2001 Results
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2001 A Race Results
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Organisers Comments 2001

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ssboot.gif (651 bytes) Sandstone Trail Trial and Error

This year we had many first-time runners and, judging by the stories I have heard, many people exploring some of the hidden corners of Cheshire which the Sandstone Trail does not take in.   My concerns that these errors were the result of fewer marshals seem to have been allayed - some people followed footpath signs similar to but not the same as the "S in foot" of the trail, others admitted they had blindly followed those in front.

I hope that these excursions did not ruin enjoyment of the races for anyone as we were blessed with remarkably good weather for running despite the dire warnings of the forecasts. In fact, we had the ideal weather window - the night before as I was filling all the drinks containers it was chucking down and by 2pm on the afternoon of the race the rain had returned.  Clearly conditions underfoot were a challenge and all the times reflect this - if you ran within 5% of your best time you were probably doing well.

Slow conditions did not stop the day from providing excitement and a few surprises, in the A race both the first man and woman were surprised and delighted to be told they had won.  James McQueen and Ruth Isaacs led their respective races for most of the way but made errors in the final stages which cost them victory. In James' case this seems to have involved a detour all the way to Linmere - at least a mile extra!!   In the B race, only the winner, Nick Leigh, managed to break the hour. Thankfully there were no serious injuries, Lawrence Woodley presented to St John with a hugely swollen ankle and was transported to the casualty department at the Countess but I am pleased to hear he was in attendance at birthday celebrations later in the day. 

I am greatly indebted to the many helpers who give up their time before, on and after the day - with the many road crossings we need around 50 people in total.  In addition there are lots of organisations who provide help and assistance to the race, these include - the police forces of Chester, Nantwich and particularly Northwich, manning the A54 and A51 crossings, who are essential to the safe running of the race. Dave Morris who always removes the gates to avoid hold-ups on Bickerton Hill. Cheshire County Council who maintain the Trail and provide us with the finish area. Forest Enterprise who operate Delamere and are enthusiastic about its use for all sorts of recreation. St John who attend to the cuts and scrapes. Andrew Williams who provides the results software and maintains the web-site. The National Trust at Beeston for toilet facilities

Finally, I would like to say a particular thanks to Mr Ryder at Beeston.  Whilst we had agreement from the Council that the race could go ahead I was nervous about the possible reaction from farmers in what has been a terrible year for them.  Mr Ryder was both enthusiastic and helpful, even stepping in late in the day to provide the alternative parking facilities at Beeston.

Next year - we plan to continue the same race format provided we can secure police cover. We hope that many of you first timers will learn the route and come back again next year and we hope to see records broken.  I plan to run next year - the training starts tomorrow!!. Be there!!

Mark Hartell
Organiser

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