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Hundreds tackle Essar Chester Round the Walls challenge

Chris Smithard and Tessa McCormick triumph in Boxing Day run


Chris Smithard and Tessa McCormick celebrated success at this year’s Essar Chester Round The Walls Race, organised by West Cheshire AC.

Hundreds of runners from the West Cheshire area and beyond took part.

Smithard, a member of Deeside Orienteering Club, was the first runner home, clocking a winning time of 23 minutes 22 seconds after tackling a 4.5 miles course from Chester racecourse.

He finished 15 seconds clear of second-placed Paul Thompson (Bournville Harriers), while Ian Wetherall (Sale Harriers) posted 23:40 for third spot.

McCormick, who lives in Chester and represents Vale Royal AC, retained the women’s crown after clocking 24:32 for ninth spot in the overall field of 410 finishers.

The England under 20 junior international reached the finishing line ahead of second placed Vale Royal clubmate Kate Titlow, who posted 24:32, and third-placed Jenny Clague (Liverpool Harriers) in 27:11.

James Mellor won the U20 junior men’s prize after clocking 31:06, and Nicola Harris (Wirral AC) won the under 20 junior lady title with a time of 31:45.

James Smith (Southampton AC) clocked 24:26 for eighth place to claim the over 40 men’s prize, while Joe Johnson (Wirral AC) won the over-45 men’s award in 12th spot with 25:49.

Wrexham AC’s Mike Robbins claimed the over-50 men’s award after finishing 21st overall in 27:04, ahead of 27th placed David Baugh (Denbigh Harriers) who posted 27:35 to win the over 55 men’s prize.

Robert Taylor (Stockport) took the over 60 men’s title after posting 27:41 for 28th spot overall, ahead of over 65 men’s winner Mike Smithard (99th overall in 31:13) and West Cheshire AC’s Brian Beattie, who secured the over 70 men’s prize after clocking 38:07 for 278th place overall.

Ellesmere Port Running Club’s Nicola Bird claimed the over 35 women’s prize after posting 28:29 for 42nd place overall, ahead of over 40 winner Lisa Grantham (Pensby Runners) who clocked 28:44; over-45 winner Julie Webb (Chester Tri) who finished in 30:37; over 50 winner Tracy Shipley (Chester Tri) in 32:58; over 55 winner Paula Speechley (33:50); and over 60 winner Rosemary Rogers (West Cheshire AC) who clocked 34:53.

Other finishers from host club West Cheshire AC included Tom Booth (20th in 26:37); Joe Foy (35th in 28:06); Rob Freeman (41st in 28:28); Richard Farley (154th in 33:17); Peter Povey (181st in 33:59); Peter Smith (213th in 34:54); Steve Ingram (269th in 37:53); Nikki and Andrew Gore (291st and 292nd in 39:03).


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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