There was no sign of spring in the air as freezing temperatures and icy rain greeted the huge contingent of Striders competing in the St. Helens 10k.
The formidable Rachael Fairclough powered through the testing conditions to finish in 2nd place in a stunning 40:57. 2nd Strider home was the effervescent Kylie Barlow, closely followed by Cherryl Orrick, Jenny Martin and Sharron Burt.
There was further glory for Striders ladies as Sue Heaps finished first in the V50 category, alongside the effervescent Pauline Horsfall who emerged victorious in the V60 age group.
First Strider home for the men was the ever impressive Chris Hazeldine. An excellent time of 35:45 was enough to secure a 5th place finish overall. He was chased home by the doggedly determined Daniel Cheetham in 9th place in a time of 36:54. Kevin Outten, Kieran Allen and John Williams were the next 3 home, all finishing in the top 30.
A number of Striders made the short journey to Liverpool to take part in the city's half marathon and 10 mile events. The weather was no kinder, as 40mph winds whipped across Otterspool Promenade which was the long finishing stretch of each race.
Colin Wilson and Jane Marshall both scored huge PBs in the 10 Mile Race, finishing in 1:21 and 1:36 respectively, closely followed by Rebecca McKenna. Sarah Charlton also performed admirably with a splendid 1:34.
Lynda Butchard tackled the longer 13.1 mile race and came home in determined fashion in a time of 2:22.
Sunnier conditions prevailed for husband and wife team Craig and Hannah Whittaker as they travelled to Barcelona to take part in the marathon. Hannah, stepping up in distance after a sensational 2018, finished in a superb 3:26. Craig performed equally well, slicing a barely credible 44 minutes off his previous best, in a time of 3:56.
Saturday saw a proud moment for Striders, as four athletes represented Merseyside in the Inter Counties Cross Country Championship in Loughborough. Jon-Jo Doherty performed admirably against the cream of the U.K.'s Cross Country talent, and finished 2nd of the travelling Merseyside contingent. David Wilson also did his club and county proud with a gritty performance. For the ladies, the stellar pairing of Rachael Fairclough and Kelly Hamilton performed well, contributing vital points to the Mersey cause.