Busy road runners
This time of year is probably the busiest time for road running with the spring marathon season getting started and locally, the start of another Burton and District Summer Road Racing Series. As has become tradition the first race in this series is the South Derbyshire Road Runner organised Run in the Forest 5 miler on the trails around Conkers. This took place on Sunday with 269 completing the race in good running conditions. While managing the event was the priority the Team Captains did an excellent job in fielding strong teams and, based on the provisional results, it looks like both men’s and women’s teams made winning starts to the campaign. As is the trend in a lot of races women entrants exceeded those from men. Jennie Laing continued her excellent pre-London Marathon form by being 1st woman back in an excellent time of 32:09. Louise Insley, continuing her journey to full fitness, finished 2nd in a superb 32:37 with another making a welcome return to racing Christina Hawtin, also running strongly for 5th place in 35:34. Lisa Wright and Amy Brookes gave excellent team support as they finished in 39:06 and 42:05 respectively. Alison Shearer and Emily Atkins gave everything to finish in 47:01 and 47:08 to complete the Club’s finishers in the women’s race.
The Club’s men were led home by Chris Pearson, who made light of the course in his easy on the eye style, to finish 2nd overall in 28:56. Not far behind at the finish was reigning Club Champion Alun Lloyd Thomas who finished 3rd in 29:05. Continuing the trend of the yellow vests leading the way was Dave Clarke in 5th in 29:08 and the returning Jack Leafe in a hard run 7th place in 29:39. Little separated John Morgan, Rich Miller and Christian Glover as they gave terrific team support to finish in 31:30, 31:52 and 32:00 respectively. Steve Leafe and Paul Glover gave their usual 100% effort to finish in 34:15 and 37:36 before Tony Squires completed the Club’s finishers in a hard-working 56:46.
As is normal the Club’s run clashed with the Derby 10k and eight of the club’s runners lined up on the start line at this race with thousands of others. James Farmer continues his upward trajectory as he finished in a superb 46th place in 36:36. Nathan Fagan ran well for his 40:40 but may have been slightly disappointed to miss the 10k benchmark of sub 40mins. There then followed really encouraging performances from Katie Dennis, Elizabeth Hunt and Holly Holland as they raced well for times of 45:06, 45:39 and 48:51 respectively. Graham Blackshaw rolled back the years to finish in 53:42 before Maria Allen in 54:39 and Roger Cobb in 60:51 raced well to complete the Club’s finishers.
Not really the fault of any scheduling but the rearranged Stafford Half Marathon also took place on Sunday with the Club’s man for all seasons, Shane Chapman showing his class by finishing in 01:25:44 and a very creditable 44th place. Mikey Walters, like a number from the Club tackling the distance for the first time, finished in a very creditable 01:36:29 as did Diane Rider and Dave Walters as they finished in 01:52:25 and 01:53:40. Dave Lunn, no stranger to the distance, gave his usual solid performance to finish in 02:07:15 before distance debutant Sarah Walters and Carolyn Ife battled well to finish in 02:22:09 and 02:34:16 respectively.
The previous weekend saw, what was effectively, the start of the spring marathon season. Stuart Halsey continued his stellar form to storm around the Manchester Marathon in 03:01:24 for a top 500 finish and 9th place in his age group. Andy Meadows ran superbly to finish in 03:36:34 before Becky Moult and Karen Wilks kept each other company to finish in very creditable times of 04:35:05 and 04:35:06. Slightly further afield Chris Mason was in action at the Rotterdam Marathon and finished 5th in his age group in 03:27:51