Following last week’s opening XC League race, the past weekend saw Harborough AC’s massed ranks travel to Walsall’s Arboretum, for the Midlands Counties Relay event. Comprising either four (for the men) or three (for the women) legs of 6km apiece, the annual competition offers a good gauge as to how individuals are shaping-up ahead of the colder winter schedule. This time, a 14-strong squad made up two teams in each of both the male and female races and, with well over 80 teams entered, the level was set to be intensely competitive.
In the men’s race, consistency was the key, and strong runs from the quartet of Matt Driver (21:53), Martin Gore (23:11), Will Clapp (25:15), and Sean Fenwick (21:02) gave a combined clocking of 1:31:21 to secure a top-20 finish, that also represented the second-best from a Leicestershire club, as well as a 14-minute improvement on twelve months previous. The team of Adam Brooks (24:19), Daniel Taylor (23:44), Nick Turner-Henke (26:47), and Graeme Rolfe (27:06) then picked off 38th spot, further underlining the strength underpinning the Club.
In the female ranks, an excellent 1:21:57 combined return from the trio of Sarah Blencowe (30:01), Hannah Eveleigh (24:41), and Karen Brooks (27:15) gave them 14th position overall, and third in the intra-county battle. Ably supported by Lianne Brooks (32:59), Marise Taylor (33:46), and Lin Farrow (34:08) – for 30th position – it was smiles all-round for those sporting the yellow and black colour scheme.
From there, Farrow then journeyed to Kidderminster’s Stourport Leisure Centre, for the opening event of the Midland Winter Race Walking League. There, a time of 35:38 represented a new Personal Best for the ever-improving exponent, giving her 15th spot on the day.
Meanwhile, a further five HAC members tackled the habitual Corby Parkrun. Now into its second year, the West Glebe Park course is firmly etched in the minds of several of the Harborough contingent; not least Dave Waddington – who completed his 42nd running. And, ever-consistent, Waddington racked up yet another top-ten finish (sixth, this time around), with 20:32 on the watch. A little further back, Hannah Stewart notched 41st (with 27:28), ahead of Adam Stewart (53rd, 30:01), Claire Eales (57th, 30:50), and Dave Oram (74th, 36:12).