Ripley club star Beresford shines in Great North Run

GREAT RUN -- Luke Beresford on his way to finishing 68th in the Great North Run.
GREAT RUN -- Luke Beresford on his way to finishing 68th in the Great North Run.

It might be the biggest half-marathon in the world. And it might attract around 50,000 competitors. But the Great North Run held no fears for Luke Beresford, of Ripley Running Club.

For he conquered the tough and undulating course to finish a superb 68th in a personal-best time of one hour, 14.47 minutes. What’s more, it was a performance that earned him automatic qualification for a London Marathon championship place.

On the same day, clubmate Amy Bradley was the first lady home, retaining her title, in the Waingroves Show fun run, while three members of the club took part in the last Running With David Bluebell Fell Race at Belper. In a 73-strong field, Richard West finished 15th overall (and ninth senior male) in a time of 28.48 minutes, with Geoff Cooper 19th overall (and fourth in the M40 category) in 31.02 and Matt Baker 25th overall (11th senior male) in 33.02.

The highlight of last weekend was the Stanage Struggle fell race, which comprised 10k of tough climbs and steep rocky descents. The in-form Luke Beresford finished fifth in 42.14 minutes, while Richard West was 58th in 50.36 and Rob Lennox 106th in 55.04.

The Ponton Plod also attracted Wayne Yearwood and Pete Collinge, while Lisa Cashmore contested the Calke Abbey 10k. And one of the club’s youngest members, improving runner Ryan Orton, won the Alfreton Town Council 5k in a time of 20.39 minutes.