HEANOR Running Club’s men put in a respectable performance at the National 12 Stage Road Relay final last weekend (14/04) as the team made its fourth appearance in five years against the country’s best at Sutton Park, Birmingham.
Following their nineteenth place finish in the Midland Counties qualifying event just two weeks previously, a slightly altered side due to illness and other commitments eventually finished up in 52nd position after almost five hours of running.
From the Midland Counties events, out went Ed Godber, Jon Wainwright and, on the morning of the race, Joe Rainsford, with Mark Morgan, Rob Rainsford and Ashley Deeeming, competing just eight days before he tackles the Virgin London Marathon, stepping in to replace them.
With a total of six long (5.38 miles) and six short (three miles) legs Chris Rainsford once again led the team out on the opening long leg. Running fifteen seconds quicker than two weeks ago, Rainsford (27:21) got the team off to a great start, handing over to Darren Ridout in 26th position.
The combined efforts of Darren Ridout (16:53), Lee Perkins (31:47), Ben Radbourne (17:03), Paul Clarke (31:24) and Alastair Hobday (17:28) saw the team lying in 49th at the halfway stage.
Most pleasing for each of the runners was the fact that those that had ran the same distance in the Midland Counties event each managed to run significantly quicker in the final with Perkins and Clarke both stepping up and performing well over the longer distance.
Ashley Deeming (30:39) ran the second-fastest long-leg for Heanor RC on leg seven before Carl Hughes (20:59), Stephen Ashmore (30:50), Mark Morgan (16:02), running the fastest short leg for Heanor RC, Tony Weatherson (33:41) and Rob Rainsford (22:41) completed the team’s efforts for their best overall time and position since their debut in 2008.
Next up for Heanor RC is the first BDL road race of the season at Darley Park, Derby on Tuesday evening of this week (April 17) .
This Sunday (22/04) will see Ashley Deeming, Steve Wardle, Tim Simpson, Simon Baker and Padraig Moriarty line up for the Virgin London Marathon.