Organisers Comments 1998Once again the day stayed dry despite dire warnings from the met. office and once again records were broken. Mike Weedall must have had a lonely time at the front of the A race as he was already three minutes clear by Beeston and gradually extended his lead all the way to the finish line. His final time of 1:45:34 was a new record by over a minute for the V40 category and this was achieved despite Mike being first over the freshly ploughed field just after Beeston (you would be surprised how much I had to pay the farmer to arrange that!!)
Veterans dominated the day really in the A race as third overall, Geoff Rawlinson is a V40 and the fastest lady overall, Sandra Owen from Tattenhall is also V40. As for the team prize, entries from Helsby were well down this year and Mersey Fellrunners again dominated with 2nd, 3rd and 6th places.
In the V50 category it was nice to see local man Francis McHale coming home first. Francis was leading this part of the race for most of the time in 1997 but was overhauled near the finish.
In the B race, overall times were much slower than recent years and nobody broke the hour. M Robbins from the RAF ran clear from the early stages of the race but special mention needs to be made of Paul Lambert, only 17, who ran a fine race to finish second overall and lead Deeside OC to the team prize - a talent to watch for the future.
Not far behind and in fourth place overall was the first lady, J Spark from Altrincham, who produced a new record time of 65:39, again more than a minute faster than the previous mark.
As many of you noticed, times posted on the day were 20 seconds too long and this has been corrected for these results. Otherwise the day seemed to go fine from my perspective. As organiser I actually ran the race for the first time on 4 years this year. This served to remind me just how fast and how tough the race can be.
The fact that I could run was thanks to the dedicated help of many many other people, manning road crossings, taking split times, ferrying all your clothes around, processing entries, providing refreshments, liasing with local police and landowners etc etc. The list is fairly long and many of those who give up their time for the race have been doing so for many years.
We are also very grateful to several people outside the club such as Mr Ryder who kindly provides the B race start and turns off the electric fences for the day !! Mr Bennet who provides the car parking facilities at Beeston and Dave Morris who got up very early on Sunday to remove the gates on Bickerton Hill.
There are others besides, including three Police forces, Raynet, St John and Forest Enterprise but without attempting to identify everyone I would just like to say a big thankyou to all the helpers. As for the runners, I hope you enjoyed the day - if you have any ideas or suggestions fell free to write or call - we hope the Sandstone Trail races will be here for many years to come.
Mark Hartell, Organiser
1998 Race Prizewinners A Race