A second relay event inside eight days brought out another army of Heanor Running Club members as ten teams enjoyed a successful outing at the well-organised Belper Harriers-hosted Derwent River Relays.
Despite not being part of the 2014 Club Championship, positive past experience of the event ensured a strong yellow and blue turnout just a week on from the Hairy Helmet Relays.
The rain may have poured the day before but conditions underfoot remained firm on the flat, mostly off-road 5k route by the side of the River Derwent as both men’s and women’s “A” quartets tasted victory.
Chris Rainsford set the ball rolling on the first of four legs for the senior men’s “A” team and led from gun to tape. Chris crossed the line in 15:42 and the time was enough to see him end the day with fastest leg honours. Joe Rainsford took off on leg two and stretched the advantage. Joe clocked 16:26 and both brothers were also part of the victorious mixed team.
Following a seven-minute break, Chris followed Rita Fisher (23:04) and ran 15:56 on leg two before Jo Potter (24:10) and Joe (17:06) finished things off to bring the team home 17th overall.
Tim Holling (17:30), who was drafted into the “A” team following a late withdrawal and had already ran 17:23 on the opening stage for the “B” side, continued the senior men’s charge before Stuart King (15:47) saw the job off comfortably. Stuart crossed the line almost seven minutes clear of second-placed Clowne Road Runners.
A mere 11 seconds adrift of second, Heanor RC’s “B” team, comprising Holling, Stuart Chadwick (17:56), Steve Ashmore (17:44) and Tony Weatherson (19:07), made it two teams inside the top three to secure bronze.
Lily Winfield set the tone on the opening leg for the senior women’s “A” team by coming home first in the ladies’ category. The youngster ran 20:12 for the 5k distance and passed the baton on to Laura Beth James-Hutchinson.
Laura, part of the winning women’s team at Darley Park eight days before, ran 21:42 and was another who stepped in for the club to run two legs. Jill Burke (20:32) and Lisa Palmer (18:13) anchored the team home to 19th out of 77 complete sides.
Three seconds separated the HRC “C” and “D” teams as Dylan George ran in senior team competition for the first time and posted 19:33 as part of the side that finished 11th. Alastair Hobday (18:44) continued his comeback as one quarter of the team that placed 12th.
The inventively named HRC quartets, When You’re Tired & Weary and Two Roses Between Two Thorns, also finished 34th and 65th respectively.
Earlier the same day, Matt Bickerstaff won the No Walk in The Park 5K at Queens Park, Chesterfield in a time of 16:26 whilst Emily Deeming was one of five juniors in action at the Derbyshire Track & Field Mini League, setting a personal best of 13.8 seconds in the 100m.