Chris Mason

Martin Shaw Woods XC

Tasty battle at the front!!

In the first Derby Runner Cross Country fixture of the year at Martin Shaw Woods near Groby, Leicestershire entrants from the Club were back to pre-pandemic levels, which was also reflected in formidable team performances and some great inter-club competition. Leading the way was the battle between Chris Pearson and Steve Bullock with the former having the edge on this occasion as they finished in excellent 11th and 14th positions, respectively. Andy Hawtin and Dan Bower also made welcome returns to cross country action as they finished in 42nd and 51st places with Steve Green and Rich Miller also scoring valuable team points as they collected the 65th and 74th place finishing tokens. Chris Hanman in 82nd and Robbie Cresswell in 88th place completed the club’s team finishers in a strong men’s team showing. Micheal Walters ran strongly to finish in 98th place followed closely by the resurgent MV60 Colin Mee in 102nd place. Mee is having a purple patch now and his sure-footed technique seems to be well suited to the challenges of cross country running. Breathing down his neck for most of the race was Nathan Fagan, who finished one place further back in 103rd. Men’s Club Captain, Andy Orme and David Green finished in 116th and 121st positions before the improving Ross Ballinger and Steve Leafe fought another close battle as they finished in 147th and 148th positions, respectively. Relative newcomer Martin Bullock ran well for 164th place before Andy Meadows, Nigel Atkins, Kevin Clarke, and David Walters gave everything as they completed the Club’s finishers in the men’s race in 180th, 199th, 202nd and 207th places, respectively.

Fittingly, women’s club captain Lisa Wright led the Club’s women home in a hard running 36th place finish with Emma Sharpe, Sarah Walters, and Julianne Walters giving great support as they completed the team’s finishers in 76th, 98th, and 130th places, respectively. Giving their usual maximum effort little separated Sarah Green, Helen Clarke, and Theresa Swift as they collected the 138th, 141st, and 142nd place tokens, respectively.

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Anslow Cross Country

Peerless performance by Pearson

On current form Chris Pearson is arguably the Club’s best male runner, a fact he reaffirmed at Anslow on Sunday, as he led the Club’s contingent home in the latest leg of the Derby Runner Cross Country League. In what was the first occasion, mainly because of other commitments, that the Club have been able to field a full men’s team Chris’s 6th place finish was supported at the sharp end by Steve Bullock in 7th and Mark Slade in 10th. Rich Miller ran well for his 22nd place with Chris Hanman a couple of places back in 24th, Micheal Walters in 33rd and the strong running David Green in 38th. Walters must be amongst those male runners in with a chance of securing the ‘most improved runner’ prize at the Club’s upcoming annual award’s ceremony. Fittingly Men’s Club Captain Andy Orme’s 40th place completed the team’s men counters a day after he had completed the amazing achievement of four hundred Parkruns. The resurgent Colin Mee finished in 48th place with Ross Ballinger not far behind in 51st. MV60 Steve Leafe in 59th, newcomer Martin Bullock in 62nd and Dave Walters in 89th completed the Club’s finishers in the men’s race. There were also some really strong performances from the Club’s women with Katie Dennis finishing in a superb 11th place, women’s captain Lisa Wright in 16th and Sarah Walters in 28th .

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Matthew Walker 10k and Tissington Trail Marathon

Rom earns his pudding

Rom Chambard got his rewards for excellent recent form as he led the Club’s contingent of nineteen home with a personal best of 40.38 in Sunday’s Matthew Walker 10k. On a cold crisp morning, where a Christmas Pudding was the reward for all finishers there were also top fifty finishes for Micheal Walters and David Green as they recorded chip times of 41.14 and 42.48. Andy Orme was his usual consistent self in recording 42.51 before Colin Mee secured a well-deserved MV60 first place prize of a bumper Christmas hamper with 43.09. The improving Ross Ballinger stopped the clock in 44.53 with the determined Katie Dennis leading the Club’s women home in 45.22. JJ Jones and Andy Meadows blew off the racing rust as they finished in 48.06 and 48.52 respectively before David Walters used his recent marathon training to beneficial effect as he finished in 49.11. Robert Read, the experienced Kev Clarke, Emma Sharp, Sarah Walters, and John Pegg finished in close order as they recorded chip times of 51.55, 52.36, 52.46,53.41 and 56.54, respectively. A little further down the field Julianne Walters and Jan and Roger Cobb also had the satisfaction of admiring their Christmas Pudding’s together as they recorded very creditable chip times of 67.05, 67.42 and 67.42. Helen Clark and Teresa Swift supported one another throughout the race and were rewarded with the same chip time of 76.16.

