First fun run is big success

Tim ChannonClub News

THE club’s inaugural Gary Speed Memorial 10k fun run proved a great success and plans are already being made for next year.
The event was won by 42-year-old Darren Blazier from Bodelwyddan, who is a member of Abergele Harriers running club and who completed the course in 37mins 37secs.
He finished nearly a minute ahead of clubmate Jodi Waters of Rhyl (38.20), with Andrew Birch from Oswestry third in 38.50.
First lady was 67-year-old Christine Birch from Conwy, one of the top runners at her age group in the country and is the current Welsh Over-65 5k road race champion, who clocked 49.48.
A strong head win along the promenade made the first half of the run tough going, but Darren pulled away from the 350-strong field on the homeward leg.
A number of Colwyn Bay players, past and present including Sean Williams and Jamie Crowther, also took part and they were led home by Jamie (now with Barrow), with skipper Rob Hopley not far behind.
Manager Frank Sinclair also took part, put the ex-Chelsea and Leicester City defender struggled with an old calf injury in the second half of the run.
Club vice-president John Martin, who helped organise the event, said the plan was to hold it again next year.
“It has been a fantastic success for the first one,” he said.
“We’ve had people from all over taking part, and It was terrific that so many runners came in Wales, Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Leed United and Newcastle shirts (Gary Speed’s former clubs), which was a great tribute to Gary.
“All the volunteers and stewards who helped on the day were also fantastic.
“The whole idea was to pay tribute to Gary Speed and hopefully we have done that.”
All Gary’s family were there and his father and club patron, Roger, commented: “I am made up so many people turned out. It was a wonderful day and a super tribute to Gary.
And mum Carol added: “We have had so many lovely comments from people about Gary which we appreciate so much. It has been a wonderful day.”
Many thanks to Strathmore Water and Kellogs for donating bottled water and energy bars for all the runners.

Winner Darren Blazier receives his medal from Roger and Carol Speed

Winner Darren Blazier receives his medal from Roger and Carol Speed

Runners leave the ground at the start of the Gary Speed 10K Memorial run

Runners leave the ground at the start of the Gary Speed 10K Memorial run

Roger and Carol Speed with the first lady finisher who was Welsh over-65 5k champion Chris Birch from Conwy.

Roger and Carol Speed with the first lady finisher who was Welsh over-65 5k champion Chris Birch from Conwy.