Matt finishes the cross country season in style

Matt Bickerstaff, Ripley Running Club
Matt Bickerstaff, Ripley Running Club

The final Booth Decorators League Cross Country race of the season took place on a cold and muddy Holmebrook Valley Park near Chesterfield.

Despite injuries taking their toll, Ripley Running Club still managed to field 26 runners on the day, continuing the strong showing of all of the other races this season.

Matt Bickerstaff once again showed his class, finishing third in a great time of 31.51 over the 4.5 mile course. Dean Taylor was hot on his heels in 12th, in 33.18.

A special mention has to go to Karl Tietz and Cathy Cresswell, who both managed to finish third in their respective age groups as well.

Eleanor Robinson outdid them on the day though, taking first in the VL60 class once again.

Other Ripley Runners included: Andy Parkin- 33rd, 35.49; Gary Brown- 41st, 36.35; Martin Penny- 65th, 39.15; Wayne Smithurst- 82nd, 40.36; Matt Beresford- 101st, 41.58; Jerry Bateman- 123rd, 43.51; Peter Collinge- 127th, 44.10; Esther Broughton- 130th, 44.41; Ryan Smith- 136th, 45.33; Mike Corrigan- 176th, 52.41; Antoinette Franco- 196th, 66.34; Ian Duffin- 40th, 36.22; Ryan Ball - 57th, 38.20; Richard Phillis- 70th, 39.40; Dennis Holmes- 100th, 41.58.

Meanwhile, Ripley sent three runners to the Valentine’s 30k race in Lincolnshire.

Dean Taylor managed a very good 10th place, in a time of 1.53.04. Ron Ilsley came home in 87th, eighth in his age group.

The star of the show for Ripley, though, was Steph Ilsley, who managed a fantastic first place in her age group, and along with Ron took the Valentine’s couple trophy home for the fastest combined time.

Finally, one of Ripley’s more dedicated ultra runners, Anne Cook took on the hilly Osmotherley Trail Marathon, with over 4,000ft of ascent. She completed the course, which took in the sights of the North York Moors,and looks forward to her 110-mile endurance race later in the year.