A busy weekend for Heanor Running Club saw the juniors bring the Derbsyhire XC Mini League to a successful conclusion, personal bests broken and preparations for April’s London Marathon stepped up.
Lily Winfield, Danielle Smith and Emily Deeming secured podium positions in the final Derbyshire XC Mini League fixture at Rutland Park, Ilkeston, as Dylan George and Phoebe Winfield joined their teammates in completing all three races over the course of the season.
Dylan hit his second fourth-place out of three races in the U13B event to finish fourth overall while Phoebe recorded her best position to cross the line 13th in the U11G race.
Lily was rewarded for her consistency in the U13G category, as her second place in the opening fixture, third in the second and second again last weekend saw her finish joint-first overall with Amber Valley’s Lucy Berwick.
In the U15G age group, Danielle may have finished second to main rival Tamsin McGraw of Amber Valley but her two previous first-place finishes were enough to see her come top overall. Emily got herself on the podium for the second successive race in Ilkeston, finishing third and taking bronze for the season.
Meanwhile, Lisa Palmer, Louise Insley, Jill Burke and Colin Blount travelled to Catalonia to race over 13.1 miles while Rose Leivers, Carl Hughes, Sarah Fullaway, Jo Potter and Lizzie Poole stayed closer to home to tackle the Stamford Striders’ St Valentines 30K.
In a race that saw Kenyan Florence Kiplagat run 65:12 to destroy the women’s half marathon record, Lisa, Louise, Jill and Colin were in equally inspired form at the eDreams Barcelona Half Marathon.
Lisa obliterated the personal best she set at the same event a year ago to go sub-80 for the first time. Lisa’s time of 79:27 saw her slice over 80 seconds off her PB , itting ninth in the early 2014 UK half marathon rankings.
Louise followed suit to destroy her previous best, stopping the clock at 82:37 to finish 11th,and second veteran.
Jill ran her fastest half marathon since 2011 to finish 15th in the vet standings. Her time of 91:18 sees her sitting inside the UK top three for her age. Colin put the disappointment of missing out last year due to injury firmly behind him to run a big pb of 1:49:30.
Over in Stamford at the St Valentines 30K, five HRC runners flew the flag. Carl was the first back in yellow and blue in 2:12:47. Rose continued her strong form and followed Carl home in 2:30:54 as Jo and Lizzie left sore but happy in 2:47:26 and 2:47:27 respectively. Sarah went home a “very happy lady” after completing the rarely-raced distance in 3:03:10.
This weekend sees the club in action in the English National XC Championships at Wollaton Park.
Over 1,000 runners will descend on the Midlands for the biggest cross country race of the season.