The past fortnight, whilst representing a measure of hiatus for the majority of Harborough AC’s members, also witnessed a number proving that – as Christmas approaches – good form is being retained right through to the end of the calendar year.
First up, at Heanor’s Shipley Country Park, was Race three in the North Midlands Cross Country campaign, which saw a total of 16 of the Club’s membership taking to the muds. There, in the Senior Women’s 6km, tenth and 29th places overall for Hannah Eveleigh and Jacquie Hanmer yielded them victories in the FV40 and FV45 categories, respectively (equally ensuring the former retains her position at the top of her age group classification). Elsewhere, Martha Clapp took an excellent second spot in the Under-17 Women’s 5km, while Niamh Watson was the pick of a sizeable junior contingent, with ninth over the 3km route of the Under-15 Girls’ event. Club Chairman, Will Clapp, was effusive in his praise of all present, but singled out the podium spots in particular, noting how they represented “encouraging and impressive results in a very competitive League. Next stop, Wollaton Park, in January, to conclude the Series.”
One day on, and it was to Yvonne Scarrott to underline her notable 2014. At the Nene Valley ten miler, a clocking of 71:50 gave her a top-half finish overall (144th, from 363), and second in the FV45 age group – doubly respectable given a very taxing course, and strong headwinds.
Also on the roads – and similarly traversing a ten mile distance, Claire Eales eschewed her more usual Parkrun 5km, for the Walsall-based Sneyd Christmas Pudding Run. The two-lap race offers mementos and Christmas puddings to all finishers, and Eales can certainly enjoy hers with all certitude that it was more than well-deserved, with her efforts bringing her home in 1:52:09, for 371st position.
Meanwhile, a little farther adrift, Kyle Barber tackled the annual Giru de Natale 10km, in Monaco. Under heavy skies generating regular downpours that led to greasy underfoot conditions in places – merely adding to what is already a tough route – Barber secured 33rd position from in excess of 1,600 runners, with a time of 36:21 on the watch.
Back on the 5km Parkrun scene, and Dave Waddington clocked 20:53 to give another top-ten finish (eighth, this time around). Also circling the Corby West Glebe Park locale, Marise Taylor and Ray Lack were separated by two positions, and some twenty seconds (taking 31st and 33rd, in 26:36 and 26:58, respectively), before Dave Oram rounded off the Club entry; his 41:48 giving him 60th spot.