Farmer ploughs through the bog!!!
It’s been a long season but Sunday’s Derby Runner Cross Country race at Bosworth Battlefield brought this year’s Leicestershire based campaign to a fitting climax. Next Sunday at Sinai Park, Burton sees the final fixture in this year’s Staffs/Derby’s version of the league. The Club’s man of the moment, James Farmer continued his upward trajectory as he led the Club’s contingent home in the men’s race with an excellent 20th place finish. Next home was Rob Eaton in a hard run 55th place after he’d tried to wear Farmer out by running to the venue with him. Shane Chapman, who has had a really consistent series, collected the 69th place token with endurance triathlete Christian Glover not far behind in 73rd place. Club Captain, Andy Orme in 121st managed to hold off the challenge of a resurgent Matt Long in 136th with Nigel Atkins and Chris Elsegood running well to complete the men’s team finishers in 140th and 164th respectively. Tom Eyre and Mark Nixon had the closest inter-club finish as they finished in 218th and 220th places with Mark Murkin in 229th and Robin Thorne in 249th giving everything as they completed the Club’s finishers in the men’s race.
Christina Hawtin ran superbly to lead the Club’s women home in 24th with Nikki Reeves in 55th, Lisa Wright in 69th and U20 Emily Atkins in 93rd completing the team finishers in the women’s race with Rebecca Lenaghan giving her usual maximum effort to finish in 126th. A number of the Club’s women were amongst those forced to stop as they retrieved lost shoes in a section of shin deep mud.
In many ways sections of mud for some of the Club’s runners were a minor test of their endurance because the day before at least four who raced the cross country had tackled the 15 mile version of the 2019 Belvoir Challenge. With 15 mile and 26 mile versions on offer and checkpoints offering refuelling options, including home-made cake and jelly babies, the approach to the challenge varies with some treating it as important training for spring marathons while others used it as a challenging social run. In the 15 mile version Christian Glover emphasised his current peak condition as he finished 9th overall in an excellent 01:51:22. Andy Lindley finished in 02:33:55 with Chris Hanman, Chris Elsegood and Nikki Reeves close behind in 02:34:22, 02:37:39 and 02:42:07 respectively. There then came a group comprising Lisa Wright (02:44:51), Sam Skidmore (02:44:53), Romain Chambard (02:44:55) and Becky Moult (02:44:57) who crossed the line together.
London Marathon bound Jenny Laing warmed up for her main spring training focus with a 3rd place finish in the women’s race of the 26 mile option in a superb 03:52:35. Tracey and Paul Glover also enhanced their endurance with excellent times of 04:50:19 and 04:50:25 respectively. Gary Price, who relishes this type of event, recorded 05:35:01 with Alison Shearer and Carolyn Ife sharing the cake and the pain as they crossed the line together in 07:21:46 and 07:21:49 respectively.
Kat Smith was back on home soil as she tackled the Cambridge Half Marathon and should be well pleased with her chip time of 02:09:12.
Last but not least South Derbyshire’s ‘man for all seasons’ Mark Harriott, was on the other side of the world tackling one of world’s marathon majors, the Tokyo Marathon. Needless to say this most consistent of runners recorded an excellent time of 03:05:25.