Crossing the Great Tri-vide!
The Harborough AC membership should be described as nothing if not diverse: an impression ably epitomised by the past weekend, which saw a wide plethora of events being contested.
First up, the second in the Leicestershire Schools Cross Country League, nine of the Junior ranks traipsed out to Rutland Water. Among the Junior Girls age group, there were top-20 finishes for Lottie Edwards (tenth) and Sophie Domingo (11th), top-30s for Alice Tansey (22nd), Charlotte Ellis (24th), and Ursula Clapp (26th), and top50s for Catriona Deely (40th) and Lauren Evans (46th). In the Boys’ equivalent, Charlie Blencowe registered 34th spot, before Martha Clapp rounded-off proceedings with aplomb, crossing the line in fourth place in the Intermediate Girls’ race.
On the National Parkrun stage, Daniel Taylor’s third position (20:05) at the Forest Rec. event represented the top finisher of the day. In Corby, there was a seventh-placed return for Tom Ward (20:17), tenth for Dave Waddington (20:59), and 30th for Marise Taylor (26:36, and fourth female). In Leamington, Matthew Taylor concluded the clan-contingent racing; a time of 19:09 giving him seventh spot there. And, back at her usual haunt of Northampton, Suzi Neal timed a 22:24, for 67th.
Sunday saw the HAC diaspora in full force again. A little closer to home, a not-so-secret seven headed to the Great Kibworth Run carnival of races, readily porting the yellow-and-black. For the youngsters’ ‘Fun Run’, the brother-sister combo of Adam and Hannah Stewart raced hard for fifth (14:37) and eighth (15:35), respectively in the 8-11 age bracket (14th and 23rd overall). Then, over the unusual distance of one-third of a marathon (approximately 8.7 miles), Debbie Napier dropped an impressive time of 56:44, to pick off ninth place overall, and yield her the first place trophy for Women (in a field of more than 100). Over the more regular half marathon distance, Adam Eales, Steve Foxon, Unity Hamilton-Harding and Alastair Campbell took to their marks shoulder-to-shoulder with over 150 fellow entrants. That 13.1 mile route is renowned as being particularly daunting passing, as it does, Saddington Reservoir, before mounting up through Gumley, then returning to the Kibworth High School starting point, via Smeeton. The merry quartet, though, took to it with due deference, all well in advance of the 2-hour mark, and within the top half of the field. Eales clocked a notable 1:32:08 for 18th position, while Foxon’s 1:42:21 (for 42nd), Hamilton-Harding’s 1:47:04 (60th), and Campbell’s 1:50:11 (71st) all represented very fine times over a testing course.
Meanwhile, amid the final tolls of the track season, John Thompson and Lin Farrow travelled to Tipton – and the Dell Stadium, in Brierley Hill – to contest the 3km Walk at the Claire Powell Memorial Open. Amid the Masters’ Men, Thompson strode his way to a 17:27.8, for second place. Then, over a distance rarely traversed by the duo, Farrow extended herself to a 21:36.0 clocking that saw her take first place in the FV55 group. While the former had achieved a stated aim of bettering the 18-minute mark, the latter was more surprised with her victory – though evidently pleasantly so, enthusing: “Being relatively new to the discipline, this is real boost at the end of the season; and gives me something really positive to build on next year!”
Finishing off the spread of representation, Nicola James tackled the Loughborough-based East Leake Triathlon. Over the ‘sprint’ distance (400m swim, 20km bike, 5km run), she recorded an overall time of 1:18:01, for 163rd place amid nigh-on 400 competitors (and sixth in the 40-49 female age group). Afterwards, James was quick to express some disappointment at the conclusion of the race season, recognising room for improvement in her showing. However, she went on to note how she had found it “a fab experience – apart from the swallowing of a fly and snapping of elastic lace – I was amazed to have a great run part after working hard on the bike. Onwards to 2014!”