South Derbyshire Road Runners marathon man for all seasons was in classic distance action again as he tackled the Tissington Trail Marathon in a more than respectable 03:28.28  

Posted by Chris Mason in Race Reports

Holly Hayes, Derby 10 miles, Alton Towers Half Marathon & Tamworth 10k

Chris is flying!!!

Another busy weekend for the Club with the yellow vests figuring prominently in at least three races; the Derby Runner Cross Country Race at Holly Hayes Wood, the Derby 10-mile road race, the Alton Towers Half Marathon and Tamworth 10k. With a glut of fixtures in an effort to catch up with race postponements a lot of Clubs, including SDRR, are struggling to get complete teams out in the early Derby Runner Cross Country races. This was very much the case at Holly Hayes Woods on a great morning for running, over probably the most technical course in the series, seven stalwarts from the Club lined up on the start line. Steve Bullock, using the endurance gained from his recent marathon appearance, was first back in the men’s race with an excellent 16th place finish. Another blessed with excellent endurance, Mark Harriott ran well for 87th place with Andy Orme finding it difficult to balance making progress with a visit to the first aid ambulance finishing in 119th. Ross Ballinger continued his good cross-country form with an excellent 123rd place finish. The Club’s women, despite not being able to field a full team, performed brilliantly with Jenny Laing quickly back into the swing of things with a third-place finish followed by Christina Hawtin in a creditable 17th place and women’s captain Lisa Wright a few places back in 24th.

With arguably the best performance by an SDRR runner since racing restarted Chris Pearson shattered his own age group Club Record with a superb chip time of 57:47 and 23rd place in the Derby 10 miler. There was also an impressive performance by Dan Bower, who agonisingly just missed breaking the hour benchmark for ten miles as he recorded 60:40. Sebastian Van Dijk continued his good post lockdown form with a well-run 64:07. Emma Sharp flew the flag for the Club’s women with an excellent 93:12.

Before enjoying a family day out at Alton Towers theme park five runners from the Club had the small matter of tackling the half-marathon race distance. What they also had in common was a certain amount of aerobic endurance after they had all trained for and tackled an autumn marathon. The improving Micheal Walters led the way home with a chip time of 01:37.51 followed closely by David Green with 01:38.31. Katie Dennis recorded 01:56.05 with mother and daughter combination Sarah and Julianne Walters giving everything in recording 02:09.16 and 02:47.24, respectively.

Last but not least three members tackled the Tamworth 10k. Over a fast, flat course Colin Mee, continued his excellent recent form to record a chip time of 42:11 to clinch second place in the MV60 category while Paul and Tracey Glover both raced well to finish in 46:32 and 46:49 respectively.

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Anslow and Worksop HM

Rain and more rain!!!

Sunday saw the first race, in what has seemed like years, in the Derby Runner Cross Country League. Even Sunday’s race at Anslow faced uncertainty after being postponed from last Sunday when the organisers were unfortunate victims of Covid. The postponement also hit the numbers of participants from South Derbyshire Road Runners and other clubs because of commitments to other events including, on Sunday, the Worksop Half Marathon. Nevertheless, the turnout at the cross country was marked by quality rather than quantity with the runners counting their blessings because by race time the morning’s deluge had given way to bright sunshine. The Club’s women were fortunate enough to field a full team with Jenny Laing, making a welcome return to racing leading the team home in 9th place. Fiona Betts was only one place behind in 10th with Club Captain Lisa Wright a few weeks after her London Marathon debut, setting a notable example in 20th place. Nikki Reeves, another returning to racing after a break, completed the team’s finishers in a hard working 36th place. The men’s representatives Seb Van Dyke, Mark Slade and Mark Harriott all performed with distinction as they finished in 10th, 14th and 27th places, respectively.

