24th October 2019 AUTHOR: dwhite CATEGORIES: Event Report

The Major Stone Half Marathon 2019

Our annual Half Marathon, named in honour of former President George H Stone, took place this year on 2nd September from its usual location in Lockington in first-class running conditions –dry, sunny, slightly breezy but not overpoweringly hot.

The race was keenly fought at the front, with Rob Weekes recording a PB (which he smashed at the ABP Coastal Half two weeks later!) of 73:56 but losing out to Matt Nelson (CoH) who recorded 73:34.

The Ladies’ course record was re-written by Becky Briggs (CoH) who finished 5th overall in an excellent time of 77:16.

There were many other excellent performances, several runners telling me they had recorded a Half Marathon PB. This reinforces my personal belief that the course is varied enough (‘undulating’) to make it interesting with great views of the Wolds scenery, but still affords the opportunity to record a decent race time. Well done to all runners, prizewinners and otherwise.

Some months prior to the race I had been contacted by Russell Young who is the great-grandson of the Major and ran in the race in 2008. Russell now lives in Australia but was back in the UK in 2018 for a family funeral which re-ignited his desire to donate a trophy in his great-grandfather’s memory.

Fast forward a few months, exchanges of emails and photos and Russell funded two new trophies to be presented to the first East Hull Harriers runners in the Half Marathon. The Male trophy is named after Christopher Peachey (Russell’s uncle, also a club member in the late 1960s) and the Female trophy after Margaret Stone (Russell’s Grandmother). We have never had trophies for this race in the past and I think these trophies are not only a fitting tribute to a man who contributed so much in his time at the club but should also elevate the race’s status in the minds of our leading runners.

We were fortunate that one of our newer members Dawn Oades is friends with Russell Young’s sister Gemma Lacy, who agreed to present the prizes and trophies which was fitting given this was the first time the new trophies have been awarded. It was great to see Gemma and her husband supporting the event and she was a popular presenter (see photos). The trophies were won by Rob Weekes and Carole Fee, both popular recipients gaining the rewards for their punishing training schedules.

‘The Major’ is notorious for the slow trickle of entries, which this year was worse than usual (though the total number of finishers was only 29 down on 2018). Whether this is due to the over-proliferation of races, holidays, an event staged on the disused Hornsea-Hull railway line on the same day or any other factor is something I’ll never know. The race was a great success in many ways, with favourable comments received and the race t-shirt as always gaining a lot of praise.

Planning has already started for next year’s race, which will be on SUNDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER 2020 and will be my 10th year as Race Director. We now have a ‘local schedule’ of races for this time of year, agreed by mutual consent. Keep watching the Facebook page and the newsletter for updates and thanks to everyone for your continuing support, especially to the marshals and other helpers without whom this and other races could not take place.

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