Marathon Efforts, all-round
A calm, sedate Sunday morning jog through the urban terrains of the nation’s capital? Not a bit of it, as three of Harborough AC’s membership lined up on the green plains of Blackheath with more than 37,500 others, to take on the evocative behemoth that is The London Marathon. The 26.2-mile course, which winds its way past some of the most iconic buildings and landmarks of British past, present and future, celebrated its 35th anniversary by assembling the single greatest male elite field in history, and by helping Britain’s finest distance running female sign off on her glittering career. Such was the atmosphere that greeted the trio of Bob Allsopp, Kenny Anderson, and Steve Foxon – ensuring that the overcast conditions were little more than an afterthought, as the festival ambiance took hold.
Some 42.2km later, the reddened tarmac of The Mall bore wanted relief, and welcomed the ecstatic Allsopp, with 3:45:54 ticking through on the timing gantries overshadowing the finishing line. Around eight minutes later, Anderson also picked up his well-earned medal. Foxon, meanwhile, running in tandem with his wife, finished in a commendable 4:34:58.
Elsewhere, a further eight HAC runners raced the opener in the 2015 Northants Network 5km Series, in Corby. In a field of 200, good times and a slew of Club Records were in evidence. Adam Brooks broke into the top-five, with 17:26. He was followed by mum, Karen, in a new FV55 Club Best mark of 20:02. Lizzie Clapp similarly revised the U13 Girls record (with 21:02), while Rick Brown then did likewise for the MV60 group (21:21). Hannah Stewart, Lin Farrow, Theresa Brown, and Claire Eales concluded the Club representation.
Also over the 5km distance, the past weekend witnessed the inaugural Market Harborough Parkrun. With 325 locations Uk-wide, the free-to-race Parkrun Series is a veritable phenomenon. And now, it takes its place in Harborough, over a course circling Welland Park two-and-a-half times. And it was a HAC member who would take the opening-day bragging rights, as Andy Meads clocked 17:11. He was chased all the way by Gareth Wood (17:43), with Martin Gore (fifth, 18:58), Daniel Taylor (sixth, 19:19), and Andrew Holt (seventh, 19:25) all taking spots in the top-ten, and breaking the 20-minute barrier. Neil Smith, Sarah Blencowe, Ray Lack, Lottie Edwards, Beth Dunn, Liz McIndoe, and Natalie Ives ensured strong local representation, in an entry of 111.
Track & Field
Saturday, meanwhile, also saw the opener in the Senior Track & Field League campaign; at Leamington Spa’s Edmonscote Track. There, an overall fourth place was secured, and one that was most notable for a number of promising Senior debuts. Niamh Watson’s 400m B-string win, along with Alice Tansey’s victory in the 800m B-string were undoubted highlights. While second-place runs from Tansey (400m A-string), Watson (800m A-string), Mollie Watson (1500m A-string), Martha Clapp (3000m A-string) adding further invaluable points, and excellent portent for the season ahead!
Reflecting, Captain Lianne Brooks said: “we should extend firm congratulations to all our debutants today; they showed great endeavour to step-up so quickly, and put in some truly noteworthy performances. On to the next one!”
Finally, over the unforgiving 10km route of the Farmageddon, Ben Smith took an excellent ninth-place finish. There, he clocked 59:32 for an event that sees competitors traversing crawls, swamps, cargo nets, log carries and vertical walls, in an entry of almost 600.