2006 Results
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2006 A Race Results
2006 B Race Results

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Organisers Comments 2006

My opening comments cannot be any other than to thank all members of the Deeside Orienteering Club who helped in any way at all, both large and small, to the undoubted success of the 30th staging of the Sandstone Trail Race. It could not have been staged without your help, co-operation and knowledge. All this enabled both races to start with very high numbers of entrants.

As this was the first time (not yet the last) that I had organised this event after a number of times participating, the unexpected bonus was the friendliness of the telephone and email banter that came from so many of the race participants. I do not object to this in any way, and indeed welcome it as it gives us all the encouragement to know that there are so many people out there who are keen to participate in the Deeside event. I extend on all participants’ behalf a special thanks to the start teams of Andrew Williams, Jill and Barry Barnes with the ever present Steve Ingleby i/c at the finish. This event could not, and would not take place without their knowledge and help.

A very special and separate thanks, at the start of this report, must go to Cheshire County Council, in the position of the Sandstone Trail Warden, John Street, The National Trust at Bickerton, Dave Morris, The Forestry Commission for their continued support and knowledge of our needs in the gathering and finish area of Delamere forest, to the Cheshire County Police for their special help and trust in us to marshal our runners over the two very busy main roads. This was made so much easier by the loan of the “POLICE SLOW” signs which were invaluable to the marshals at these points.

Special thanks must go to the owner and manager of Castleside Farm Beeston, who allowed us the use of the field for the revised location of the “B” race start. For reasons ‘beyond our control’ this was changed and permission granted with less than 1 week to go to race day and to Peter Latham at Brook House Farm for permission to cross a large swathe of his land. Finally to Mark Hodgson of English Heritage at Beeston Castle who was last seen, sweeping up cascades of water and mud, up to the eyeballs, washed off the hill, whilst at the same time allowing the Beeston runners to satisfy their ‘calls of nature’. I’m not totally convinced that these two tasks were not caused by one and the same. It certainly looked like it!

I hope you will agree that the weather was perfect for the runners after a very uncertain night of rain. The ground underfoot was quite firm which obviously helped. It certainly helped Duncan Bell, from West Cheshire AC, who powered his way around the course in an excellent time of 1:55:34. This was just too quick for last year’s winner, Glen Groves from Liverpool Harriers to hold him. Glen finished in an impressive second place. I hope that we will see both Duncan and Glen back again to continue this challenge. Ruth Isaacs from Pensby Runners was 1st Lady in the “A” race with a time of 2:21:39 and an impressive position of 24th.

The winner of the “B” race was Chris Smithard of Deeside Orienteering Club, who felt that it was about time that he showed his father Mike just ‘where to go’. Mike though was an impressive winner of the Veteran Man 50+ event. Chris just got the better of Paul Frodsham who has contested this event many times before and has been a past winner in 2004. Paul improved on his 3rd place in the 2005 event. Likewise we want to see these participants racing it out again next year. Nicola Bird of Ellesmere Port AC in a very impressive 4th position was 1st Lady with a time of 1:18:31

It is sometimes difficult to talk about records because situations constantly change. Necessary improvements can be made to the administration, marshalling and runners’ enjoyment that the race route will change slightly. There were though three records achieved this year. In the “A” race Neville Griffiths of Spectrum Striders was the winner of the Veteran Man 60+ category in 2:30:10, reducing the previous record by over 8 minutes. Neville completed the course with an excellent overall position of 39th. Grace Hough of Telford Harriers was the winner of the Lady Vet 50+ prize with a time of 3:01:56. This award was only introduced last year and was not contested in the “A” race, therefore Grace has established the standard for future years. Anne-Marie Jones of Altrincham & District AC was the winner of the Lady Vet 50+ prize in the “B” race with a time of 1:26:52, almost a minute faster than the record set, for the first time, in 2005 and over a longer course. Not only did Anne-Marie win this class, but with an overall position of 18th she won the Lady Vet 40+ also, for which her 1995 record still stands.

The team prizes were awarded in the “A” race to Duncan Bell, Andrew Clague and Graham Earlam of West Cheshire AC with positions of 1st, 3rd and 6th respectively. In the “B” race the award goes to Chris Smithard, Paul Lambert and Mike Smithard of Deeside Orienteering Club who were 1st, 3rd and 7th respectively.

We welcome your comments by email to chris@chrishallows.plus.com to help continually improve the race. Changes to email addresses are also accepted.

See you all same time, same place, same mud in 2007

Chris Hallows – Race Organiser

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