Martin Courtney jumped at an opportunity to escape the company of his large northern family (too much sitting around drinking tea and endless chats about shopping… ) to run the Lancaster Three Bridges 10k on the first May bank holiday weekend.
The race follows a pleasant and flat, traffic-free course along pavements and cycle paths beside the river. But only up to the halfway mark when runners are suddenly faced with a 70ft climb up a steep flight of stairs onto the Lune Viaduct, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’ that carries the Lancaster Canal north to Kendal.
Martin’s calves struggled to recover over the following mile and a 20mph headwind (gusting to 40mph) didn’t help miles 5 and 6 either. Still, this was a highly enjoyable race which benefits from a fast, sprint finish on a newly installed running track, though nothing more than a bog standard medal made Martin wonder where Lancaster and Morecambe AC spent the rest of his £12 entry fee.
Other than the viaduct steps the course offers reasonable PB potential if the weather is kind, and there are excellent parking and shower facilities at Lancaster’s Salt Ayre Leisure Centre adjacent to the start line.
Official results: 1st James Riley, Liverpool Harriers, 32:36; 19th – Amy Clark, Buxton AC, 41:04; 121st – Martin Courtney, Ely Runners, 51:01. There were 273 finishers.