Former Clarets Full-Back Completes East Coast Race
As the Clarets battled to stay in the football league some thirty-one years ago, manager Brian Miller turned to youth players such as Phil Devaney, Jason Hardy, Ashley Hoskin and Peter Leebrook for the club’s biggest ever challenge, saving the club from relegation into non-league football.
Over the weekend, one of those youth players Peter Leebrook returned home to the UK from the USA where he is a football coach to test himself again. The former Clarets full back who turns fifty this week completed in the epic Hardmoor Sixty Race, which is a sixty-two mile run along the east coast from Guisborough to Filey.
The route follows the second half of the Hardmoors 110, along the beautiful Cleveland Coast through Leebrook’s home town of Saltburn By the Sea, then on to Runswick Bay, Staithes, Whitby, Robin Hoods Bay, Ravenscar and Scarborough before finishing at the seaside resort of Filey.
Speaking to the former Clarets defender this morning he said, “I have completed a few marathons and a 50k run in the US, but for my fiftieth I wanted to do something that I could remember and that would be a challenge. I therefore took the decision to run the Hardmoor 60 (100k race) which was made more special as the course goes through my home town of Saltburn By The Sea.
I was a little apprehensive at the start line due to the fact that I had not run more than twenty miles whilst in training due to injuries. I bumped into a young Clarets supporter from Colne at the start and I was having a chat to him about the club and how well they are doing at the moment in Premier League and Europe. I mentioned the Orient game but he didn’t remember the match, saying that his dad had told him about it.
The race itself was really challenging with some difficult coastal paths and some massive hills and if that wasn’t enough the race has a cut off time of eighteen hours. There were two places in the race that really tested me, the first was Robins Hood Bay to Ravenscar and the second was at 51 miles, there was supposed to be a checkpoint in Scarborough but the checkpoint never came until 55 miles and those four miles were the toughest.
As in life when expectations change and you are under stress you just want to quit and that is what it was like from Scarborough to Filey, it was the last leg of the race and even though I was hurting badly I enjoyed it immensely. I went on to finish the race at 1.45am finishing in 153rd position in a time of seventeen hours and twenty-nine minutes.
You have many things going on in your head and my time at Burnley and especially the Burnley v Orient game comes back to you. Also what inspires you and keep s you going are people who are no longer with us, like my good friend Ian Britton or people who are with us but have been dealt a bad hand with disabilities or illness.
Walking over the cliff tops on your own in the pitch black when you are exhausted in a way is very exhilarating, your senses really come alive. I thank every day how lucky I am to still have everything working and will keep enjoying every challenge life throws at me.”