Holly Hayes, Derby, Matthew Walker, 13 Arches and Aintree

Fifty four members from the Club were in action over the weekend at five different venues and the thing they all had in common was……wet feet!! Laying claim to the wettest feet were the sixteen who took part in the first leg of the Derby Runner Cross Country League (Leicestershire Division) at Holly Hayes Wood. With the usual mix of rocks and gratuitous water hazards you need to be resilient to survive and Abbie Van Dijk was all of these as she won the women’s race by a significant margin. She was given great team support by Team Captain, Lisa Wright in 38th, Katarina Compton in 61st and Anna Casey in 197th. The men were deservedly led home by Mark Harriott in 85th with strongman Shane Chapman in 96th and debutant Sebastian Van Dijk in a well-run 104th. Ben Holmes ran strongly for 113th with something of a gap before Adrian Middleton, making a welcome return to the mud and water, finished in 199th. Steve Leafe battled around for 205th place before Chris Elsegood and Ian Archer completed the team scorers in 212th and 223rd places. Special mention should be made of second claimer Rich Miller who ran strongly for 44th place but was unable to count in the team and to Joe Baldwin, second claimer Mitch Timms and Mark Nixon who battled well for 270th, 306th and 317th places respectively.

Equally wet were the seventeen who tackled the Derby 10 mile race which, surprisingly given the conditions, featured a significant number of distance PBs for the Club’s contingent. The Club’s first three finishers Danial Bower, Ross Clarke and Darren Holmes were separated, on chip times, by 23 seconds and three finishing positions as they finished in 30th, 31st and 33rd places in times of 61:48, 61:56 and 62:11 respectively. Rob Eaton, still recovering from the Chicago Marathon, ran solidly for his 65:56 as did Nathan Holmes in 67:45 and Tim Rhodes in 68:09. The next three finishers were separated by 13 seconds with Rom Chambard, Andy Lindley and Christina Hawtin recording 68:58, 69:01 and 69:11 and all having the satisfaction of recording distance PBs. Men’s Club Captain, Andy Orme returned to form with 69:31 just edging out the resilient Matt Clemson in 71:32. Ross Ballinger, Becky Moult and John Pegg ran well for their chip times of 82:42, 87:49 and 88:31 as did the improving Emma Sharp as she stopped the clock in 100:00. Shannon Hurdman and Pauline Cooper gave their usual maximum effort to complete the Club’s finishers in 114:40 and 122:12.

Also with solid, if wet, ground beneath their feet were the seventeen who tackled the Matthew Walker Christmas Pudding 10k. Leading the way for the group was Steve Bullock in a very respectable 41:37 with Mikey Walters not far behind in 42:33. David Green, Chris Hanman and Phil Daws all ran to form in recording 44:40, 45:21 and 47:02 before, what was arguably the Club’s performance of the race from Mark Murkin, as he stopped the clock in 47:28. Kev Clarke couldn’t quite replicate the distance PB performance of son Ross at the Derby 10 mile but rolled back the years in recording 50:10 with another experienced runner Gary Price doing well for 51:02. Kelvin Taylor and Dave Walters finished closely in 53:03 and 53:26 with Andy Meadows next in 54:31. Sarah Walters ran superbly for her 55:38 as did Becky Lenaghan in 58:03. David Lunn also ducked beneath the hour with 58:40 before Jan Cobb, Helen Clarke and Julianne Walters completed the Club’s finishers in 66:16, 71:12 and 74:10 respectively.

Paul and Tracey Glover raced much further afield as they tackled the 13 Arches Trail Half Marathon near Manchester and both ran with distinction as they recorded very respectable times of 01:41.47 and 01:42.30. Chris Mason, probably had the driest feet, as he competed on Saturday in the annual British and Irish Masters International XC at Aintree Racecourse over a flat, almost dry 6km course. Chris managed to finish as third scorer in the victorious English team and fifth overall in the MV70 category.

Posted by Chris Mason