth and counted the miles down. I was so close to a sub 3hr30m. I never thought I would achieve running a marathon when I joined the Harriers, and I have to thank all the coaches and the rest of the group for giving me the encouragement and belief”.
Another Heaton resident and marathon debutant was Dominic Sohor who has made a remarkable recovery from a stroke in 2017. He was unable to speak for some time and left needing urgent hospital treatment. He wanted to show his appreciation for the Royal Bolton Hospital Speech and Language Therapy Department by running and raising money for them in the process. He succeeded and got round in a time of 4 hours 22 minutes. On a better day he would be capable of a much better time and said “I enjoyed the first half but second half was pretty horrific with mega sore glutes, hips and my hands went all tingly. Taking part in the marathon and raising funds is my way of being able to say thank you for my care and hopefully helping others who suffer from Aphasia”.
Chris Toole is another newcomer to the group and the 3rd marathon debutant . This guy works so hard in training and the proof in the pudding was a wonderful time of 3 hours 29 mins.
Andy Gallagher, more of a fell race specialist was the fourth group member attempting 26 miles for the first time. He said “I was slow and steady from the start to finish. I have only had ten weeks to train having stopped running for three months because of knee problems. I decided to run just for the experience and atmosphere which was fantastic.Think I sneaked under 4 hours 45 mins. Well done to everyone else who ran today”.
Scott Sunderland is a much welcome and relative newcomer to Bolton Harriers. Again since joining has been a dedicated attendee to training and has trimmed down his figure to the point if he enters any more road races he had better be careful he doesn’t fall down a grid ! The Land Rover Design Engineer proved he can clock up the miles also and came back with a time of 3 hours 51 mins for his first ever marathon.
One man who won’t be falling down grids is Mark Garner. Mark is out of the Barney Rubble mould, strong as an Ox and represents the Blue Vests in all sorts of events and distances including Fell races. Mark kept up a really steady pace and completed in a respectable 4 hours 4 mins. He has already entered for next years marathon.
Chris Byrne is also a member of Bolton Triathlon Club and has proven stamina in these events. He went round in his usual strong and steady style and finished with a time of 4 hours and 4 mins matching Mark Garner.
Thomas Gore always runs with a smile on his face and arrived at the finishing line with a big cheesy grin acknowledging yet another super run in 3 hours 21 mins. Another who is a really versatile runner and just loves to run and represent the club in lots of events.
Phil Hardman was the solo representative from Dave Shaw’s group and is a battle hardened warrior in these events. He never seems to get out of bed for anything less than a half marathon. He stormed round in a time of 2 hours 48 minutes and was in the top 500 of over 14000 runners.