The name of Ripley Running Club was on many people’s lips after several notable performances in the latest races in two competitive cross-country leagues at the weekend.
Pride of place went to Luke Beresford, who finished a fine fourth in the third round of the Booths Decorators League at Bakewell Showground.
Beresford conquered a 4.3-mile, three-lap course that circled rugby pitches and also included a sheep dip and two steep banks. He was followed home by Ripley teammates Matt Jones in 16th and Rob Coates, who continued his impressive run of form to finish 18th.
Others in the race included Richard Kimber, who was 35th, Simon English (50th), Dennis Holmes (61st), Mick Wareham (63rd), Lucy Taylor (68th), Matt Baker (106th), Cathy Cresswell (118th), Ian Warton-Woods (122nd), Becky Lineker (123rd), Pete Collinge (128th), Wayne Yearwood (131st), Richard Phillis (13th on his comeback race after a long absence through injury), Jerry Bateman (145th), Jo Howett (161st), Tom Briggs (187th) and Alison Butlin (188th).
The Ripley club were also well represented in the third round of the North Midlands Cross-Country League over an undulating course with a few tough hills at Shipley Country Park.
A strong wind, combined with a muddy surface, made conditions severely testing, yet Lucy Taylor finished as high as 15th in the ladies’ race over 6km. She was followed home by Esther Broughton in 32nd, Cathy Cresswell in 33rd, Jo Howett in 66th and Alison Butlin in 82nd.
First Ripley runner home in the 10km men’s race was Richard Kimber in 107th, followed by Dennis Holmes in 137th, Rob Lennox in 138th, Mick Wareham in 156th, Matt Baker in 172nd, Ian Warton-Woods in 179th and Jerry Bateman in 186th.
The previous weekend, three members of Ripley Running Club took part in a mini-mountain marathon orienteering event on Saddleworth Moor that tested navigation skills as well as running ability.
Competitors had to find as many checkpoints as possible within a four-hour period, with each one having a score depending on its difficulty to trace. The winner was the person with the most points.
Horrendous weather included gale-force winds of up to 50mph and driving rain. But all the Ripley braves returned safely, with Ian Warton-Woods collecting the highest points’ tally of 150. Next came Matt Jones with 130 points and Alison Butlin with 71.
Sunnier climes greeted the two Ripley runners who tackled the Benidorm 10k over the same weekend. Angela Forte finished second in the veteran ladies’ over-50 category, clocking a time of 49 minutes, 26 seconds, while Richard Sims finished 62nd in a time of 40 minutes, 24 seconds.
If you are interested in taking up running or joining the club, they meet at Ripley Leisure Centre every Tuesday at 6.45 pm. For more information, go to their website or Facebook page.