HAC Round Up
After a relatively sedate couple of weeks for the members of Harborough AC, it was back to action with the Junior and Senior Club Christmas Handicap extravaganza! With the Senior event being held over the three miles of the extended, regular handicap course, and the junior race over a truncated, 1,800m field route, some 29 Club members took to the fore. On a weekend that saw much of the UK grind to a shuddering halt as a result of the prevailing climatic conditions, the irony was not lost on the racers – given that last year’s event was heavily hampered by the snow – as they scampered around the designated course. Being set off at calculated intervals based on a predicted finishing time, victory plaudits in the Junior race went to Louis Kilworth (in 7:52), while David Ward took the bragging rites among the Senior ranks (in a graded time of 25:07). With each member being subsequently awarded a Christmas present, mince pie and (most welcome) cup of tea or coffee, a highly enjoyable, festive time was had by all!
The event also proved a fitting setting for celebration for three Club members as they were drawn from the closed ballot for 2011 London Marathon places – meaning that they will wear Club colours in the Capital’s road race spectacular! Congratulations go to Kevin Dinsdale, Graeme Rolfe, and Sue Shrive.
Additional, extra-special congratulations were also extended from the Club to Karen Brooks (already HAC’s Female Athlete of the Year), in celebration of her triumph in the 2010 Harborough Mail Annual Sports Awards; as Female Athlete of the Year. Continuing the rich vein of tradition for the Club in the yearly awards festivities, Karen follows in the strides of Sean Fenwick (last year’s overall winner), and Sarah Haines (2008 Female Athlete of the Year), and justifiably recognising her tremendous achievements in a twelve months that has seen her move into county, regional, and national conscience among the Masters racing ranks!
The previous week saw three of the Club’s more proficient youngsters taking to the slopes of Wicksteed Park for the 2010 Kettering Cross Country Charity Cup race. The Watson triumvirate of Jake, Niamh, and Mollie have, collectively, had a very busy twelve months across all levels of terrain; and are proving themselves to be no less able on the indefinite underfoot conditions that typically accompany Cross Country fixtures. In the under 11 girls’ race, the twins were separated by just two places, and a mere four seconds, with Niamh just edging it – taking seventh with 8:50, while Mollie recorded 8:54 for ninth. In the longer male under 17’s event, the elder of the family trio – Jake – registered an impressive third place, with a time of 26:36, and almost a minute and half ahead of fourth. Meanwhile, over a notably longer distance, and on somewhat firmer ground, Alan Fordham completed the Bedford Harriers Half Marathon. Held over a fairly hilly course, with a fast, downhill final three miles, the Wootton-located route saw Alan finish in a commendable 850th position from a field of almost 1,500 runners, in a time of 1 hour 53 minutes 51 seconds. Elsewhere, and Matt Driver continued his representation of the Club in the West Midlands, as he ran the Newcastle Dales Dash 10km, coming home 16th from 167 finishers in 44:56. Graeme Rolfe took on the challenge of the Cardington Cracker – a nine mile race that sees competitors needing to also ascend some 2,600 feet as well! However, following his taming of the heights of Snowdonia, the event certainly held no fear for Graeme, who crossed the line in 1 hour 51 minutes 23 seconds for 108th.
All-in-all, 2010 has been a fantastic year for everyone associated with Harborough AC, and it’s certainly hoped that it will provide a wonderful platform for further success throughout the subsequent twelve months. One thing is for sure though, and that is that all the members are heartily looking forward to 2011, and donning their Club colours once more!