Six years ago Dave Edwards was the new boy at Heaton parkrun, hoping to lose weight and improve his fitness. Now in 2017, he's a five-times a week runner looking forward to his second Tour of Tameside in June.
The 54-year-old (pictured right with Ron Hill) completed the four legs of the 2016 Tour - the X-Trail 10K, Hell on the Fell, Hero Half Marathon and the Hyde 7 - a total of 32 miles across varied and challenging terrain on consecutive days and he will be back this year.
Not only is Dave returning but he has been encouraging his running buddies at Prestwich AC, RunTogether and Heaton parkrun to enter both the full Tour and individual events. Dave told runABC North: "Those four races back-to-back - Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - really ask questions of a runner but there's a good spirit as you see the same faces returning for the next event. It also promotes friendly rivalry and brings out the best in you.
"I'm hoping that Prestwich AC will be able to field a strong team for the Tour and maybe challenge for the runABC Tour of Tameside Club Trophy."
This year's Tour of Tameside runs from Thursday 18 June to Sunday 21 June.
runABC in partnership with the Tour of Tameside has introduced a new challenge for club runners for 2017. Clubs already signed up include Congleton Harriers, Glossopdale Harriers, Prestwich AC, Hyde Village Striders, Marple Runners, Belle Vue Racers and Greenfield Greyhounds. They will be taking part as both individuals and as teams and can win impressive cash prizes prizes across all four events as part of the runABC Tour of Tameside Club Trophy.
The prizes on offer for individual club runners are:
- Individual Stages - win £100, £75 (2nd) or £50 (3rd)
- Overall Tour - win £250, £150 (2nd) or £75 (3rd)
The prizes on offer for club teams are:
- Overall Tour - win £150 Male Team and £150 Female (both 3 x £50).
Likely to be coveted as much as the cash prizes is the specially designed runABC Tour of Tameside Club Trophy which will be presented on the final Sunday of the Tour by Mr. Running himself, Dr Ron Hill MBE, the man who created the event back in 1983.
Enter one or all of the Tour of Tameside races at the Sports Tours International website. Prices increase after 31 April so sign up today to make sure your club is represented.