Girls lead the way!!!!
On a morning when Eliud Kipchoge decimated the men’s marathon record 44 members of South Derbyshire Road Runners were tackling a much shorter distance albeit over a more undulating and twisty route. The Tamworth 5 was the last race in this year’s Burton and District Summer League and, from a team perspective, it was something of a lap of honour for the Club’s men’s and women’s teams who had already secured the league’s team honours. However, as they have done all season, it was the Club’s women who led the way with Jenni Laing, Ellie Evans and Louise Insley scooping the event’s team prize here with some terrific running. Jenni, who has had a busy and productive season, recorded a chip time of 32:32 exactly the same as the fast improving Ellie Evans with Louise recording a very creditable 33:36. Further down the field Cath Johnston’s 62:26 was also good enough to secure her a very popular ‘age category’ prize. Nikki Reeves battled a cold as well as another warm race to record 37:21 with Tracey Glover (37:46) and Lisa Wright (39:53) not far behind. Sam Skidmore, making a really welcome return to Club running, Kat Smith and Ellie Dickson all ran superbly in recording 42:52, 43:29 and 44:19 respectively with Seran Bradley (45:02) and Emily Atkins (45:18) also in close order. Alison Shearer and the injury returning Becky Atkins also gave everything as they stopped the clock in 47:21 and 47:36. Becky Lenaghan and Mary Sharp also managed to duck below the 50 minute benchmark in 49:10 and 49:24, with Sarah Walters (50:22), Julianne Walters (53:57), Pauline Cooper (55:42) and Helen Clarke (57:33), a week after completing the Great North Run, all showing continued improvement over a not particularly quick course.
For the men it was again youngster James Farmer who led the way home with a superb 29:49 with the more experienced Andy Hawtin close in 30:13 and debutant Sam Bassett, laying down an excellent marker for the future, with 31:32. Mark Harriott and Rich Miller are two others who have had busy and productive seasons and they showed no ill effects here as they recorded 32:02 and 32:22 respectively. William Hirst, relatively new to competing for the Club, followed up a promising debut in the Burton 10k with 33:42 here edging out the hard working Men’s Club Captain Andy Orme in 33:55. The two silver foxes Chris Mason and Colin Mee were close here as they stopped the clock in 34:12 and 34:20 with another close inter-Club battle involving James Gough (35:39) and Paul Glover (35:42) being fought just behind. Nigel Atkins (36:12), Barry Saunders (36:17) and Steve Leafe (36:26) were also desperately close with Kev Clarke (37:53) indicating that last week’s efforts in the north east hadn’t impacted on him too much. Dave Walters, another showing great progress, recorded 38:49. Ross Ballinger (39:28), Malcolm Moore (40:10) and Mark Murkin (41:38) gave everything for the yellow vest as did Robin Thorne, John Pegg and the redoubtable David Lunn as they stopped the clock in 42:14, 43:17 and 44:13 respectively. Roger Cobb (49:28) and Tom Robinson (50:31) both ran with distinction as they completed the finishers for the Club in the men’s race.
Running in the same country and treading on the same tarmac as Kipchoge were Rob Eaton, Chris Gunstone and Tony Phillips. All will have slept soundly on Sunday night as they recorded excellent times of 02:42:11, 03:31:29 and 05:49:59 respectively over the world record breaking course at the BMW Berlin Marathon.