Show of Steel Works Athletes Hard
Corby is famed for its 1930s steel works history, and it was an all-round display of equal strength and fortitude that underpinned Harborough ACs collective showing within the bounds of its neighbouring town over the past week. On the road, it was to the hills around East Carlton Park that a grand total of twelve HAC runners took for the challenging fourth race in the 2011 East Midlands Grand Prix Series. The five mile looped course represents the half-way point in this year’s event, and proved to be a fairly lucrative race for the dozen HAC attendees.
Concluding the route in the shadow of Carlton Hall at the heart of the park, it was Sean Fenwick – who regularly uses the surrounds in his training – first back for the Club, and in third place overall, in a time of 27:10. Just 46 seconds adrift of him was Andy Robinson, who took seventh spot. Robinson has found himself only able to compete sporadically over the past twelve months. So the manner in which he attacked the hilliest sections of the course – picking off numerous runners in the process – was especially pleasing as the summer road circuit kicks into gear. Auguring just as well was the run from Matt Driver, who finished in a new PB of 29:47 for 29th, and third in the Under 20 category.
A little farther back, Hannah Eveleigh – also enjoying a fruitful return to form and fitness – produced a typically gutsy showing to win the Vet35 race, in 33:04. Also picking up a podium place in his age group (Vet65) was the ever-combative Dave Oram, who took second spot in 47:14. In a large field of 344 entrants, the Senior Men’s team took silver, while the Veteran Men were fifth. In the female categories, the Senior team finished ninth, with their Veteran counterparts in third.
The previous day, and little more than a Steve Backley javelin throw away, a further four Club members were plying their wares on the track. At the Corby AC Open meeting – held at the revamped Rockingham Triangle stadium – decent evening conditions set the platform for a number of excellent performances. Chief among those were two runs from Jack Benstead, who took the opportunity to revise an Under13 Club Record that had stood since 1987! Benstead – born in 1999 – has already provisionally revised one mark from that era this season, and his 400m clocking of 66.5s took almost five seconds off the previous Club best in this instance! Having just stepped up into the age bracket, the future certainly looks very bright for Benstead. Not to be outdone, Charlie Blencowe took his cue from his Clubmate, to lower the Under11 100m Record to 16.6s. Blencowe then levelled a new mark at double the distance, stopping the clock at 34.3s for the 200m. Also ‘doubling-up’ on the day was Lianne Brooks, whose speed work is evidently paying off, as she lowered her PB over both distances, with 15.7s for the 100m, and 31.9s for the 200m.
At the same venue, some five days later and amid incredibly difficult weather conditions, two more HAC youngsters donned their spikes. As part of a composite local Junior League team, Roy Barber competed over 100m, 400m, and the 4x400m relay; while Sarah Ward focused on the field, in the High Jump and Shot Put. Both were able to pick up good points for the team – combined with athletes from Corby AC, Daventry AC, and Kettering AC.
Somewhat further afield, and over a markedly longer distance, Jason Pitcher completed the EMF Edinburgh Marathon. Over the 26.2 mile route, Pitcher finished in 132nd spot, from just under 10,000 runners – with a time of 2:58:42 that also gave him 20th place in the Vet40 age group.