Messing About by the River
Messrs Hatch and Reed once famously penned how "there's nothing so nice, As messin' about on the river" and, taking their evocative words to heart, Harborough AC's Andy Robinson and Matt Driver travelled - mid-week - to Nottingham's Victoria Embankment setting for the Notts AC Riverbank '5'. Now in its 20th year, the 2013 edition recorded some 175 finishers over its two-lap, picturesque setting. Boasting to be a course perfect for establishing a new Personal Best, both Robinson and Driver did their relative upmost to reinforce this claim, with the former lowering his previous mark by 18 seconds, and the latter just missing his by two seconds. Robinson's 14th-placed return (27:04) also emphasised his return to form on the roads, while Driver's 23rd spot (28:57) maintained his impressive sequence of top-30 finishes.
Over the weekend, a further seven Club members also took advantage of the regional scenic routes, courtesy of the ever-popular Parkrun series. At the Northampton Racecourse event, Suzi Neal secured a place in the top-50 (from a field of 199), and third spot amongst the female entry, with a clocking of 22:48. In Oxford, the mother-daughter duo of Marise and Emily Taylor tackled the standard 5km distance, with Emily assuming inter-family bragging rights, as she covered the course in a time of 25:35 (53rd place), to Marise's 31:30 (87th). Down in London - at Highbury Fields - Graham Laurie recorded 33:16 for 95th spot. And, at Braunstone Park, amid over 230 entrants, George Nolan (70th, 22:49), Adam Stewart (124th, 25:29), and Hannah Stewart (188th, 29:03), ensured good HAC representation.
Meanwhile, at the latest Watford AC Open Track & Field meeting, held at Woodside Stadium, twins Niamh and Mollie Watson took their place alongside around 400 others, competing across a series of 1500m races. Lining up in race 4, Niamh benefitted from a swift pace from the off, eventually stopping the watch in 5:07.56, to further reduce her own Under 15 Club Record mark. Having already taken almost 24.5 seconds off her PB this season alone, she now has her sights firmly fixed on bettering the long-standing Under 17 record of 5:04.2, set the very same year she was born! One race later, and Mollie then traversed the same parcour in a time of 5:20.61. And, for her part, she has also consistently improved her times this year, rewriting her 1500m PB by over 19 seconds during this campaign.
Also on the track, Spohie Domingo was chalking up another set of impressive showings at the Much Wenlock Olympian Games. Established in homage to the travails of Baron Pierre de Coubertin and the Olympic ideals ported therein, Domingo echoed all that ideal envisaged, battling through the five-strong Under 15 Girls' pentathlon event. Two equal first positions (in the 75m hurdles - 12.6s, and high jump - 1.40m) were supported by two second spots (6.32m in the shot put, and 4.32m in the long jump), before a 2:41.4 over the 800m gave her third place there. In total, she amassed a score of 2,354 points, to take second place overall.