Cliff Lakes, Clowne and Silverstone

Abbey does it again!!!

The cross country races come thick and fast at this time of year and this Sunday, in the Derby/Stafford division of the Derby Runner League, it was a new course at Cliff Lakes, Tamworth that the hardy souls, including thirty two from the Club, had to tackle. Needless to say it was very wet and muddy but this didn’t deter Abbey Van Dijk as, for the second consecutive week, she won the women’s race by a significant margin. Abbey was well supported team wise by a resurgent Christina Hawtin in 5th, Women’s captain Lisa Wright in 21st and the determined Nikki Reeves in 25th. Second Claimer Fiona Betts was next in 28th followed closely by Hazel O’Brien in 30th and the improving Katarina Compton in 37th. Becky Moult powered home in 53rd followed by Sarah Walters in 60th and Shannon Hurdman, cross country debutant Helen Clarke and Anna Casey in 89th, 94th and 95th places respectively.

The Club’s men’s team were led home by Chris Pearson, who revels in the mud and wet, and finished here in an excellent 3rd place. Someone who has displayed remarkable consistency across all surfaces this year is Mark Harriott and he put local knowledge to good use to finish in a superb 24th place. The yellow vests then swamped the finish area as the hard running Ben Holmes, Shane Chapman, Micheal Walters and Andy Allsop collected the 28th, 29th, 30th and 32nd finishing tokens. In a morning of good performances Micheal Walters, on his cross country debut, deserves special mention for a consistent, well-paced effort in testing conditions. Men’s Team Captain, Andy Orme in 48th and race debutant Hector Arenas in a well-run 55th completed the men’s team finishers. Mention should also be made of another debutant Darren Wilson who finished in 41st but unfortunately couldn’t count in the team because of his second claim status. David Green finished in 60th just edging out another second claimer James Cox in a very promising 61st. Veteran Matt Long made light of the conditions to finish in 66th getting the better on this occasion of Ross Ballinger in 81st, Chris Elsegood in 86th, the improving Jo Baldwin in 92nd and another vet, Kev Clarke in 94th. David Walters, another debutant Paul Newman and Robin Thorne gave everything to the cause as they completed the Club’s finishers in the men’s race in very respectable 112th, 117th and 126th places respectively. 

In another busy running weekend there was also significant contingents from the Club in road race action in the popular Clowne and Silverstone Half Marathons. Over a challenging Clowne course there were a significant number of terrific performances with Chris Hanman first back in a personal best chip time of 94:16 for an excellent 56th place finish. One of the Club’s most improved runners this season Romain Chambard was three places back in 94:31 before Steve Leafe, in arguably his best performance of the year, stopped the clock in 97:45. There was also a well-deserved personal best from Katie Dennis of 98:02 who led home Tracey Glover in 100:48 and Ian Archer in 101:41. Paul Glover recorded 105:25 before another excellent distance personal best of 107:10 from Mark Murkin. Andy Meadows ran well for his 109:04 as did Gary Price for 114:45, David Lunn for 129:07 and Emma Sharp for another well-deserved distance personal best of 137:44.

Silverstone race track was the iconic venue for a series of road races on Sunday with the Club’s contingent of five tackling the half marathon distance. Tim Rhodes was first back in 97:50 followed closely by Andy Lindley in a chip time of 97:52. There was ecstasy and agony for the next finishers with John Pegg ducking under the two hour benchmark in 119:56 and Ellie Dickson and Sarah Rhodes agonisingly missing out with 120:13 and 121:03.  

Posted by Chris Mason

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