The Club’s runners at the ever-popular Worksop Halloween Half Marathon were less fortunate with the weather but the twenty runners from the Club who completed the race enjoyed the journey around picturesque Clumber Park. The speedy Danial Bower led the way home with a superb chip time of 01:26.48 for 33rd place with Sam Bassett, one of nine of the Club’s finishers here to have completed a marathon in October, also securing a well-earned top fifty finish with 01:28.05. Little separated Rom Chambard and Micheal Walters as they finished in 01:32.04 and 01:33.37, respectively. David Green and Men’s Club Captain, Andy Orme were equally as close as they stopped the clock in 01:35.22 and 01:37.07. There were also races within the main race involving Colin Mee {01:40.04}, Katie Dennis {01:40.07} and Steve Leafe {01:40.35} and further down the field Paul Glover, Tracey Glover, Chris Elsegood, Ross Ballinger and Jerome Jones as they finished in 01:48.23, 01:49.23, 01:50.45, 01:50.45 and 01:51.34, respectively. Father and daughter Dave and Sarah Walters crossed the line together in 01:57.41 as did Nigel and Emily Atkins in 02:02.45 with Ian Archer sandwiched in between in 02:00.09   

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Derby 10k and Asda Yorkshire Marathon

No holding Mike!

The races are coming thick and fast at present with race organisers trying to fit postponed races into what is now a congested calendar. We therefore had the typical spring races the London and Manchester Marathons taking place in recent weeks and, on Sunday, one of the local area’s biggest races, the Derby 10k. This was marked with some terrific performances from the Club’s contingent of 13 who lined up on the start line in damp, overcast conditions. Leading the way was relative newcomer, Mike Nash, who finished in a superb chip time of 36:30 and 23rd place out of 1621 finishers. Only three places behind was training partner Dan Bower in an excellent 36:44 with Mark Slade, running his usual determined race, recording 37:40. Chris Hanman showed his terrific potential with 41:22 with Andy Orme, defying a niggling injury, battling round in 42:18. The evergreen Colin Mee, who has been one of the Club’s most active racers since restrictions were eased, recorded 43:02 to finish 3rd in his very competitive age group. On chip times Matt Collins, Ross Ballinger and Tony Richards finished closely as they stopped the clock in 48:32, 49:42 and 50:19, respectively. Emily Atkins ran superbly to record 52:14 with Graham Blackshaw and Roger Cobb rolling back the years in recording 61:28 and 64:56, respectively.

Romain Chambard, Mikey Walters, and Dave Walters were in action in the Asda Yorkshire Marathon with all three recording excellent times of 03:21:55, 03:43:04 and 04:19.11, respectively. For marathon father and son debutants Dave and Mikey Walters it completed an unusual family quadruple with sister Sarah completing the Manchester Marathon last weekend and mum Julianne the London Marathon the Sunday before. Some tired legs in the Walter’s household.

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Wilne 10k, 2021

Dan leads the way home!!

In warm, but still conditions, nine runners from the Club lined up on Sunday with 765 others in the 2021 Wilne 10k. The two lap, flat course, is generally considered one of the quickest on the local circuit and this was reflected in three of the South Derbyshire contingent ducking under the 10k benchmark of 40 minutes. Danial Bower led the way with a speedy 36:46 for 52nd place with Darren Holmes just four finishing places behind in a chip time of 37:06. Mark Slade also ran well for 38:25. The consistently reliable Andy Orme crossed the line with Clubmate Kelly Knight and both were content with their times of 41:36 and 41:37. Nathan Fagan has been plagued by injuries in recent months but showed he may be getting back to form with 42:19. Steve Leafe stopped the clock in 45:09 with Karen Wilks, Richard Gee and Pauline Cooper all giving maximum effort in recording creditable times of 56:05, 65:52 and 72:42 respectively.

Posted by Chris Mason in Race Reports

Fradley 10k

Millennials battle it out.

