SELCC Race 2: Leigh / Helsby Half Marathon

One can’t but feel a huge amount of sympathy for the organisers of Helsby Half Marathon.  Since its inception in 1982, this hugely popular and much-loved race enjoyed 31 uninterrupted editions until 2013, when extreme winter weather put paid to that year’s event …. and again, sadly, the same fate has befallen the race in 2015.  We look forward to its return in 2016 and hope for better weather!
Helsby’s absence leaves only Saturday’s second South East Lancs XC race at Leigh to reflect on.  Flat it may be but the extremely heavy conditions underfoot, in particular through the very muddy, winding woodland section leading to the bridge, made it difficult to get much traction anywhere around the course.  With many Belle Vue Racers keeping one eye on today’s Helsby Half, numbers were understandably a touch down.
Starting in terrible conditions, hail and high winds, Laura Bryant (35:05) was first woman home before Tina Hicks (40:06) edged Julia Foy (40:16) out of second place.  It was great to see Fiona Seymour back racing after being forced to pull out mid-race at Heaton Park last weekend.
Among the men, under calmer skies, Adam Barber romped home as first man (41:56), followed by Simon Stead (42:44 – PB) and Andrew Taylor (44:06 – PB), with James Corrigan also securing a Personal Best time.
Next up, we’re heading back to Heaton Park in a fortnight for the third SELCC race of the season.  Looking forward to it!  AT