Beresford takes limelight as running season hits top gear

Luke Beresford on his way to a brilliant 12th place in the Coniston 14 race.
Luke Beresford on his way to a brilliant 12th place in the Coniston 14 race.

Luke Beresford basked in the limelight as the races came thick and fast for Ripley Running Club to herald the start of spring.

In the East Midlands 10k at the National Water Sports Centre in Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, Beresford relished a nice, flat course to record a new personal-best (PB) time of 34 minutes, 21 seconds.

And he was also the club’s star at the iconic Coniston 14, an annual 14-mile race in the Lake District, which provides a tough test for the runners but also a stunning backdrop of beautiful Lakeland scenery.

Beresford was the first Ripley athlete home in a brilliant 12th place, courtesy of a time of one hour, 25.50 minutes, winning himself a gift voucher.

Matt Jones was next home in 23rd after a time of 1.28.00, followed by Andy Bradley, who was second in the veteran over-60s’ class thanks to 1.43.40.

Other times were: Carl Hopkinson 1.48.41, Geoff Cooper 1.48.45, Cathy Cresswell (who was eighth in her age category) 1.49.00, Matt Baker (who was 257th) 1.50.30, Ian Warton-Woods 1.52.08, Karl Tietz 1.59.25, Mike Corrigan 2.21.43 and Esther Broughton 2.21.43.

Several Ripley runners also took part in the Great Northern Half-Marathon, with pride of place going to Joe Henstock, who finished a superb third in a new PB of 1.24.01. Not far behind in 11th was Martin Penny in 1.29.53, followed by Andy Parkin in 1.31.06 and Vin Harlin in 1.31.08.

The fell-racing season has got under way too, much to the delight of Christian Howett, who chalked up his first victory by landing the Bluebell Fell Race at Farnah Green, near Belper. He finished more than a minute ahead of the rest of the 70-strong field, which included Jo Howett in 21st place and Bill Powis in 44th.

Driving rain, and even snow, hit the runners in the Hope Fell Race, but Paul Sorrell still managed 13th place and third in his age category, while Dean Taylor finished 50th and Wayne Smithurst 59th, even though he competed in a 5k only the previous day when clocking a PB.

Sorrell, and Ripley teammate Tim Clayton, also travelled to the Long Mynd in Shropshire to compete in the English Fell Running Championships race, comprising 17k and including 1,300m of climb. Sorrell did magnificently to finish 84th in 1.53.15, while Clayton was 281st in 2.21.11.