“Hi-Yo Silver, Away” for Lone Ranger Brooks
In less than a fortnight’s time, the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham will play host to the British Diamond League meeting, and some of the very best athletes the World has to offer. This past weekend, as a suitable precursor, it served as the venue for the 2011 British Masters Championships. Amongst the most illustrious domestic opposition that the Masters age brackets can muster, one of Harborough AC’s very own – Karen Brooks – donned her spikes to compete in both the 1,500m and 5,000m in the Female Vet50 category. As the only HAC runner to have qualified for the meeting, Brooks was also representing the Midlands region, and duly did so with aplomb. On day one of the Championships, she took on the shorter of the two disciplines, and recorded a Season’s Best time of 5:25.71 for third place.
Day two saw a cloudless sky overhead as the longer event got under way, yet there was most definitely a silver lining for Karen, who went one better to finish a fabulous second in a time of 20:17.08. The diminutive brunette is already cemented in the top-25 female Vet50 All-Time list for the country over both distances. And she proved to be well within her comfort zone as she dealt with the competition and weather in a very professional, determined fashion, adding National prominence to her regional title. Training partner Rick Brown enthused: “Karen trains so well all year round, and she’s certainly starting to reap the benefits of all that hard work now. To pick up medals at a National level is a deserved testament, and just goes to show what can be achieved!”
Earlier in the week, twelve other Club members tackled the hilly profile of the Weedon ‘10’, as the 2011 East Midlands Grand Prix Series quite literally took another twist. As race seven in the Series, Weedon is widely acknowledged as providing the stiffest test of the eight events. However, the indefatigable Harborough dozen quickly opined of the route as the proverbial molehill; rather than the mountain, with seven registering top-five age group finishes! Top spot in each of the Male Vet40 and Female Vet35 classes were Sean Fenwick (3rd overall, in 34:27) and Hannah Eveleigh (81st, 42:25), while Lin Farrow secured second in the Female Vet55s (263rd, 54:28). Lin’s time was over a minute quicker than the last time she covered that course, and also her fastest 10k time of the year. Matt Driver maintained his excellent Series return, with fourth place in the Male Under20 (24th, 37:32), equalling his PB in the process; while Jackie King, Linda Lawton, and Dave Oram all took respective fifth positions, helping the Senior Men’s Team to sixth, and the Veteran Women to fourth.
Jackie was donning her boots again the following evening – with husband Ady in tow, and over half the distance – in the guise of the Hinckley Town Centre ‘5’. There, she clocked 24:14 in 107th, with Ady dipping below the 18 minute mark, in 17:53 for 14th place. Over the same distance, and in the Second instalment of the Peterborough Series, Yvonne Barber, Helen MacDonald, and Anne Knights journeyed to Eye. In a large entry field, the trio acquitted themselves well, placing 252nd, 253rd, and 255th respectively. At the tail end of the week, Matt Driver then produced a second 10k performance at the Stone St. Michael ‘10’, stopping the clock at 37:02 for 11th place, and earning a prospective new Under20 Club Record and case of lager in the process.