Race Report 12/05/20

The second of the club’s virtual championship races took place over the weekend, 5k to replicate the Redcar Coast Road 5k, and as such, had to be over 2 laps and on flattish roads, with each runner self timing.  Once again, Andrew Price was fastest, in a superb 17.54, with Joshua Cooper next, 19.15 and Mike Cropper 3rd in 19.22.  Esther Harrison was once again the fastest lady in 21.12, with Kirsty Naylor 2nd in 23.39 and Clare Tempest 3rd in 23.56.  A fantastic 83 runners sent in their times, including 17 guests, and had to choose between a warm Saturday and a cold, windy Sunday!

Among those taking part was Paul Chapman, who finished 13th in 22.11.  As with many runners, Paul, then aged 40, decided to take up the sport, along with some work colleagues, to get fit and to lose weight, which he achieved very successfully, losing 2 stones over the summer.  The group committed themselves to run 5k every Wednesday, which grew to 10k and included some running at weekends.  Paul made an additional promise to wheelchair bound Ewan Harrison, who has cerebral palsy, that they would complete the Great North Run together.  What he didn’t realise is the participants have to be at least 17 for a half marathon, and as Ewan was only 14 at the time, instea, they did the Junior GNR and wheelchair race on the Saturday and Paul ran the GNR on the Sunday.  He and his team were sponsored to raise funds for Bendrigg Trust, an adventurous activity centre for those with disabilities and other special needs, and it was only last year, when Ewan became 17, that they were able to complete the promised Great North Run.

By having races booked and paid for in advance, Paul was able to continue running and found he loved hills and off road best.  In 2017 he completed the Dales Trail Series Grand Slam in Swaledale and Wensleydale, over 20, 30 and 40 km, struggling to complete the 40k.  From couch potato to mountain marathon in less than 12 months is not bad going!   He entered the Wainstones Half Marathon, and heard about the Hardmoors races, which as well as being hard, are notoriously difficult to get into.  He solved that by entering the whole series of 7 marathons, actually nearer 30 miles, so he was very fit by the time he and Ewan did their GNR in 2019.  They were regulars at park runs, especially Fountains Abbey, and Paul pushed Ewan round the Winlatter event in the Lake District, one of the hardest park runs in the country.  Paul completed the Windermere Marathon and tackled an ultra marathon of 100k with a midnight start out of Ambleside over the Lake District Fells

That year, 2019, Paul and Ewan did the Thirsk 10 in 90 minutes, and Paul decided to investigate a running club, where found he enjoyed the extra fitness training and cameraderie of Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers.  He and Ewan again entered this year’s Thirsk 10 and finished in 80 minutes, not bad pushing a wheelchair, and 10 minutes quicker than last year’s time – immediately after which came lockdown!

Running continues under government guidelines, with virtual events to encourage competition, and Paul’s aim is to complete 1000 miles this year.  If you want to know more about Paul and Ewan, look at     www.ewanandpaul.co.uk      or about Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers,      www.thirskandsowerbyharriers.co.uk

Ewan Harrison and Paul Chapman, happy after completing the Thirsk 10

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