Blackpool Run the Lights 5K/10K – 19th August 2023

by Jon Rose

I was hoping to get away with the shortest race report – ‘What happens in Blackpool stays in Blackpool!’ ………but we’re in the age of Facebook and CrookED has an audience to satisfy.

Crook AC’s small but ‘elite’ team represented in both 5km and 10km events. It’s fair to say the party started for some well before the race! Why the hell not.

A 9 PM mass start for 1200 runners gathered on the lower promenade – which would be proper sketchy on any other night. Myself, Josh and Sam shuffled past Geoff towards the front (first 50 runners) – after a short delay, we got going, briefly north until turning, crossing the tramlines to join the main strip under the famous Blackpool Illuminations (switched on especially for the race). Windy! We battled towards the Tower (5km race turning point) and beyond. Crowds grew and the lights were more elaborate, Blackpool in full-swing.

Sam and Josh were close at the halfway point and the field was stretched and I’d dropped back a minute or so. I can only describe the sensation as like stepping into a sauna, the cooling breeze into the face was gone, overheating, sweat dripping and felt a stitch coming on. So my plan of ‘flooring-it’ (wind assisted) and running a second half 5km PB went out the window and I just settled into a comfortably hard pace keeping heart rate down.

I pulled away from my group and caught a guy clearly struggling with a stitch. I certainly noticed the inclines more on the way back and was pleased to see the 1km sign, where the brakes came off. The sprint finish was back down on the promenade into the wind, ironically with little lighting, guided by the noise at the start/finish line. Both Josh and Sam finished top 10, myself and Sam got 10km PB’s whoop whoop. Across the board amazing results for the Crookites – Geoff Hewitson bagging 1st in V65.

Sharp change, a few beers and a jolly good time was had by all. Not enough sleep, a spot of breakfast after a dip in the sea and some of us hung around to watch the World Cup Final.

Viva Las Blackpool!


5KM – results – 263 finishers
Darren Fairclough 38th (2nd in V50) 24:08
Gemma Thompson 39th (2nd v35) 26:26
Laura Alliston-Godding 115th (9th V35)34:16

10KM – results (928 finishers)
Josh Pearson – 6th overall 36.10
Sam Etherington – 8th overall 36.30
Jon Rose – 18th (4th V45) 38.53
Geoff Hewitson – 86th (1st V65) 45:35
Denise Holman – 178th (3rd V55) 51:21
Jillian Berry – 251st (10th V50) 52:34
Sarah Fairclough – 680 1:07:10
Clare Rose 681 – 1:07:12

Must mention Bryan Potts – Elvet Striders and Riverside PR regular – 3rd overall.