Putting their best foot forward at the Milltown Races Oldham Half Marathon

Date published: 29 October 2018

The Milltown Races Oldham Half Marathon again took the town by storm, with 278 runners pounding the streets from Oldham to Saddleworth.

Gareth Raven from Sale Harriers and Eleanor Davies from Preston Harriers were crowned male and female winners of the 13.1 mile race, which is renowned for being one of the most challenging half marathons in the UK.

Gareth finished in 1:15:02, while Eleanor recorded a time of 1:22:28.

Second place went to Jan Pichl (1:15:43) from Salford Harriers and third place went to Michael Mannings (1:17:42) from Oldham & Royton Harriers.

The second fastest female entrant was Vicky Wright (1:26:27) from Hyde Village Striders, while Gaynor Keane (1:36:38) from Saddleworth Runners came in third.

A crowd of more than 200 spectators were in attendance to cheer the racegoers on, creating a fantastic atmosphere.

Eleanor Davies won the women's race

Yesterday's event was organised by Oldham Community Leisure (OCL).

In total there were 277 finishers who made it round the difficult course – just one runner, the previous winner from the last two years Bruno Lima, didn’t make it round the course due to injury.  

Race Director Patrick Wolstenholme said: “The Oldham Half Marathon has become a firm fixture in the race calendar, in part thanks to its challenging course, which features more than 1100ft of ascent, and also thanks to the amazing atmosphere local spectators provide.

"This year’s event was an unmissable experience.

"The positive feedback since the event has been overwhelming, and I’d like to thank all the local businesses who offered their support, the volunteer marshals and local people for turning out to cheer on the runners.

“We wish Bruno a speedy recovery.

"Although it was a chilly day, the sunshine was glorious and made the views of Oldham to Saddleworth Moor and back even more beautiful.”

One of the successful runners in yesterday's race was locally-based Ian Longmuir (pictured below).

Ian finished the race in a time of 2:27:04, despite the fact he has recovered from three heart attacks suffered two years ago.

Thanks to open heart surgery and subsequent cardiac rehab programmes at the Royal Oldham and Oldham Community Leisure, Ian is now firing on all cylinders again and ready to do it all again.

Ian said: "It was brilliant, and very hard.

"Brutal might even be the correct term, but very rewarding afterwards.

"I did it in under two hours 30 minutes, that’ll do for me. I am just happy to have completed it!

"It didn’t feel great at the time, there were parts I thought I wouldn’t get through it, but it was brilliant.

"I can’t wait to book on to the next one – it’s an experience I can’t wait to do again.

"Thanks to Paddy and the team at OCL, who have helped me through my journey to recovery – they’ve all given their knowledge freely and helped me in doing what I need to do to get well again.”

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