Heanor Running Club finished off their North Midlands Cross Country League campaign with individual and team honours across the age categories making it one of the most successful seasons in the club’s history.
Starting at Markeaton Park, Derby last October, Heanor RC members and juniors have travelled across the Midlands to pit their wits against the best in the region.
Continuing on from the last fixture in Nottingham, the flat, grassy grounds of RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire played host once again to the league curtain-raiser.
In the junior categories, Heanor RC had four girls competing across three different age-group events with individual prizes being picked up along the way.
Lily Winfield was the sole representative in the U11 mixed event and she once again showed her promise in finishing 4th girl, and 14th overall. Winfield’s result, along with her finishes throughout the campaign, saw her pick up the individual silver medal in her category.
Milly Newton, in her first season in the U15 girls category, ran a fantastic race and finished superbly to go one better than her previous season best to place fourth. Newton’s hard work and improvements were rewarded with bronze overall for the campaign, which bodes well for her as she has another year in the age category.
The final event of the day saw the U13 girls battling it out with their Midlands counterparts and the duo of Danielle Smith and Ellie Baker finished off their seasons with great performance. Smith saved her best until last with a tenth-placed finish as Baker finished off her season in 26th.
In the senior men’s 10k event, which also incorporated the U20 and veteran categories, Mark Powell and Chris Rainsford led the team home to their best team finish of the winter.
In what became a three-horse race between three Leicestershire-based athletes at the front, Powell closed the gap on the leaders well on the third and final lap. But the distance ultimately proved too much and he eventually finished fourth in 31:02.
Running an almost solo effort from gun to tape, Rainsford followed up his winning performance last weekend with another pleasing effort, finishing one place behind in 31:25.
Joe Rainsford (32:39) also picked up where he left off at Wollaton Park last weekend and took some scalps along the way as he finished first U20 and 12th overall.
Ashley Deeming (33:37), having raced in all four events, rounded off the season with his best finishing position in 23rd as Steve Ashmore (37:59), making his North Midlands XC opener, rounded off the team’s efforts in 67th.
Despite only having the bare minimum of five runners to complete a team, Heanor RC demonstrated their quality with their best finishing position of the season. The team finished 2nd on the day, which meant they maintained their third place position overall and scooped the team bronze medal behind Leicestershire clubs OWLS AC and Charnwood AC.
The trio of Mark Powell, Chris Rainsford and Ashley Deeming also picked up individual gongs for their efforts across the season, with Powell taking home silver following his 9th, 3rd, 9th and 4th place finishes, Rainsford picking up the bronze and Deeming also taking home silver for his efforts over the winter in the veteran standings.