Ain't No Mountain High Enough...
So declares the 1967 Ashford & Simpson-penned Tamla Mowtown R&B/ Soul hit. And, as if to truly put that classic missive to the test, a trio of Harborough AC runners took on the 2012 Snowdonia Marathon. Traversing a peak referred to as “probably the busiest mountain in Britain” by the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, one of the UK’s toughest and most picturesque marathon routes takes racers up some 3,500ft of ascent, and is now into it’s 30th year!
For that anniversary edition, a total of 1,458 combative individuals managed to complete the distance – making it also the most successful in it’s burgeoning history, with over 30 more than twelve months ago. In the race last year, Yvonne Scarrott took second spot in the FV45 age bracket; a feat she replicated in this year’s version, with a tremendous time of 3:33:04 (seeing her take 174th overall). That clocking made her the Club’s first finisher, and continues her wonderful run of competitions across all terrains this season. With success that saw her crowned ‘Female Athlete of the Year’ at the recent Club awards evening, Scarrott has etched her name into the top-100 across all her distances through 2012. Reflecting on the latest addition to her portfolio, Scarrott said: “this is the second time I’ve run this race, and it’s a fantastic course. With a marathon like this, it’s not so much about time, but about appreciating and respecting the route and the climbs. But to finish second again is brilliant, and makes the pain well worth it!”
Another of HAC’s more prolific racers – Ady King – will certainly be able to empathise with Scarrott’s words. Well-placed and looking good up to the 20-mile mark, severe cramp set in half way up the principle climb to Bwlch y Groes. However, never one to be deterred, King battled through, finally crossing the line in a thoroughly-respectable time of 3:48:36, for 324th position. A little under ten minutes later, Graeme Rolfe continued his love affair with the course. In his third successive tilt, Rolfe completed a hat-trick of finishes with 459th position, and a time of 3:58:24.
A few days previous, a further four of the Club’s road runners competed in the 2012 Birmingham BUPA half marathon. First to take the chequered flag for HAC was Nick Turner-Henke. Stopping the watch at 1:34:10 (891st place) represented a new lifetime best, by almost six minutes, over the distance for Turner-Henke. Also recording a new PB – just one week on from his barefoot escapade – was Bob Allsopp; with 1:35:55 (for 1,087th). Becky Thurston and Natalie Ives concluded the yellow and black representation; both debuting over 13.1.miles. Thurston placed 7,775th (with 2:07:20), while Ives’ 2:29:28 yielded 11,023rd spot, in the biggest entry field in the race’s history.
Closer to home, Ray Lack continued his return over the five miles of the inaugural Corby Run. An excellent ninth place was secured, in a time of 42:55.
Away from the roads, the cross country season is getting into full swing. And, in the opening fixture of the North Midlands League, it was Harborough’s Veteran Women who took centre stage. First-place age category finishes were garnered by Hannah Eveleigh (FV35) and Yvonne Scarrot (FV45), while Karen Brooks was second in the FV50s. Joined by Nicola James, Lianne Brooks, Lin Farrow and Marise Taylor, the senior team took 16th spot overall, with the Veteran team in first. Meanwhile the Veteran Men were classified in seventh, thanks to the efforts of Will Clapp (71st), Martin Gore (78th), Graeme Rolfe (167th), Martin Hughes (208th), and Pete Leach (222nd). Amongst the junior ranks, there were top-ten places for Niamh and Mollie Watson (seventh and eighth respectively in the Under 13 Girls’ race), and Martha Clapp (tenth in the Under 15s).