Heanor Running Club was represented in numerous different events in what was one of the busiest weekends on the racing calendar.
With the cross country season reaching its climax for some and marathon-training in full swing for others, 11 Heanor RC members competed in races over all distances and terrains across the country.
Following their superb individual performances at the Derbyshire Cross Country Championships, Ashley Deeming, Wendy Mullineux, Jack Saxton, Emily Deeming and Milly Newton pulled on the white Derbyshire vest at the McCain UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
Wendy Mullineux was first up in the Derbyshire white representing Heanor RC in the senior women’s eight kilometre event. Despite a lack of training and being dosed up on anti-inflammatories due to an Achilles problem, Wendy managed a respectable 230th place finish.
The Heanor RC juniors were out in a force in the younger age-group races. Jack Saxton, Emily Deeming and Milly Newton all made their Derbyshire debuts over the mostly firm and rolling Cofton Park terrain.
In his first season with the club, Saxton rounded off a promising start to his athletics development by finishing a superb second for Derbyshire and 193rd overall in the under 13s boys event. Emily Deeming, competing in the under 13s girls event, completed the 3k course in 13:30 to finish 244th while Newton (18:20) continued her progression in the under 15s girls 4k event, finishing fourth for Derbyshire and 176th overall.
Lining up in the final event of the day, Ashley Deeming was in amongst past and present national cross country champions in the senior men’s 12k race. Deeming ran well as he continues to build towards next month’s Virgin London Marathon, completing the multiple-lap course in 41:52 to finish fifth for Derbyshire and 219th overall.
The following day saw Heanor RC members compete as the perfect spring conditions made for a handful of personal best times.
In Retford, Nottinghamshire, Rose Leivers continued her preparations for her debut marathon by taking part in the Retford Half Marathon. Leivers ran a perfect individual race as the 20-year-old finished 228th in a new personal best of 1:50.49.
Two Heanor RC members took to the streets of Grantham to compete in the Newton’s Fraction Half Marathon. Now in its seventh year, the half marathon saw over 400 starters and Ed Godber and Steve Wardle lining up in the yellow and blue. Godber, the Heanor RC 2011 Most Improved Runner, continues to make big strides forward, finishing an impressive 52nd in a personal best time of 1:34:03. Following behind in 76th, Steve Wardle (1:39.06) took a huge 50 seconds off his time at the same event last year as he continues his training for next month’s Virgin London Marathon.
For more on the weekend’s racing, go to www.ripleyandheanornews.co.uk
Over in Fradley, Staffordshire, Alastair Hobday and Sarah Lewis took part in the notoriously fast Fradley 10k. Hobday managed to get through the race with his back intact and ran a negative split for the race. Finishing strongly, Hobday placed 39th in 37:49. Out of a huge 857 strong field, Sarah Lewis ran her best 10k time since last March. Despite suffering with severe stitch in the latter stages of the race, Lewis’s strong performance saw her cross the line 511th in 54:32.
Rob and Chris Rainsford made an early start to travel up to Manchester for the Trafford 10k. A quality field, flat country-lane course and perfect weather conditions all contributed to a worthwhile trip made up north as Chris came away with a personal best and Rob gained the benefits of a hard training run.
The 2011 Matthew Walker 10k winner, Chris Rainsford, continues to gain in confidence as he managed to knock a massive forty seconds off his 10k personal best time. The benefits of a solid winters training are beginning to bear fruit as Chris finished 23rd in a time of 31:19. Heanor RC Chairman, Rob Rainsford, currently working towards the Lisbon Half Marathon that takes place in two weeks’ time, finished just over half-way in 365th in a time of 45:21.
The next team competition up for Heanor RC will be the Midlands 12 and 6 Stage Road Relay Championships to be held at Sutton Park, Birmingham on Saturday, March 31.