A Memorable Day!
The past week saw the annual Eric Humphries Memorial Cross Country race taking place, at its regular venue of the 55-acre estate of Delapre Abbey, in Northamptonshire. And the 57th hosting of the event certainly served to be a memorable one for a couple of Harborough AC runners. Over the 3-lap, 6.8 mile hilly course, both Nicola James and Yvonne Scarrott proved far too much for their respective age-category competitors; taking top-spot in the FV40 and FV45 brackets.
A couple of days on, and a not-so secret seven made the journey to Stafford, for the 2013 Midland XC Championships. And while none could quite match the returns of James and Scarrott, there was still plenty for the Club’s XC Captain, Will Clapp, to be rightly proud of. All age-based races see athletes from the entire region going head-to-head, bringing together the very best that the central areas of England have to offer. And against such esteemed opposition, those representing the yellow-and-black held their own; despite the snow-driven terrain! In the Under 13 3kms, Niamh Watson just edged sister Mollie (32nd to 36th), with Lottie Edwards also placing well inside the top half of the group (60th, of the 128 entrants). Also showcasing the female talent within the membership, Lianne Brooks (131st) and Marise Taylor (141st) took on the 8km of the Senior Women’s course. In the male equivalent, finishes of 109th – for Will Clapp, and 150th – for Matt Driver, also qualified as top-half positions. Shortly after removing his spikes, and washing down his mud-caked calves, Clapp reflected: “In extremely challenging conditions, I think that everyone who ran for us today demonstrated great depth of character. The slippery ground and bog patches made things really tough, and we can all be justifiably happy with how well we did!”
Benefitting from somewhat drier (albeit to a still testing, windy setting), a further nine HAC runners began this year’s Leicestershire Winter Road Running League Series, with the Barrow Six. A well-established race that always draws a sizeable entry is familiar to many of the Club, and that course-savvy proved advantageous. And while everyone thought that the festive season had well-and-truly passed, three magi (in name, at least) of our very own wandered not so very far among that Harborough entry! Ady King continued his prevalent winter success, leading the Club contingent home (41st overall, and 4th MV40, in 36:11). Wife Jackie placed further back (407th, 49:49), following namesake Darren (357th, 47:54) across the line. That bestowed trio were ably supported by Richard Bufton (188th, 41:52), with Rick Brown a little farther back (341st, 46:56). Nick Johnston (324th, 47:05), Ray Lack (468th, 53:57), and Jo Johnston (485th, 55:14) rounded-out the finishers, standing proud amid a stacked, 567-strong field.
Continuing his fine run of results in the Leamington locale of the UK Parkrun Series, Matthew Taylor once more produced a third-placed finish. Amongst a field of 178, he stopped the clock this week at 20:24. Meanwhile, covering the 5km distance in 23:05, Dan Taylor also opted again to contest his local Parkrun race. Under the more desirable conditions of the Brisbane South Bank setting, he placed 30th from 159.