North midlands cross country league took center stage over the weekend as it returned to West Glebe, Corby for round two of this yearís competition. Being the closest round to Harborough of the series open to affiliated clubs across Notts, Derby, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, South Yorkshire, Rutland, Northants & Cambs, the club attended on mass fielding twenty-four members across the seniorís events along with a host of juniors running in their respective age categories.
First up on day was the Senior Ladies 6Km race which saw a good mix a cross country veteran and first timers. The course consisted of two large winding laps of the Park and included a technical wooded section, proving to be a popular place for the attending photographers to position themselves, capturing the highspeed steep descentís and the challenging climbs back up again. The varying underfoot conditions across the route offered its own test but one which the Harborough Ladies took well too with a 9th place team finish. First home for the Harborough women and her F50 classification was Jacquie Hanmer clocking in at 24:05, shortly before Sarah Ward in 36th overall. Lianne Brooks finisher in 106th closely followed by Tracy Southwell just 10 seconds further back. Marise Taylor was next home in a time of 32:46 claiming 9th F50, Lin Farrow and Val Goode just missing out on a top 3 age grade finish for the F60's with times of 33:14 and 34:22 respectively before Louise McAllister with a fine first showing over the mud just behind them in 34:28 and 14th F45 lady.
As with the ladies race the men benefited from the club camaraderie brought by the swelled attendance and the encouragement of on looking chairman John Thompson, Pete Leach and Graham Hillier around the 10Km course with the team finishing in 12th overall. Among its 253 field, the race boasted 16 men and saw a lot of interesting interclub racing unfold. First home for the men was Matt Driver in 33rd position posting a time of 33:44, second back was Martin Gore finishing 5th M50 in 36:52 with Adam Eales close behind just 4seconds off and sneaking into the top hundred in 93rd. Next was Tom Kershaw in 37:55 in his maiden cross-country endeavour, Gary Hodkins with a strong 38:53 finished 9th M45, closely followed by 12th M45 Jamie McAllister, and 17th M45 David Maclean. Peter Attenborough completed a double having already ran the morning parkrun before being persuaded to try the original finishing in 41:21 with Steve Costall following in 41:58 good enough for 18th M50. A real battle followed between Nick Turner-Henke, Graeme Rolfe and Will Clapp, culminating in just a 24 second window covering the three. Nick ultimately finished in front with 43:01, followed by Graeme in 43:13 and Will 43:25. Ian Southall was another member making their debut on the mud and just as he with wife Tracy have done with every other running discipline stepped up with a fun, fearless mindset too produced a time of 45:22 finishing 37th in the M40 classification. Next home was club stalwart Chris Loake coming home in 45:56, followed Simon Poynton in 46:58 and the ever-astounding Ray Lack winning the 1st M70 classification in 48:50.
Also in action over the weekend Bob Allsopp took on his latest challenge at the Seagrave Wolds. The 16mile route comprising footpaths, bridle ways, minor roads and rare access across private land offers the runners a unique look at the Leicestershire country side. Off the back of his Leicester marathon training Bob finished 114th of a 585 field with an impressive 02:22:47.
Meanwhile in the Peak district Adam Brooks took on the 2017 Roaches fell race; an out and back category BL fell race consisting of 15miles with 3,700 feet of ascent. Participants are made to carry full waterproof clothing with hat/buff, gloves, whistle and compass with local knowledge recommended due to the course being only partly marked, unperturbed Adam clocked in at 03:18:10 coming 143rd of the 211 finishers.