This year the Northern Athletics 10 mile championships, is incorporated into the classic Preston 10 race, which hosted by Preston Harriers and is also staging the Lancashire count and Fire Service 10 mile championships.
A triple whammy of championships, sure to deliver fast competitive running.
The race itself is steeped in history and its hay day would see fields of up to 1,000 with runners required to break the 60 minute barrier just to make the top 100. Whilst those days may be gone, the race has continued to attract some of the best runners from the across the North and with a course record of 48:43 for men and 58:05 for women its no surprise.
At the front end of Sunday’s field be Michael Cayton of Ribble Valley, who will be looking to put the disappointment of pulling up at last years race behind him. But if he’s to win this race he’s going to face some strong competition, particularly from runners stepping up to this distance.
Including Bolton United’s Jonothan Kay and Preston’s Andy Benson, who was recently crowned Lancashire 5m champion and will be aiming to be the club’s first outright winner since 2015.
Also, in the mix, will be St Helen Sutton’s Matthew “Stop pre” Crehan and Rob Danson of Westham a past winner of this fixture. This is a race that could go all the way to the line.
Fast women toeing the line
In the women’s category, it looks like a fight between Clayton-Le-Moors Laura Hesketh, Sale’s Katherine Wood and Emily Japp of Blackpool Wyre & Fylde AC, all three of which could break the 60 minute barrier on Sunday.
Given their collective abilities, that could be what it takes to win the women’s race. Laura Lombard of Bolton United and Sophie Martin of Wharfedale Harriers may also find themselves in the mix.
On the day entries will be available up until 9:30 am for what should be a great race, with race organisers estimating that we may well see a number runners finishing in the low 50’s as well as several women breaking the 60 minute mark.