More than 400 runners toed the line at the New Balance Knighton 20 in Staffordshire on Sunday (13 March) for the race organised by Ken Rushton, director of the hugely popular Alsager 5.
This newcomer in the race calendar replaces the Stafford 20, a perennial favourite with runners looking to test their fitness levels as part of their spring marathon training. There was also a relay option open to teams of three people from athletic/running clubs, businesses, charities, local authorities and gyms or those not ready to step up to the distance.
The Knighton 20 did not disappoint with three laps of a virtually traffic-free course that included a few undulations in an attractive location. In addition, first class facilities at the race headquarters, Knighton Social Club and unseasonably warm temperatures meant it was an auspicious start for this event.
Many were aiming for personal bests (PB’s) along with numerous runners fundraising for charity. For one runner though, there was a double reward in the form of a PB and donations to her chosen charity, the Teenage Cancer Trust
. Ruth Parsons from Newcastle AC
was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia in 2013 but this outgoing 23-year-old continues to inspire others with her courage and determination.
Winning lady was Rachel Wood (Blackburn Harriers) in 2:13:56 - a new course recod. Joanne Bentley (Unattached) was second in 2:23:15 and Jacqueline Macey (Shrewsbury AC) was third in 2:27:35. Andy Nixon (Stockport Harriers) won the men's race in 1:51:57. Matt Bond (Sale Harriers) was second in 1:52:17 and Peter Speake (Wilmslow RC) was third in 1:56:31.