Debbie Queen of the Hill

There was a poignancy to the 49th running of the Parbold Hill race following the recent death of its founder Derek Dalton. The popularity of the race held over nearly 7 miles of tough hills and country he initiated remains undiminished and some 461 completed the course in perfect conditions. Superbly organised by Skelmersdale Boundary Harriers it is for many the highlight of the winter programme.

Liverpool Pembroke and Sefton’s Debbie Campbell is having a dream season. Following the previous week’s Liverpool and District Cross Country Championships where she was third and part of the LPS gold medal winning team she looked good for the Parbold challenge. Unhesitatingly she took command running in a smooth, relaxed manner. She was in good company with team mates Andrew Foster and Danny Gilbody around and thrived on their encouragement. It will be a day for her to remember as she cruised home well clear of her nearest female rival.

Up front Tom Griffiths of St Helens Sutton was setting a fierce pace but Adam Jones was having a great run following a sterling performance in the District championships. He too looked comfortable taking a well earned third prize. But it was also a memorable day for some of the club`s veteran runners. There was an amazing run from Greg Callagahan(26) who comfortably took the Over 55 prize a minute ahead of Richard Beesley(34) who in turn was victorious at O45. Debbie was in 40th overall but with Andrew Foster(41) and Danny Gilbody(43) the men were third team home. Mike Gall finished 56th but there was yet again another outstanding performance from Graham Cairns(59) collecting top Over 60 slot. Others patently enjoying the day out were, Sam Carr(66), Lee Anderton(77), John Halson(79), Chris Pedder(90), Robbie Wood(99) and Steve Lennon(127).

Earlier in the week Chris Maher and Mark Wynne travelled to Armagh for the highly regarded 5K road race. Noted for fast times this race attracts from all over Britain and even abroad. The LPS pair were swept along in the fast surge of ambitious runners with Mark`s effort (15.34) just getting him ahead of Chris (15.37). Mark`s time though carried him to the current joint top spot in the UK for Over 40`s. So while Debbie topped the hill Mark topped the rankings. A very satisfactory week all round for the Edge Hill University based club.

Charles Gains

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