In­spired run­ners urged to sign up

Macclesfield Express - - BEFORE THE BENCH - RHI­AN­NON MC­DOWALL

RUN­NERS in­spired by the Lon­don Marathon are be­ing en­cour­aged to sign up for Mac­cles­field’s own gru­elling race.

The Mac­cles­field Half Marathon – which in­cludes a fun run and a 5k – will take place on Sun­day, Septem­ber 24.

Carl Hanaghan, from the Mac­cles­field Har­ri­ers, which or­gan­ises the an­nual event, says its the per­fect race for both am­a­teur and vet­eran run­ners, and is en­cour­ag­ing any­one in­spired by the huge crowds at the Lon­don Marathon to take on their own chal­lenge.

He said: “The Macc Half Marathon or­gan­i­sa­tion is well on its way.

“One of the fan­tas­tic things about Macc Har­ri­ers is that we sup­port all ages and abil­i­ties, and many of our mem­bers were in­spired by peo­ple talk­ing about the races they have com­peted in, like the Lon­don Marathon, and it con­vinced them to give run­ning a go.

“You don’t have to start with a marathon, sim­ply start at your own pace and pick a race. We feel at the Macc Half Marathon that there’s a race for every­one.”

The Macc Half starts on the run­ning track at Mac­cles­field Leisure Cen­tre and winds its way to­wards the town cen­tre, up to Prest­bury, Over Alder­ley, and back through Hen­bury to the Leisure Cen­tre. All race prof­its will be do­nated to East Cheshire Hospice, Rossendale Trust and Just Drop In.

Among the Har­ri­ers who took part in the Lon­don Marathon this year were Lynda Cook, who fin­ished in 3h48m, and Harry New­ton, who com­pleted in five hours.

Harry, 79, who has com­pleted 17 marathons rais­ing more than £35,000 for char­ity, is a cham­pion of long dis­tance run­ning.

He said: “I started run­ning at the age of 57, run­ning the Lon­don marathon in 1995.

“I at­tained my PB of 3:52:30 in 2008 when I was aged 70. The ad­vance of years has ex­tended my times lit­tle.

“I com­pleted this year’s Vir­gin Lon­don Marathon in 5:00:13 and man­aged to raise well in ex­cess of £1,500 for Alzheimer’s Re­search UK.”

Young Har­ri­ers Sian Hes­lop and Fin­ley Prof­fitt both took part in the Mini Marathon, which is the last three miles of the of­fi­cial Lon­don Marathon course.

Sian came sixth in a time of 16.51 and helped the North West team take 1st place, and Fin­ley came 59th in a time of 16.28.

For more in­for­ma­tion and to en­ter, visit mac­chalf.co.uk.

Mac­cles­field Har­rier Harry New­ton com­pleted his 14th Lon­don Marathon for an Alzheimer’s char­ity. Left: Sian Hel­sop and Fin­ley Prof­fitt, who took part in the Mini Marathon

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