Up and Running Winter Walking League – Round 5

The final round of the Up and Running sponsored Winter walking league took place in cold and windy weather at the perimeter roadway of the National Sports Centre on Sunday 7th February.
The races were a mass start with handicaps being added at the conclusion of racing. In the junior events Stephen Waddington impressed in the 3km, looking smooth and relaxed throughout, he set a new personal best of 16.39 ahead of Alice Bellando and Keira Heavey all three showing great technique.
Abbie Edwards was the sole competitor in the 2km and walked well within her capabilities to set a good 15 minute performance.
In the 1km Daniel Lawrie eased away from sister Sophie and Joshua Corran, again all showing good ability for their respective ages.
The 5km was lead from pillar to post by Vicky Heavey who showed really good form and has potential to go quicker still. One of the performances of the day was from handicap winner Lucy Webber who removed a whopping 4 minutes from her personal best, just reward for the hard work she has put in during training in the last few months.
Vicky Heavey was second on handicap with Janine Webber producing a great finish to duck under 40 minutes and earn 3rd on handicap. In the final standings Sharon Cain and Vicky Heavey could not be split on league points with Sharon only getting the nod on count-back after a winter of consistent improvement. Third in the series was Janine Webber in her first year walking, just 4 points further behind.
The 10km event was lead initially by Adam Cowin, who started positively but stopped just after halfway, this left Michelle Turner out on her own and she battled well against the winds which were picking up as the race progressed and recorded the fastest time of the day, showing she is coming back from her injury problems of the last year.
Gianni Epifani also produced another fast performance to be second fastest on the day with Hannah Hunter managing to set another personal best, third fastest.
After the handicaps had been added on, Tony Edwards took the win with a fine walk, setting a personal best to go under the hour for the first time. In second Stewart Jones showed improved form to set his best time for over a year. Andy Baxendale who has improved steadily all winter took third on handicap from Hannah Hunter, 4th on handicap. James Quirk in 5th took another minute off his personal best set at Ronaldsway a month ago and Andy Green in 6th removed another couple of seconds from the Island over 60’s record with his 58.24 performance.
In the final analysis it was fairly close, Tony Edwards sealed the overall league, win a couple of points clear of Andy Baxendale, James Quirk three points further back in third. Model of consistency Simon Scott was 4th with Erika Kelly in 5th just getting ahead of Voirrey Cain in 6th on countback, as they finished on the same points.
Many thanks to everyone who has helped out in any capacity during the winter and also to series sponsors Up and Running for providing goody bags and vouchers to the prize winners.
Here are the Results
Thanks to Bridget for this report.

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