It is beginning to feel something like ‘normal’ for the running community with two, socially distanced local races, taking place on consecutive Sundays. Again, the yellow vests were well to the fore with 26 members lining up on the start line of the Fradley 10k. Over the 2 lap, flat course the main challenges were the muggy conditions and the distance. For the South Derbyshire contingent, the main post race talking point was the battle at the front of the race between the Club’s competitive male millennials. On this occasion it was Steve Bullock who led the way home superbly with a chip time of 36.52 just 2 seconds ahead of Danial Bower’s 36.54 and 7 seconds ahead of Ben Holmes in 36.59. Sam Bassett powered round in 38.04 with Ross Clarke, competing well for his 38.25, despite easing back on his running to concentrate on a charity bike ride. Sebastien Van Dijk ducked below the 10k sub-40-minute benchmark with 39.38 with Rom Chambard also running strongly for his 40.40. Club men’s captain Andy Orme, probably more generation X, is in a rich vein of form at present and ran well here for his 41.36 with Robbie Cresswell-Howe, on his Club debut, an agonising second back in 41.37. Kelly Knight was first finisher for the Club in the women’s race for a well run 41.49 with another millennial Andy Allsop close behind in 42.20. Nathan Fagan finished with a smile on his face because he completed the race injury free in a very creditable 43.16. There then followed a group of post war baby boomers with Colin Mee, Chris Mason and Steve Leafe rolling back the years to record 44.11, 45.14 and 46.15, respectively with the much younger Barry Saunders racing well for 46.44. Husband and wife duo Paul and Tracey Glover ran competitively with Paul’s 46.38 edging out Tracey’s 48.01 and Ash Wootton should be pleased with his impressive 48.13. Hazel O’Brien, Robert Read, Emma Sharp, Karen Wilks and Richard Gee gave everything on their return to competitive racing as they recorded 50.14, 52.26, 55.26, 55.47 and 65.18. respectively and Pauline Cooper and Samantha Clare showed little effect from the enforced break as they recorded 70.38 and 72.37 to complete the Club’s finishers.     

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Gate Gallop 10k 2021

Handy Andy leads the way!

There was a great deal of rejoicing as a real, as opposed to virtual race, the Gate Gallop 10km, took place on Sunday. The slight disappointment for the organisers was that only 172 runners lined up for the chipped time main race. This reluctance was not however reflected in the turn out from the Club with 28 runners keen to relieve the enforced isolation. In good running conditions over a rutted, mainly cross-country course runners progress was also slowed by a series of stiles. Andy Hawtin made light work of this as he led the Club’s contingent home in 11th place in 39.10 with the determined Sam Bassett one place back in 39.35. Dan Bower ran well for 16th place in 40.03 with, again Mark Slade one finishing position behind in 40.24 and the added reward of 2nd MV40 finisher.  

On relatively home soil Mark Harriott was his normal consistent self as he finished 3rd MV50 in 43:24 and 28th place with training partner Andy Orme and David Green close behind in 43.42 and 43.47, respectively. Nathan Holmes and Micheal Walters were given the same chip times of 43.52 with Colin Mee confirming his status as a top local MV60 by finishing in 45.31 and 2nd place in his age category. The improving Ross Ballinger was next in 46.24 with Katie Dennis, the Club’s first finisher in the women’s race, breathing down his neck in 46.31 and 5th finishing position. Hector Arenas ran well for 46.36 with Steve Leafe completing the challenging course in 48.11. Little separated Becky Moult, Lisa Wright, Tracey Glover and Paul Glover as they finished in 49.07, 49.22, 50.00 and 50.00 respectively, with Tracey also clinching 2nd spot in the WV50 category. Robert Read and Nikki Reeves ran well to finish in the top 100 race finishers before Laura Harper, making a welcome return to club racing action, stopped the clock in 55.26. Sarah Walters, Karen Wilks, and John Pegg all ran with distinction to finish in 56.18, 58.26 and 59.33, respectively.

Part of the community fabric of the Club husband and wife duo Kevin and Helen Clarke recorded the same time of 74.33 with the determined Teresa Swift one second back in 74.34 and the redoubtable Pauline Cooper completing the Club’s finishers in 77.39.

Posted by Chris Mason in Race Reports

Leicestershire Half Marathon

Rejoice – an actual race!

Apt, that on a beautiful, still, spring morning competitive road racing returned to the area in the form of the Leicestershire Half Marathon. With a lot of the race within the confines of Prestwold Hall, 726 socially distanced runners, including 7 from South Derbyshire were started in waves. The course they tackled was largely flat but over a variety of surfaces, including sections of loose gravel at the start and finish. Abbey Van Dijk showed that she has used lockdown to excellent effect as she stormed around the course to win the women’s race in a superb chip time of 01.21:07 with her nearest competitor some 6 minutes back. Second claimer Rich Miller ran strongly to finish 2nd MV55 in 01.27:02 with Mark Slade not far behind in a well run 01.27:23. In form Andy Orme was agonisingly close to ducking under 01.30 with 01.30:45 with Chris Mason taking the honours in the early vaccination stakes with 01.35:45 and 1st MV70 spot, just edging out Colin Mee in 01.35:52 and Steve Leafe in 01.38:12. Special thanks on this special day should also go to the organisers and marshals, including many with South Derbyshire connections, who ensured the event was delivered safely and securely.

Posted by Chris Mason in Race Reports