Atkin right on chime in Grimsby Minster Dash
CLEETHORPES athlete Patrick Atkin beat a high-quality field to win the Grimsby Minster Dash.
The Chariots of Fire themed event took place around the perimeter of St James' Square in the town centre.
Four specially invited athletes took part in the main race.
They started when the first bell sounded to mark 12pm – and the aim was to make it around the loop before the 12th and final bell had sounded. The course was 250 paces in length.
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Atkin, 18, was one of a quartet of athletes of varying strengths and experience.
His main rival was Cleethorpes-based middle distance runner Tony Whiteman, the 40-year-old who competed at two Olympic Games, in Atlanta and Sydney.
He this year became the first and only man to ever run a sub-four minute mile outdoors over the age of 40.
Also in the field was Matt Elvidge, 17, a 100m sprinter from Kingston Upon Hull AC. Elvidge also won a bronze medal in his age group for the long jump in the Northern Championships earlier this year.
Promising sprinter Rachel Bell, 16, of Cleethorpes AC, completed the line-up.
After a frantic start by all four, Atkin had the strength to pull away from his rivals in the final stages and took the win in 33.76 seconds.
Whiteman was second in 35.12, just ahead of Elvidge (35.74).
Bell was next over the line in 37.46. It was an impressive display which further underlined her growing reputation as a possible star of the future.
Organiser Terry Willis, a UKA official and race starter, was delighted at how the event went.
He said: "It was an exciting race with all four having good runs.
"Rachel Bell set the standard of the future which other females will now have to try to beat.
"As well as the main race, we also held individual sprints for the public throughout the morning, with around 60 youngsters testing their speed over a 50m course.
"It helps to promote the sport of athletics in the area.
"We had great weather and there was a decent crowd watching. Hopefully we will do it every year now."
Willis thanked everybody who helped to organise the event, including members of Cleethorpes AC, Humberside Athletics Network, and St John Ambulance.