It's Coming Home? (The EMGP That Is)
Tuesday night was Harborough AC's turn to host the East midland grand prix series and despite competing against the football, Dave Ward and his band of volunteers put on another successful event with the race attracting over 260 runners in its 32nd year.
Along with numerous volunteers, the running field was awash with Harborough colours with 24 members taking on the interesting, undulating Harborough 5mile course which consists of one anti-clockwise lap from Foxton locks top car park to Lubenham via the Laughton road before climbing back towards Foxton primary school with a fast-last mile home including a 200m victory lap.
Kevin Burgess took the honour of first Harborough Ac member home (40th), followed by Jamie McAllister (56th), Rich Hudson (59th), Andy Holt off the back of his 30Km mountain race just 3-days prior finishing 73rd chased all the way to line by Bob 'Barefoot' Allsopp (76th) & Matt West (79th).
Sarah Ward was first Harborough lady to cross the finish (82nd) followed by Peter Attenborough(118th), Ian Southwell (132nd), Gary Wallis (136th), Gemma Streather (155th), Lucy Jenkinson (156th), Simon Poynton (157th), Jules Chapman (178th), Carrie Holt (189th), Lizzie Holtham (197th), Nicola Shave (207th), Sarah Goode (220th), Tracy Southwell (221st), Val Goode (238th), Louise McAllister (239th), Ntola Obazee (252nd), Leanne Shrive (260th), Guwinder Sidhu (263rd).
Wednesday night six members made the short trip to this year’s Desborough 10k, held at West lodge farm park. The 2-laps consisting of an approximately 50/50 mixture of farm park field and road was tough going in the evening sun but proved a journey well made with some impressive results on the night. Dan Taylor fresh from marshalling the night before clocked 0:39:45 for sixth overall, ahead of Rich Hudson (10th / 2nd M 50) & Bob 'Barefoot' Allsopp (16th) who doubled up on the events. Just behind Bob was Tom Ward in an impressive 18th before Karen Brooks (49th / 3rd F 50) & Rick Brown (53rd / 3rd M 60) concluded the clubs participation in the 252 field.
On the same night our HAC VETS team travelled to Derby to compete in the final league match hosted by Notts AC. Simon Dowling making his debut for the club in the M50 category burst into action with a fine 200m sprint coming home in 3rd place and a time of 29.0 whilst Ian Southwell (M40 27.5), Chris Monk (M60 28.6) and Pete Leach (M70 45.4) not disappointing the crowd with fine performances adding to 200m sprint points scored.
Sue Frisby back in fine form dominated the W50 200m delivering a 30.3 time for 1st place and maximum points. Not to be outdone Pam Hilliam once again showed determination with a controlled 200m dash with an impressive 1st place time of 44.9 and positioning herself 3rd in the UK Age Group rankings for this distance in the W70 category. Jenny Jones (W50 20:22.9) and Tracy Southwell (W35 16:55.0) took 5th and 4th place respectively in the 2k walk, with Southwell improving by 1 minute on her previous outing for this event. In the triple jump a 3rd place Jill Roginski faced tough competition with a strong hop, skip and jump to 7.25m with Marise Taylor shining in the Javelin (W40 17.93m) and Discus (W50 16m) to rack up 2nd place for both events. After a busy night the ladies relay team of Southwell, Taylor, Roginski and Frisby managed to maintain the pace for a thrilling 2nd place win in the 4x100m.
The 3000m saw Gareth Wood (M35 10:11.3), Will Clapp (M40 11:58.2) and Dowling (M50 11:48.0) battle against the heat and tough competition to bring home 11 points between them, whilst Stuart Beard in the 2k walk took a 3rd place position in a time of 13:16.0. Jon Graham narrowly clinched the M50 Javelin win by 12cm to 1st place with a throw distance of 28.38.
The run of local races continued Sunday with the Lutterworth Charity '5', organised by race Harborough the team behind the Carnival of running and Harborough Triathlon. The oppressive heat put paid to any thought of personal best times but despite the sizzling conditions, Adrian Stewart &
Steve King both finished well inside the top quarter of the field with 42nd & 60th respectively out of the 275 finishers.
Ben Smith was also braving the summer heatwave on Sunday whilst tackling the Ultimate Trails 55k (36 mile) Ultra, clocking up just over 6000ft of ascent. As temperatures roared in the peak district, high humidity levels mixed with minimal flowing streams to cool off in, the heat proved an even greater obstacle that the elevation gain but Ben alongside companion Michael Barrett managed to complete the challenge in a time 7hrs 45 mins, beating their target of 8 hours as 59/60th out of the 375 finishers