BOLTON Harrier Katie Percival broke down in tears at the finishing line of the Wilmslow Festive 10k after achieving her target of a sub-40 10k.

It meant years of dedication and training had finally come to fruition for Percival.

She explained: “What I would say is I’ve been aiming for the sub-40 for years but to be honest I turned up on Sunday with no expectations, thinking ‘just run’.

“When I was still with the sub-40 pacer at 5k I realised I might be doing okay.

“Obviously running in freezing conditions suits me well as I am known for complaining that it’s too hot.

“I am very happy with the result, of course, and looking forward to upcoming events.”

Harriers had a small but strong contingent in a talented country-wide line-up. First Harrier home, and in overall fourth position, was the irrepressible Jonny Kay.

He was hoping for a sub-30 10k but although those hopes were dashed he still finished with a stunning personal-best time of 30mins 21secs.

Kay said: “It was bitterly cold so I am happy with it.

“I settled into a good rhythm early on in the leading pack but ended up being pretty solo from the 5k mark.

“Nigel Martin, of Sale, (sub-29 runner) was always in sight so he gave me something to look at and I am always happy with a PB.”

Tommy Harrison continued his fine form and busy schedule with yet another PB in a time of 32:31.

He has had a fantastic year and can rightly be proud of his 2021 achievements in the famous Blue Vest.

Rob Short also came away with a PB, finishing in 35:21. He has continued to improve since joining Dave Shaw’s group and didn’t disappoint his watching coach.

Joe Grisdale and Matt Atkinson both had big PBs to celebrate on the day and were split by the consistent Chris Povey.

Grisdale posted 37:17, with Povey just one second behind.

After getting his breath back, Grisdale said: “I am chuffed to bits with that and looking forward to seeing how I progress next year training with the group.”

Atkinson added: “It was great to get a 10k PB after mainly marathon training over the last year or so and my aim is to go sub-37 in the New Year.”

Jordan Brophy proved what a great trooper he is by taking up his starting position despite still getting over Covid.

Brophy battled his way to a time of 41:18 and will no doubt improve on that with Wilmslow under his belt and the illness behind him.