Wesham Road Runners' Rob Danson wins historic Freckleton Half-Marathon

The runners get under way in the Freckleton Half-Marathon   Picture: MARTIN BOSTOCK
The runners get under way in the Freckleton Half-Marathon Picture: MARTIN BOSTOCK

It is exactly 50 years since the fastest-ever running of the Freckleton Half-Marathon and so it was fitting that history was made on this special anniversary.

It is exactly 50 years since the fastest-ever running of the Freckleton Half-Marathon and so it was fitting that history was made on this special anniversary.
This year’s winner Rob Danson of Wesham Road Runners became the first athlete to win the race as an adult having previously won as a junior.
The UK’s oldest half-marathon was staged for the 55th year at Bush Lane Playing Fields on Sunday, together with the 43rd running of the women’s race.
Danson’s time of 70mins, 25secs may not have matched the 64.45 record set by the legendary Ron Hill half a century ago but it was enough to win by over four minutes from second-placed Robert Affleck, a regular prominent finisher in this event. Vet45 Robert of Preston Harriers completed the course in 74.49.
Danson’s Wesham clubmate Simon Denye, another vet 45, was third in 79.37 and there was a fourth top-10 finisher for the club in Paul Gregory (vet40), who was 10th in 84.37.
The first woman and 31st overall was Margaret Beever of Stainland Lions (v40) in 84.37. Katherine Cousins of Lancaster and Morecambe was second in 90.11 and Natasha Sheel of Serpentine third in 91.17.
Leading the way among the Fylde coast clubs was Sasha Wallbank of Freckleton and Warton Running Club, who was fourth lady in 93.43.
There were 485 finishers in all, with the entry well up on last year, and organiser Luke Frost told The Gazette: “It’s good to see the race is as popular as ever and all the advertising we have done this year paid off.
“We had been hoping all week the rain would stop but on Sunday we would have welcomed some because it got quite warm out there, but we had a really good race.”