National Qualification Underlines Club’s Credentials
Fresh from the back of celebrating it’s 26th Anniversary, Harborough AC commemorated the occasion just one week later by securing qualification for the National 6 Stage Road Relays for the first time in the Club’s burgeoning history. Qualification came for the Club thanks to a top-25 place finish for the Team at the Midlands version of the event, which asks teams to cover six individual legs of 5.847km, in a relay format, taking in some of the captivating scenery of Sutton Park, Birmingham along the way! Led off by Sean Fenwick (in a time of 19:02), and then Andy Robinson (19:47), the Harborough team maintained a strong early position. Matt Driver completed the third leg (21:22), followed by Martin Gore (21:37), and Adam Brooks (22:13) to ensure that the squad stayed in contention with the regional powerhouses of Notts AC, Tipton Harriers, Coventry Godiva, and Birchfield Harriers through the middle phases, before Will Clapp (20:22) completed the course, amid some 88 competitive teams. Club Chairman, Martin Hughes, captured the feeling of the club by emphasising how “results like this just prove what rude health the club finds itself in! To qualify for the National event for the first time underlines the great strength in depth that we have, and how we consistently compete above where you might expect a club of our size to be”.
Just one day later – and under the guise of the 2010 Round Leicester Relay – 26 intrepid Harborough AC runners combated the elements and some 90 plus miles around the undulating locales of Leicestershire. The Round Leicester Relay event takes in a fixed route of 13 individual legs of varying distances (from 5.6 to 8.6 miles) between various points across the county in a highly demanding mixed road and cross country race. In a record field of 39 entrant teams, Harborough entered both a Male team and a Mixed team, with athletes setting off from the first leg at Mowacre Hill at 8:15am, and finishing back there some 9-10 hours later on. The Male team (made up of, in order, Dave Waddington, Kevin Dinsdale, Steve Costall, Jake Watson, Dan Worley, Will Clapp, Matt Driver, Kyle Barber, Chris Webb, Andy Robinson, Ady King, Adam Brooks, and Martin Gore) rounded off an excellent weekend for the club by securing a top-six position overall, cementing their position among the local elite. The mixed team, meanwhile, which included three club road running relay event debutants in Marise Taylor, Matthew Hart, and Jackie King (alongside more seasoned campaigners Rick Brown, Pete Leach, John Thompson, Katy Kenyon, Karen Brooks, Lianne Brooks, Unity Hamilton-Harding, Nick Turner-Henke, Graeme Rolfe, and Mark Garrod) showed equal endeavour to post a very respectable team, and offer yet more cause for optimism as the cross country season looms large. Captain Will Clapp underlined the positivity running through the Club at the current time by saying, “for the Club to showcase nigh-on 30 athletes in the difficult weather conditions of today, and after a long, hard season so far just shows how together the entire Club is, and we’re ready to move on to the next level now!”
Earlier in the week, husband and wife duo Ady and Jackie King took part in the Hinckley Town Centre 5km, with Ady continuing his impressive improvement, clocking 17:53 for 12th place overall. Meanwhile, not to be out-gunned, also recorded a strong finish, taking 133rd from the field of 248 finishers in a time of 25:48.