THREE top Furness runners are hoping to make a big impression at this weekend’s Manchester Half Marathon.
Barrow and Furness Striders captain Phil Waite will be joined on Sunday’s start line by team-mates Ross Campbell and Phil Huck.
Waite, Campbell and Iain Quinn performed superbly to finish as fourth team overall in last year’s Trafford-based race from a field of more than 8,000 runners, and Waite has high hopes of repeating or bettering that feat this time around.
Waite finished 22nd overall last year in a great time of 1:09:43, and with Campbell having won the Dalton Charter and Glaxo Summer 10k races this year, and Ulverstonian Huck’s previous performances, including a runners-up spot in the North of England Cross Country Championships, they have the pedigree to compete near the top of the field.
Aside from that, I’m sure Hoad will put on a great fixture as they do a superb job when they host various road races and the course will no doubt have a nice backdrop of the Hoad Monument too - Phil Waite.
Striders athletes will also be in action on Saturday, when the Mid Lancs cross-country season starts at Cuerden Valley Park, although Waite fears it could be a difficult year for the senior men’s team.
“We were relegated last year and some of the stronger members of the squad have got jobs in London (Todd Oates) and Bristol (Jed Bartlett) and so will be unable to get to as many events,” he said.
“This was the problem last year as we have a strong squad but struggled to get enough of them running at enough events to pick up the points.”
He added: “The senior women seem to have a decent number available to run, but again it’ll be a case of getting enough of them running at any given race to stack up the points to challenge in the top division, which is really competitive at the moment.”
This Mid Lancs cross country season will see Striders’ local rivals Glaxo Hoad Harriers host a race on Saturday, March 3, which Waite sees as positive news for the local running scene.
He said: “It’s great to see Hoad Hill hosting an event as Barrow Striders had hosted events over the past few seasons and it makes a welcome change having a home fixture as you can have a sleep in and not have to drive too far.
“Aside from that, I’m sure Hoad will put on a great fixture as they do a superb job when they host various road races and the course will no doubt have a nice backdrop of the Hoad Monument too.
“It’s nice to see them thriving at the moment, they have lots of runners at each event – it would be great for Barrow to have as many runners at events.”