David Rigby of Salford Harriers and Joanne Goorney of Lytham St Annes Road Runners set a scorching pace on a red-hot day to defend their titles in the Freckleton Half-Marathon.
The 53rd running of the country’s oldest half-marathon took place in blistering sunshine, which took its toll on the entry.
And 2016 winners Rigby and Goorney again set a pace too hot for their rivals on the course from Bush Lane playhing fields, even though the conditions dictated against record-breaking times.
The race formed a thrilling centre-piece to Freckleton Club Day and was again staged alongside a popular two-mile fun run.
Rigby of Salford Harriers defied the energy-sapping heat to win by a convincing margin in 1hr, 11mins, 15secs, with Robert Affleck of Preston Harriers second and first veteran (over-45) in 1.13.51.
Third and the first Fylde coast club runner home was Mike Toft of Lytham St Annes RR in 1.19.01
LSARR took the first two places in the women’s race, with vet45 Goorney winning in 1.33.14 for 43rd place overall.
Clubmate Felicity Wolohan was 41secs behind in second spot (45th overall), with Gemma Snape of Tri-Preston third ( 1.34.25, 48th).
Other top 20 finishers included LSA’s Joe Greenwood (fifth) and the Wesham Road Runners trio of David Taylor (11th), Garry Barnett (17th) and Paul Gregory (20th).
Also among the leading ladies were LSA’s Michelle Hook, finishing sixth, and Wesham’s Helen Lawrenson (eighth).
Race secretary Luke Frost told The Gazette: “Overall we’ve had a great weekend, though it was a touch too hot for the races.
“That did affect the numbers, with some dropping out, and one gentleman did have to go to hospital to be treated for heatstroke.
“We still had 440 finishers in the main race and some excellent times.”
Proceeds from the race help to fund the annual event, though charities also benefit, such as Heartbeat.