Hundreds of runners gathered in Accrington yesterday to take part in the Ron Hill Accrington 10k, celebrating the life of the Olympic legend.
The race, which is now part of The Running Bee Foundation’s impressive event portfolio, saw runners from near and far travel to take on a beautiful 10k route within Ron’s hometown.
For those who wanted to take the first steps into their running journey, the MyFirst Mile was also on hand to encourage individuals to begin an active lifestyle.
Starting in front of the Town Hall in the heart of Accrington, runners headed out onto Blackburn Road towards Dale Street, passing May Hill Close and Ron Hill Way.
A perfect route to suit every type of athlete, the course gradually climbed along a nature path before heading quickly downhill for a sprint finish.
Welcoming every level of runner, from those chasing PB’s to those completing their first race, runners were taken on a journey of Ron’s life, exploring places that shaped the former marathon runner.
Dave Walmsley of Manchester Harriers took the win on a warm day, completing the course in 38 minutes and 42 seconds. Paul Marshall of Ramsbottom Running Club followed in second with a time of 40 minutes 37 seconds, closely shadowed by Prestwich Athletic Club’s Dean Whittle in 40 minutes 39 seconds.
The first female to cross the line was Joanne Horan in a time of 41 minutes 40 seconds, with Anne-Marie Hindle of Rossendale Harriers in second with 43 minutes and 14 seconds. Third place went to Stephanie Stevens of Chorlton Runners, crossing the line in 47 minutes and 8 seconds.
Prize money was given in the form of a charity donation to a charity of the winner’s choice. 1st male and female are given £100, 2nd male and female can donate £75 and 3rd male and female are given £50.
The event was a huge success on the day, with Ron’s positive attitude apparent throughout the course, especially with his wonderful wife May Hill in attendance.
Steve Kenny, the Running Bee Foundation lead commented: ‘’The event was a great success. Accrington welcomed The Running Bee Foundation with open arms and we were proud to bring our Ron Hill Accrington 10K to local runners and runners beyond. Thank you to everyone who took part, from those crossing the finishing line to spectators cheering them on. A special thank you to May Hill for attending on the day and joining us in celebrating her husband’s life and legacy.’’
All runners who crossed the finish line received a commemorative Ron Hill Accrington 10k medal and runners were also able to purchase a limited edition Ron Hill vest. All athletes also received official race chip timing.