Ripley runners battle against the elements

Ripley Running Club's Joanne Howett, Alison Butlin, Cathy Cresswell and Esther Broughton.

Ripley Running Club's Joanne Howett, Alison Butlin, Cathy Cresswell and Esther Broughton.

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The final race of the Booth Decorators Cross Country League series took place last Sunday at Holmebrook Valley Park, Chesterfield.

Torrential rain and strong winds made conditions very challenging for Ripley Running Club and all others cross country runners on a five-mile course that was almost a mudbath from start to finish.

Despite the conditions, 180 hardy souls from the 13 running clubs that make up the league turned out to give it their best to decide the final individual and team placings in this years championships.

Ripley’s men’s team was led home by Dean Taylor in 16th place (37.25) followed closely by Luke Beresford in 18th (37.56).

The next pairing of Matt Jones and Andy Parkin were separated by a few more runners, finishing 30th and 41st, yet were less than a minute apart in times of 40.17 and 40.59.

The final three to score were Martin Penny in 67th,(43.44), Wayne Smithurst in 70th,(44.00) and Richard Phillis 73rd, (44.31).

Although just out of the scoring team, well worth a mention was Ripley’s eighth finisher in 73rd position, Peter Collinge, whose fantastic time of 44.43 made him the first place man over-60.

For the ladies team, Ripley were represented by the ever reliable quartet of Cathy Cresswell, Jo Howett, Esther Broughton and Alison Butlin with the first three finishing in 14th, 15th and 16th ladies places less than 30 seconds apart around the 49-minute mark.

On the day, the men’s team finished sixth while the ladies went one better with fifth which gave a combined fifth-placed finish.

At the end of the five-race series both the Ripley’s mens and ladies teams finished fifth individually but were fourth on a combined basis out of the 13 competing clubs.

The other finishers positions and times for Ripley were as follows: Carl Hopkinson 88th / (45.48), Dennis Holmes 94th / (46.46), Karl Tietz 117th / (49.39), Jerry Bateman 128th / (52.03), Mike Corrigan 158th / (57.29), Jay Bird 162nd / 58.22 and James Franco 165th / (60.08).

Ripley Running Club meets every Tuesday at 6.45pm at Ripley Leisure Centre and encourages runners of all abilities to come and join for a run. Now is an ideal time to start running.

For more information see www.ripleyrunningclub.com