Great North West Half Marathon,

Blackpool, Sunday, 18 February, 2018.

A big shout out today for the three Pumas who took on the 29th Great North West Half Marathon at Blackpool this morning. Laura Fairbank, Alison Shooter and relative newcomer Dave Collett were among the 1,200 or so runners who crammed the Middle Walkway for the start.

Laura and Alison pre-race, with a sea view that’s behind them.

Described by the race organisers Fylde Coast Runners as a “fast and flat course around the coastal front of Blackpool, it’s a great race for a PB.” The route was two-lapped, initially heading southwards along the front to the North Pier, then swinging around and following the promenade all the way down past Little Bispham, turning around just before Anchorsholme Park and heading back towards the start line, to start the second lap. After two full laps the runners headed back down the front to finish by the Middle Walkway.

With an 11.00am start, the runners set off in what were fairly warm temperatures considering it was mid-February. Along they went on their merry way, lucky that they had what everyone craves when they stop at the coast; a sea view. For thirteen miles. Well, it helps take your mind off things.

This shot gives you a rough idea of where everyone was running. That’s the Irish Sea on the left.

Dave had the honour of being #FPH, finishing 449th in just over 1 hour and 51 minutes. That’s a decent time, considering it was his first-ever attempt at this distance. When asked how he found the course, he replied, “Flat, not really used to that!”

All smiles from Dave Collett after completing his first half marathon. With no hills to tackle like he does around Northowram, the course must have been a bit of a (sea) breeze.

Alison kept Laura company, offering her words of comfort and motivation as Laura, by her own admission, struggled to get round. “I’ve been ill and not run for two weeks, so hardly the best preparation,” she said.

Ill maybe, but that didn’t stop Laura and Alison tucking into a chocolate fondant upon finishing. Oh, and word has it that they had a win on the slot machines, too. To help pay for the aforementioned chocolate fondant, no doubt. A good day all round, then.

The only thing that will revive Laura is a chocolate fondant (with ice cream, please).

Pumas’ positions and chip times;

449 Dave Collett 1:51:11.18

1157 Alison Shooter 2:41:23.51

1158 Laura Fairbank 2:41:23.81

1,221 runners