It was another win for Trentham RC’s Debbie Thomas who raced to glory at the 31st Potters Arf, making it her second half marathon crown in two weeks. Debbie also achieved a personal best.
The 35-year-old from Penkhull is enjoying a successful season so far with wins at the Silverdale Dash and Buxton Half Marathon - the latter used as preparation for this race. This event is a favourite of Debbie's as it is riun in her hometown and has a reputation for excellent crowd support.
She lined up alongside nearly 2,000 runners for a 10.30am start with stiff competition for the title from two-times winner Rebecca Harrison and an equally strong challenge from on-form Michelle Buckle.
The Potters Arf is sponsored by Hanley Building Society and is considered one of the most popular races in the country. Voted the ‘Best Race in Britain’ three times, it is known for its tough, hilly course lined with thousands of locals cheering on the runners.
There were four options to choose from including a junior fun run, walkers, relays and the main event. All finishers received a gold, silver or bronze medal depending upon their time and commemorative goody bag. There were prizes for first, second and third male/female and veteran along with age category and winning team awards. In addition, the overall male and female winners received a bespoke hand-decorated cup from Emma Bridgewater Pottery.
The wet weather and lung-busting ‘Heartbreak Hill’ at 12 miles failed to dampen the runners’ spirits with impressive performances by many.
Ben Gamble of Tipton Harriers won the Potters Arf for the fifth time, crossing the line in 1:10:33. Carl Moulton of Boalloy followed him in 1:12:28 with Daniel Soltys of Telford AC coming third in 1:18:28.
Debbie Thomas of Trentham RC won the women’s race in 1:26:56 and recorded a PB for this course. Michelle Buckle of Newcastle AC was second in 1:28:26 with Rebecca Harrison of Cheadle RC taking third in 1:29:09.
A good day’s work for Ms Thomas.