On the Fast Track to Success
The past weekend heralded the arrival of the second Senior Track and Field meeting of the season for Harborough AC, held in the somewhat distant locale of Leamington Spa. Yet the 80-mile-plus round-trip evidently did little to stiffen or dull the collective muscle, as no fewer than 18 individual (and one team wins) were collected by the yellow and black juggernaut!
Fresh from County triumphs, there were two A-string wins for both Roy Barber (in the 100m and 200m) and Sarah Ward (in the two sprint hurdle disciplines), with Jake Watson also enjoying double success over 800m and 1500m (the former in a new PB clocking). Meanwhile, single A-string victories were also taken by Bethany Ellis (with a new PB in the 800m), Yvonne Scarrott (in the 3000m), Matt Driver (over the barriers of the 3000m Steeplechase) and Dan Taylor (in the 400m hurdles).
The B-string events proved no less profitable, as wins for Michael Burke (800m), Taylor (110m hurdles and 3000m Steeplechase), Andy Wilkinson (400m hurdles), Karen Brooks (800m), Ward (1500m), Marise Taylor (Shot Put), and Lianne Brooks (in both the 100m hurdles and Triple Jump) ensured an emphatic overall win for the combined team; securing top spot in Midland Division 7 at the half-way stage.
A special mention was swiftly reserved by Men’s Team Captain – Andy Robinson – for debutant Burke, who garnered a quality haul of points during the day, guaranteeing that “he’ll definitely fit right in to the team spirit that we have; not to mention helping to give us a commanding win on the day!”
That success built well on the foundations laid during the previous week by the road running exponents from the Club, who contested a number of events, across a range of distances. First up was the Rugby Six – the second meeting in the 8-strong East Midlands Grand Prix Series – where seven members took on the undulating, testing course. Chris Webb proved most adept to the challenge, placing top amongst the Club’s contingent, and 47th overall (in 39:04, also taking fifth in the MV45 category). Nick Turner-Henke was just over a minute behind Webb (77th place, 40:32), with Nick Johnston (142nd, 44:31) and Kenny Anderson (168th, 45:50) also taking spots inside the top-200. Lin Farrow took fifth place in the FV55 class (215th overall, 49:00), with Jo Johnston (221st, 49:26) and Dave Oram (289th – fifth MV70 – 61:10) rounding off proceedings.
Cast forward a mere six days, and the Series continued on to the Bedford hosting – also over the six mile distance. With just five runners in attendance this time out, it was Martin Gore who took the intra-Club bragging rites; with 24th place, in a time of 36:29 (and third spot in the MV45 class). Nick Turner-Henke once again placed inside the top-100, with 97th spot, in 41:28, while Alan Fordham (143rd, 44:04), Dean Rushby (187th, 46:49), and Lin Farrow (228th – second FV55 – in 49:26) flew the collective flag.
Next came the UKA McCain Mountain Running Challenge – which only sounds less daunting when contrast with the actual route itself! As the sole HAC representative, Adam Brooks guaranteed a strong showing – taking a top-half finishing slot , with 96th position (60:29) for the 12kms that are redoubled in toughness by the 533m of ascent. On the undoubted front on ‘marathon’ endeavours; Bob Allsopp completed the White Peaks version of the 26.2 mile distance in a time of 3:44:32, for an excellent 65th place overall. While Tony Harrison (3:53:28) crossed the line of the Brathay Windermere inauguration in 214th spot, and Rachael Hardman did likewise – in 395th, 4:15:32 – to check off #5 of her 12-in-12-in 2012 charity challenge.
Clearly an en-vogue distance at present – and concluding the week’s competitions – the six mile length was once more sent to test; this time for the duo of Ady and Jackie King, as they took to the byways of the opening Leicestershire Road Running Summer League – via the Swithland race. From a field just shy of some 500 entrants, Ady took 30th place - and first across the entire Harborough district – in a clocking of 36:21, while Jackie placed 293rd, in 49:06.