Athletics: Cheadle runners impress on marathon debuts in Chester big race

Jenny Dalkins with husband Mark keeping a watchful eye on her progress at Chester.

CHEADLE Running Club members produced some outstanding performances in Sunday’s annual MBNA Chester Marathon.

The popular event attracted around 6,000 runners and was watched by an estimated 20,000 people.

Jenny Dalkins claimed second place in the FV category, clocking an excellent time of 3:09:41, and Carl Astbury marked his first-ever full marathon by setting a blistering pace to finish in 3:03:36.

Carl’s excellent time qualified him for GFA (Good For Age) place in the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Both runners were indebted to support and coaching from their respective partners, veteran athletes Mark Dalkins and Rebecca Harrison, who have enjoyed immense success on the roads over the years.

Carl Astley celebrates gaining his entry ot the London Marathon

Fellow Cheadle member Mark Harrison was also delighted to achieve a significant personal best time of 3:17:45 and was followed in by Matt Machin in a creditable time of 3:38:58.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the race which passes through Chester city centre, heading out through Eccleston and Pulford before entering Wales at Rossett and then returning to finish alongside the historic Chester Walls by the River Dee.

This year’s race was won by Tom Charles (Trafford AC), who finished in 2:29:29, and the first woman was Abbey van Djik, who crossed the line in 3:01:51.

The runners are expected to raise a combined total of more than £600,00 for local and national charities.

Elsewhere in Cheshire at the weekend, Cheadle’s Russell Williams competed in the Congleton Half Marathon and clocked a best time for the year over the distance of 1:38:29.