Picnic-knack, Paddy-Whack, Give The Dog a Bone, This Relay Baton’s Coming Home!
The year 1928 is most notable for its place in the annuls of exploration and the advent of truly Worldwide travel, with the likes of Charles Lindbergh and Amilia Earhart being at the very forefront of global thought and acclaim. A little closer to home, another 'flight of fancy' was being put forward by a shoe machinery merchant, S.H.B. Livingston, in the guise of the Livingston Relays: an inter-club Road Relay race.
After enduring a waning uptake and appreciation during the 1990s, the event was reinvigorated in 2002, and is now in robust health! The 2014 edition witnessing no less than 109 competing teams, across seven differing classifications – and with eleven of those teams (some 38 athletes) carrying the hopes and colours of Harborough AC. Across the now customary 3-mile route that winds its way through Braunstone Park, the HAC contingent comprised six male squads (three Veterans, two Seniors, and one Under-15s) and five female (three Seniors, two Under-15s), and fought their collective way to a haul of four medals, and seven top-ten placings. Although the hue of gold was absent from that collection, there was a silver lining to proceedings, as the HAC Veteran Men’s ‘A’ squad of Sean Fenwick (15:37), Martin Gore (17:52), Will Clapp (17:47), and Ady King (17:27) battled to one spot higher on the podium than twelve months previous. Not to be outdone, their Senior female counterparts also garnered a berth on the dais, notching third position from a total of 39 teams; the trio of Hannah Eveleigh (18:24), Debbie Napier (19:08), and Bethany Ellis (19:19) continuing a long-standing tradition for the Club of success in the women’s category. That was then matched by their Junior colleagues, as the Under-15s of Lottie Edwards (20:47), Mollie Watson (20:22), and Niamh Watson (20:09) proved the future is burning bright! Things look equally as positive on the Junior Boys’ front, as George Eveleigh (19:33), William Parry (22:02), and Charlie Blencowe (21:56) echoed the bronze reprise. A thought should also be reserved for the Senior Men’s ‘A’ squad of Andy Meads, Sam Edwards, Tom Ward, and Matt Driver – whose collective 67:48 clocking was the quickest from the Club on the day, and saw all four going under 18 minutes.
Reflecting, Club Chairman – Will Clapp – noted the sheer scope of representation, saying: “As far as I am aware, we have never entered so many teams, and with runners ranging from 11 to 67 years of age, we have really shown that we are a Club for all ages and standards. There was a genuine family feel to today, and the efforts of all those helping – officials and supporters – reinforces that. I am truly proud of everyone!”
Elsewhere, Sunday saw five Club members taking on the first in the Northants Network 5k Series, around the roads of Corby. Amongst an entry of 166 runners, there were impressive displays from each of the quintet. Karen Brooks led them home (59th overall) in 20:43 – a time giving her top spot in the FV50 class. Equalling that were both Rick Brown (first MV60, in a new Club Record of 21:30) and Suzi Neal (first FV45, 22:27), while Theresa Brown’s 27:56 was her quickest of the season, and the 30:22 posted by Claire Eales was a new Personal Best time.
Also over 5km, via the weekly Parkrun event Series, a half dozen sported their yellow maillot. At the Corby race, Dave Waddington secured a top-twenty finish (15th, 22:35), with Natalie Ives, Claire Eales, and Dave Oram also starting their weekend with a flourish. At the Northampton Racecourse version, Suzi Neal proved her thoroughbred quality, clocking 22:45 for 54th amid well-over 200 runners, while Marise Taylor warmed up for her participation at the following day’s Relay competition with a 27:07 in Leamington (notching 196th place, from a field of almost 350).
Track & Field
Midweek, meanwhile, Sophie Domingo further enhanced her burgeoning multi-event pedigree, with a 2:31.41 for 800m at the opening Watford AC Meeting of the 2014 campaign.