ST HELENS Sutton athletes showed just the calibre of athlete a small northern town has to offer at the weekend.

First to compete was Matt Crehan, as he headed off on a two-hour train journey to Barrowford, after a morning of volunteering in the rain at St. Helens parkrun.

The Podium 5k saw Crehan take an impressive 31 seconds off his 5km PB back in November 2017, and this time he had his eyes set on the course record, set only a month ago by Altrincham’s Mohammed Abu-Rezeq of 14:21.

As always this stripped back-to-basics road race gathered a fantastic field, including GB Olympian Tom Lancashire.

But as the gun went, Crehan shot to the front, stamping his mark on the field and carving out an impressive 70-yard lead after 2k, with a first mile of 4:16.

But Lancashire’s experience and 1500m calibre came into play as he gradually closed on Crehan, putting in a final kick in the last 300m which saw him take the win. But Crehan achieved his goal of matching the old course record, running a new PB of 14:21.

Sunday then saw the streets of Manchester filled with runners, and Sutton’s Gemma Connolly, showed her impressive form, after coming back from a year hampered with injuries. She obliterated her PB, finishing fourth woman in 2:44.06.

Next home for Sutton was the pairing of Rachel Wilcox and Rachel Beesley, both running and raising money for charities close to their hearts, as they finished together in a fantastic marathon debut time of 3:50.54.

Not far behind them was Collette Flaherty in a great new PB of 3:54.17.

And having been convinced by his sister, league footballer Will Beesley rounded out the Sutton runners in a time of 4:32.07.