News from Congleton Harriers running club
Sunday seemed to be the main race day for the Harriers this week with a large contingent of Harriers braving the freezing fog to get out and race (writes Nick Budd).
One contingent was at a stalwart on the running calendar. the Helsby Four Villages half marathon.
Another party racing headed to Alderley Park for a five-mile trail run organised by Run North West.
Harriers were also in action at the Lamb’s Longer Leg Fell Race and in the cross-country hellraiser in Crewe.
At Helsby there were some fine performances and times posted by the five Harriers in action. Out of the 1,710 entrants, Carol Bird was 39th overall in 1.33.03; Jessica Knowles, 548th in 1.38.52; Nick Wilkins, 724th in 1.44.47; Elaine Statham, 1,400th in 2.08.42; and Liz Smart, 1,622nd in 2.25.42.
Bird and Statham are clearly determined to carry their 2019 NSRRA successes (reported on last week) into 2020. both were their respective age group winners, posted times that qualified them to represent England at Fleet in March and, in Statham’s case, set yet another NSRRA record. The club congratulated them both.
Many of the Harriers at Alderley Park had taken part in the inaugural outing of this route last summer and were keen to be involved in the first winter version. The sold-out event saw 586 runners shivering on the start line in near zero temperatures willing the race director to rattle through the race preamble so they could get going and use the undulating course to warm up.
Adam Powell, braving the conditions in just his yellow Harriers vest, and running on a dicky knee, was away like a shot from the rest of his Harrier teammates. He held that advantage, finishing 55th in 35.20. Nick Budd was next back, finishing 120th in 37.56 (just missing out on an age grade top three placing). Kelly Hurlstone was not far behind in 133rd place (38.20). She was followed by Ian Stanway, 143rd (38.37); Jody Brooks, 163rd (39.19); Rob Parkin, 210th (41.32); Georgie Budd, 236th (42.38); Gemma Brinkhurst, 291st (44.29); Josie Galbraith, 292nd (44.35); Sarah Higgins, 299th (44.45); Sandy Hall, 411th (48.54). Hall delivered an impressive improvement over her previous outing on this course, taking a full 10 minutes off her summer result.
The Hellraiser at Crewe was a reschedule of the Halloween Hellraiser race which was cancelled in October due to adverse weather. The seven-miles cross country route in the mist was just up Charmaine Wood’s street - mainly off road and lots of muddy fields. Out of the 77 runners she finished 16th overall, 3rd lady and 1st in the F40 category in a time of 59.54.
The other Harrier at this race was Duncan Young and he finished 41st overall in 1.08.08 and he also recorded an age category placing. 3rd in the M55 category.
Andy Roberts was in fell action taking part in the short but sharp Lamb’s Longer Leg Fell Race where he finished the 3.1-mile course with 951ft of ascent in 15th place out of 75 runners and 2nd in the M50 category in a time of 33.09.
Earlier in the week, Harriers Bryan Lomas and Lucy Rusbridge were doubling up on races in short order. Both competed in the Derby Midweek 5k event at Alveston and then were back in action on the Saturday at the Sheffield Open Cross-Country up at Graves Park. Both had strong runs at the 5k event with Lomas finishing 16th overall, 2nd in the M50 category in 18.29 and Rusbridge 51st, 3rd in the F40 category in 22.51. This clearly got them in the mood for their Saturday race in the Sheffield Open Cross-Country event. Rusbridge finished 14th out of the 26 runners in a time of 34.35 in the four-mile ladies’ race, just missing out on a top three age category position. Lomas, in the 6.25-mile men’s event, finished 9th overall out of the 47 runners in a time of 424 which also saw him win the M50 age category.
● The club welcomes new members with club training runs on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Anyone thinking of joining but are unsure of their pace and ability to keep up should consider the Monday runs, which are now being tailored to accommodate new prospective members. Find full details online at congleton-harriers.co.uk