On Sunday, November 18th, the last of the “Preston Guild” series of races was held at Hutton. This was the 31st running of this popular event, based at Hutton Grammar School, organised and managed by Preston Harriers. The first applications to take part in the race came to the organiser in January. It filled up well before the closing date with athletes who wanted to complete the four races which had been selected to be part of the “It’s the Guild Series” .
Preston Harriers runners were out in force, 44 in total, and won the race and the men’s and the women’s team prizes. Many Harrier runners were the ones who usually support the race by marshalling so the club was supported by many ”Guilders” who had volunteered to help during the guild weeks.
Weather conditions were much kinder to the runners than they were for the marathon /½marathon a month earlier, with mild conditions in light winds and sunshine. At the start gun a determined Robert Affleck took up the early lead over the first 5 mile lap, with Gethin Butler in close contention. During the second lap even Affleck’s metronomic pacing could not hold off a determined Butler who put in a fine PB performance of 53.43 to be acclaimed as the Preston Guild 10 mile champion for the next 20 years. Affleck, Guild 10K Champion, maintained his cadence to hold off a late challenge over the closing miles to be rewarded with 2nd place in a respectable 54.03. Paul Lightfoot, Guild 5K Champion, placed 10th in 59.13 with a mighty performance to ensure that Butler, Affleck and Lightfoot clinched the Guild Series team prize. The Preston Harriers trio of Gema Adams, Marian Hesketh and Sarah Gohil won the ladies’ team prize.
Next in was a resurgent David Watson with 61.59 being pushed all the way by Alan Durney 62.16, Stephen Young in 62.23 and Kevin Hesketh in 62.58. The first Preston Harrier lady to storm the finish line was Gema Adams who placed a respectable 4th overall in 64.03 and was followed in by D. Green 64.12, K. Judd 64.44, a very satisfied Peter Cowling who broke a 10 year PB with 65.56, T. Buriamo 66.14 and Andrew Duffy in 66.20. Alan Appleby put in a sterling performance to attain 1st MV65 with 67.41 and was followed in by J. Clemson 68.04. Attaining the best in race age related performance was Marian Hesketh who powered over the line in 68.19 as 1st FV55 followed in by R. Peet 70.14, A. Stell 70.14, S. Mort 71.00, R Parkinson 71.12, P. Carter 71.31, S Gohil 72.50,D Large 74.17, R Turner 75.09, J Langhan 76.29, A Tranter 77.52, J Russell 79.14, E Melling 80.00, M Foley81.42, M Lupton 82.28, P Stell 84.13,S Ormerod 84.32, D Roberts 85.47, C Bellamy 85.53, S Clemson 86.46, M Howarth 87.48, V Walker 88.05, R Lodge 88.59, F Cross 90.24, E Pennington 91.32, J Duffy 98.53, E Dernaley 1.41.30, Helen Boyer 1.41.20, S Wickham 1.52.11 and A Tranter 1.55.0 to complete the Preston Harrier entry.
All those who helped in any way were thanked and offered race T-shirts.
Prizes were presented by our own international athlete Helen Clitheroe, who was then presented with a bouquet by the four grandchildren of Joe Howard (Race organiser).