Organisers Comments 2001
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
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
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!!
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