Heanor Running Club hosted the combined Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Cross Country Championships for the first time in the club’s history last weekend.
The organisational success of the event was matched by team victories and individual medals across various age categories for those in yellow and blue.
A strong turnout across the ten category races from both counties suggested the lure of ‘proper cross country’ isn’t yet dead. The tough conditions underfoot caused the undulating Shipley Park course to pose an even sterner test than just a month before at the same venue for the North Midlands Cross Country League fixture.
Heanor RC built on the success achieved at the same championships 12 months ago to take home double-team gold as well as individual medals across senior, veteran and junior categories.
In the combined senior and veteran women’s 8k race, Lisa Palmer finished second to repeat her silver medal-winning feat from 2013 and also led the women’s team to gold. Louise Insley (4th), Wendy Roethenbaugh (13th) and Jill Burke (16th) completed the scoring four to take the honours ahead of North Derbyshire RC. Rose Leivers secured an 18th place to round off the team’s efforts.
In addition to team gold, Louise also secured victory in the V40 standings to add the Derbyshire XC title to her Midland Masters road 10k accolade while Jill also secured a podium place in the V50 category after finishing second.
Chris and Joe Rainsford led the senior men’s quintet to team gold for the second year running, although Chris was unable to successfully defend his senior men’s crown.
In a race won by GB triathlete Tom Bishop, Chris managed fourth, just ahead of brother Joe in fifth.
Mark Morgan returned to cross country action and matched his position from 12 months ago to finish eighth while Ben O’Connell grabbed the final spot inside the top ten. Ashley Deeming in 20th completed off the team’s scorers and also picked up silver in the V40 category for his efforts.
Highlighting the club’s current strength in depth, the Heanor RC ‘B’ team, featuring Steve Ashmore (23rd), Simon Lloyd (32nd), Andy Basey (40th), Paul Mercer (50th) and Paul Winfield (64th), also picked up team bronze. Paul Bratby finished off the men’s Derbyshire efforts in 93rd.
Next up for Heanor RC is another cross country league double-header this weekend, with the North Midlands Cross Country League on Saturday at Wollaton Park followed hot on the heels by the Booth Decorators League at Allestree Park on Sunday.
See below for news of how the juniors got on at the event.