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“Goodwill, joy, inspiration and happiness” in a 40-mile race

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Lee Ireland and runner-up Richard Taylor

MORE than 200 runners made an early morning start from the centre of Lymm as the third Warrington Way Ultra Marathon got under way.
The 40-mile race, organised by Lymm Runners, started at 7.30am from the village hall, with the runners cheered on by family, supporters and race volunteers.
Later, in the afternoon, the runners gradually returned, tired, muddy, but jubilant for a welcome plate of hot chilli, a cup of tea and some cake – as well as their finishers T-shirt and medal.
Organised by Lymm Runners for solo runners, pairs or relay teams of four, it has become more than just a race along rural tracks and trails.
One volunteer commented: “If one could bottle the goodwill, joy, inspiration and simple happiness that overflowed on this day……”
For one Lymm Runner it meant even more. Graham Chilton was running the race for the mental health charity Mind, together with team mates Rebecca Beard and Chris Buckley.
They were raising awareness of mental health issues in the UK and funds for the charity, following the tragic loss of his wife, Liz, in 2016 due to an almost life long battle with mental health issues.
Liz had also been a Lymm Runner and had found that running and dancing were great ways of trying to cope with her emotions.
So far Graham has raised more than £2,500 and counting – a great personal achievement as it was the first time he had run that distance which he did in a terrific time of eight hours 38 minutes.
His daughter-in-law Jennifer Chilton commented: “I just wanted to say a huge thank you to the organisers, runners, supporters and strangers who made the run possible and spurred Graham and his team along the way! Donations can still be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/40milesforliz
A special mention also for The Lymm Reapers – a team of four male Lymm Runners, all aged 60 or over – a combined age of 240. Andrew Skett, Tony Sala, Tim Evans and Mark Coulthard braved the mud and were the 8th relay team to finish in a remarkable six hours 21 minutes. In preparation for the race, they had held strategy meetings in the pub and had designed their own special T-shirts complete with the Lymm stocks and Old Father Time’s scythe!
The race was won by Lee Ireland in five hours 20 minutes while Keely Smith was the first woman home in six hours 15 minutes.
The race will take place again next November and entries will be open early April.

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