Heanor Running Club played its part in more ways than one in the successful return of the Ramathon after an 18-year absence on Sunday.
Dylan George and Lily Winfield led the entire field home in an impressive HRC one-two in the Mini Ramathon just before the main event as 29 HRC runners followed in the glorious but overly warm conditions for the 13.1 mile distance.
Those 31 runners – along with 1,458 others that completed the distance – were supported by a huge number of HRC members volunteering at various points around the course and, in particular, at the Elvaston Castle finish, which was set up and under the direction by HRC’s Rob Rainsford.
The latest event in the club championship calendar set off at 10:05am in warm temperatures that only continued to increase throughout the morning. Lisa Palmer dictated proceedings early on and went on to take the honours comfortably in the women’s race.
Lisa continued her consistently good 2014 form to take the tape by over four minutes in 1:22:57 and will next be in action over 5k at the British Masters Championships in Horwich.
Lisa led home a strong showing of HRC women as a further ten completed the flat figure-of-eight course, covering Elvaston Castle, Shardlow and the surrounding area.
Louise Insley (1:28:15) finished third female overall despite feeling less than sprightly throughout and though PBs may have been in short supply, Jill Burke (1:35.54), Rose Leivers (1:41:34), Isabelle Morledge (1:44:15) and HRC debutante Laura James-Hutchinson (1:46:40) conquered the heat to finish in good times.
Despite the seven seconds difference in chip time recordings, Rita Fisher (1:48:15) and Lizzie Poole (1:48:08) finished side-by-side as they helped each other through the final few miles. Jo Potter (1:56:41), Laura Bowley (2:08:11) and Carla Fox (2:08:57) rounded-off the ladies’ efforts.
In the men’s race, Dale Annable joined the early pace set by eventual top three Luke Gunn of Derby AC, Notts AC’s Alastair Watson and Ben Fish of Blackburn Harriers but came unstuck around the eight-mile mark to eventually come home fifth in 1:12:58.
Chris Dale (1:20:50) and Steve Ashmore (1:20:55) both bagged top-20 finishes as Simon Lloyd clocked 1:26:51 ans Andy Parkin ran 1:26:59 in his final race before officially becoming a Heanor RC runner.
Ben Radbourne found the going tough but battled through to finish in 1:26:03. Stuart Chadwick (1:26:21), Tim Holling (1:30:45) and Garry Cooper (1:31:13), who finished just outside his best, secured top-75 spots.
Carl Hughes (1:33:21), Paul Mercer (1:38:17), who knocked 35 seconds off his previous best, Richard Charlesworth (1:38:33), sub-1:40 pacemaker Ben O’Connell (1:39:31), HRC debutante Gary Mellors (1:40.55) and Paul Winfield (1:41:55) all went inside 1:42:00 as Scott Wigman (1:46:16), Jeff Everitt (1:51:50), Brett Beeson (1:55:21), Steve Wardle (1:59:25) and Tim Simpson (2:17:34) completed the men’s efforts in testing conditions.
Two days before, Joe Rainsford and James Mee made the trip to Holme Pierrepont for the Notts 10 Miler and the quality field obviously caught a whiff of the generous prize money on offer as James, despite running a personal best of 50:47, finished outside the medals in fourth.
Joe enjoyed probably the juiciest fruits yet of his last six months of consistent training as he ran over two minutes quicker than when winning the Burton 10 two weeks ago but only finished seventh in 53:22 (PB).