The Nine lives on as one of region’s top road races

Pat Hagan was the first Doncaster runner to finish the Norton 9
Pat Hagan was the first Doncaster runner to finish the Norton 9
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The Norton 9 confirmed its place among the region’s most popular road races last weekend.

More than 550 runners from all over Yorkshire and beyond, tackled the first big road race in the town in 2014.

Some people used the race, organised by the Askern club, as part of their build-up to next month’s London Marathon.

The race was won by Harrogate’s Chris Miller (51.10) who went one better than last year.

“The plan was to get in front from the start and try and stay there,” he said.

Doncaster Council officer Pat Hagan, who runs for Team Manvers, was the first home-town runner to finish. He was 35th overall in a time of 57.28 which saw him win the vet-55 section.

Eddie Fletcher (60.02) flew the flag for Doncaster AC, who weren’t particularly well represented.

“It was my first race since a knee operation last year, so I’m pleased how it went,” he said after finishing 56th.

The colours of the town’s newest club, Danum Harriers, were more prominent, with Sean Poulter (62.41) being their first man home in 89th place.

A more familiar face in their ranks was former England Rugby Union 7’s star Dave Scully, who stepped down as Wheatley Hills coach last summer. He was 151st in 68.06.

Askern’s Brian Watts, whose firm Ultralift Mechanical Handling sponsored the event, won the vet-70 race in 71.11.

Danum’s Louise Wilkinson (166th in 69.18) was the first Doncaster female.

The event was originally known as the Three Counties 10 mile road race, but the title was wrong on two accounts according to Askern official Mick Collingwood.

“For a start it didn’t go into West Yorkshire, and it wasn’t ten miles either,” he said.

Only a handful of Askern members – the first home being Craig Hibbert (138th in 67 minutes 05 seconds) – competed in the actual race with most acting as officials.

“We have a ruling that if a club member wants to run they have to find a replacement marshal due to the fact that we need over 20 people to staff the course,” said Mick.