MORE than 850 (661 10k runners, 780 registered and 196 fun runners) runners pounded the pavements last weekend for the Big Stockport Run – the 10km race and family fun run that wind through the heart of Stockport.
First held in 2012 as an Olympic legacy event, the Big Stockport Run has since more than doubled in size. Organised by Stockport sport and fitness provider Life Leisure the event is attended by club runners, local residents, families and those raising money for good causes.
First woman past the post in the Open Women category was Jo Armitage (Chorley) from the Vegan Runners team with a time of 41 minutes 43 seconds.
The first man in the Open Male category was Alex Hinchcliffe (Sheffield) from the Vegan Runners group coming in at 34.00 minutes.
In the over 50s category Andy Porter from the Bramhall Runners in Stockport crossing the line with a time of 37.11 minutes, with Lesley Sinclair from Stockport Harriers with a time of 43.02 minutes for the women.
While in the over 60s it was Steve Shaughnessy and Helen Todd, both from Stockport Harriers, with times of 40 minutes 30 seconds and 51 minutes 23 seconds respectively.
This year’s oldest runner was Graham Peak from Lane End Infant School, who posted a very respectable time of 56 minutes 50 seconds.
Sponsored by DWF and Dodds, this year’s event – as ever – attracted a wide range of fundraisers, with runners dressed as Pikachu, Super Heroes, Unicorns and even Bananas!
The Big Stockport Run isn’t just about racing, with 200 people taking part in the 1km and 1 mile family fun runs held at St Petersgate, where the 10km run starts and finishes. Aimed at families, the shorter race hopes to encourage young runners of the future. Among them were Jesse Scott Fox (Hazel Grove, Stockport) who was celebrating his birthday dressed as Captain America, Daniel Harrison from Haslingden running for the ‘Super Saul Squad’ raising money for a children’s cancer charity and Charlie Cuthbert from Heaton Moor Rugby Club.
Many of the children who took part dressed up as their favourite super hero. 50 runners from Heaton Moor Rugby Club dressed up as unicorns and passed a rugby ball throughout the run to raise funds for a young club member who is battling illness at the moment.
Sam Barton, Community Sports Officer at Life Leisure and Big Run project lead, said: “Huge congratulations to everyone who came down, took part and supported. It’s great to see the race getting bigger and bigger each year and becoming a serious fixture in the race calendar. Stockport lends itself to serious racing with its mix of urban routes and stunning trails, which are close to the city centre.
“What’s really heartening is to see not only the club runners, but also all the recreational runners who were attempting a 10k for the first time or coming back to do it again. Everyone should be extremely proud of themselves and we can’t wait to get planning the next one.”
Winning female runner Jo Armitage from Chorley said: “This is my second 10k this year, it was hillier than my previous runs, but I really enjoyed it. I’m happy with my time and it was lovely to be part of the race with so many other Vegan Runners. I would definitely do it again as it’s a quite varied route with a bit of hills, park, grass, pavement, it had it all really!”
Alex Hinchcliffe from Sheffield, winner of the Male Open category said: “Loved the race, it was a different route this year but still really good fun. A bit hillier and ‘twistier’ but I quite like that, so I really enjoyed it. Great organisation and a really nice feeling about the event. I was a little bit worried I wasn’t going to win it this year again as there are some faster people here, so I’m really pleased to have won.”
Local organisations helped make the event run as smoothly as possible, ensuring all racegoers, visitors and supporters had an enjoyable day. This included Totally Local who assisted with the road closures, Stockport Council who helped co-ordinate the route and Olympos Sports Therapy who provided pre and post run treatments for runners. Prizes were kindly sponsored by one of the world’s leading running brands, New Balance.