Dual Success as Harborough’s Finest Battle the Fields!
In 1645, the picturesque setting of the village of Naseby witnessed a pivotal moment in the English Civil War, as Oliver Cromwell’s uprising of Parliamentarians routed King Charles I’s Royalist forces, thus redirecting the course of British history. Throw forward the best part of four centuries, and a similarly massed hoard congregated this past weekend, to once again breach the surrounds of this particular locale of Leicestershire countryside: this time for the combined Naseby Battlefield Half Marathon and 10km races.
While the 10km route comprised a single lap, the longer course would traverse two circuits, starting and finishing within the village itself. And, in a display of fortitude and endurance that would please any commander-in-chief, two Harborough AC representatives fought off all-comers, to prove themselves the proverbial ‘first amongst equals’, over the latter of those two courses.
In his first outing of 2013, Sean Fenwick marked the occasion with aplomb, as he battled both the bitter winter conditions and the challenging, hilly circuit to take overall victory in a tremendous clocking of 1 hour 17 minutes. Not to be outdone, Yvonne Scarrott then doubled the HAC trophy-haul, as she took the prize for first lady, with a time of 1 hour 37 minutes. After the race, Scarrott commented that, as tough as the course was, it was made all-the-more difficult by the prevailing conditions: “as someone who has twice battled the Snowdon marathon; I can safely say that today is the coldest I’ve ever been racing – I can only just now feel my fingers!” Despite all that, a further two of Harborough’s very own successfully travailed against the elements, as both Graeme Rolfe (1 hour 43 minutes) and Pete Leach (2hours 03 mins) also completed the 13.1 mile distance, amongst a turnout of some 300-plus. Over the shorter race, meanwhile, Dave Waddington and Steve Sawford negotiated the 10 kilometers with due accord, crossing the finish with 41:35 and 44:55 minutes on the watch, respectively.
Also out on the roads on Sunday, were the quintet of Ady and Jackie King, Mark Cherry, and Hannah Eveleigh - for the Ashby ‘20’. Amid almost 1,000 others, the yellow-and-black once again proved irrepressible. Ady King’s 2:17 gave him a spot at 105. Cherry and Eveleigh followed close behind, with Jackie King then just dipping out on the three-hour mark (3:00:59). Kate Southern then concluded the Club’s entry.
Elsewhere, and over respective 5km races, yet another four Club members were donning their flats. At the 100th Leamington Parkrun, Matt Taylor secured a top-30 finish (27th, in 21:28) from 254 runners, while Rick Brown (15th, in 23:05), Lianne Brooks (25th, 24:58), and Lin Farrow (43rd, 27:18) ran the opening event in the Northants Network 5k Series, at Weekly Woods, Kettering.
For Farrow, that marked her second race of a busy weekend, having tackled the British Masters XC Championships in Sunderland less than 24-hours earlier. For that 6km event, at Herrington Country Park, she joined recent triple-indoor champion, Karen Brooks, albeit in differing age groups – Farrow in the FV55s, and Brooks in the FV50s. Both dutifully upheld their recent form; with the latter taking seventh-spot, and the former, eighth in 36:43. Elsewhere, but also on the muds, six of the junior ranks pulled on racing singlets; three in the form of County schools representation, and three for their primary schools. At the English Schools Championships, Martha Clapp (123rd, in 15:11) and Bethany Ellis (298th, 17:06) helped Leicestershire to sixth place in the Inter Girls’ team standings over 3.7km. Over 500m less for the Junior Girls’ race, Niamh Watson’s 199th position came in a time of 12:52. At Launde Abbey, the Leicestershire Primary Schools Inter-District discipline saw Millie Parrington take 23rd place in the Year 3 race; Lizzie Clapp seventh spot in the Year 5 race; and Hannah Stewart 17th in the Year 6 one.
Finally, rounding-off the weekend at the Sale Harriers Indoor Track & Field meeting Club newcomer, Chris Rodrigo was just 0.02s off his 60m Personal Best, as he clocked 7.41s to offer good portent for the forthcoming outdoor campaign.