Four in a row for James as Thompson is ‘king of the parks’

ANOTHER busy and successful season was celebrated by Royton Road Runners at their annual presentation night at Royton Band Club, writes Gary Smith.Chairman Bryan Lawton gave a presentation speech assisted by vice chairman Dave Emanuel, who created the slides and titles.

During 2019, the membership participated in the club championship series of 17 races of varying distances over differing terrain, averaging over 50 club runners for each race.

This included many new members of all abilities who have joined the club this past year.

Shane Reading and Bernie Cassidy received commemorative t-shirts for having completed 150 club races. Other members also received t-shirts for completing 50 and 100 club races.

Rob James retained his championship title for a fourth consecutive year.

President Ronnie Quinn announced that from the club’s annual quiz night held last February and the evening’s raffle proceeds the club would make a generous donation to its chosen charity, Springhill Hospice.

Members took part in a wide variety of other running and endurance events.

More than 50 marathons were completed by 34 RRRs including in Manchester, Palestine, Berlin, Chester, Snowdonia and New York.

Special mention was given to Neil Brock who completed five marathons including Chicago where Paula Radcliffe’s women’s world record was broken by Brigid Kosgei.

Those completing their first ever marathons in 2019 were presented with a memento to celebrate their experience.

The club enjoyed continued success in fell racing on the Derbyshire, Pennine and Saddleworth moors and the open country above Rochdale and Bury.

Rob James successfully defending his overall men’s title, winning all his races with Barry Greaves finishing third in the male veteran 60 category.

In the Red Rose cross-county series, attracting the strongest runners from many clubs, Jarrod Gritt achieved a highly creditable seventh place overall.

More than 50 members experienced that adrenalin rush that comes when you try to beat your club mate in the club’s knockout competition at the Oldham parkrun.

The final between Dave Peart and Martin Thompson pitched two of the club’s fastest runners against each other with only a small handicap between them.

Dave, a veteran of over 300 parkruns, posted his fastest time in four years.

He succumbed, however, to Martin who having already set successive personal best times in the preceding rounds went even faster in the final.

The club welcomes new runners of all abilities and can be contacted through our Facebook page or our website.

Final group positions for the 2019 Club Championship:
Premiership: 1. Rob James, 2. Jarrod Gritt, 3. Shane Reading.
Championship: 1. Carl O’Callaghan, 2. Dave Emanuel, 3. Ian Dale.
Group one: 1. Mathew Kershaw, 2. Mathew Kilburn, 3. Janet Jobey.
Group two: 1. Garry Bower, 2. Alex Critcher, 3. Jason Keast.
Group three: 1. Nick Mallon, 2. Andy Chadwick, 3. Adam Stirling.
Group four: 1. Adam Farrell, 2. Damian Mercer, 3. Adam Bolton.
Group five: 1. Gareth McCaffrey, 2. Liane Gilligan, 3. Lisa Cummins.
Group six: 1. Sue Heaney, 2. Emma Bower, 3. Bernie Allen.

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