We finished the cross country season with an impressive haul of East Mids trophies. Our vet men and ladies earned a clean sweep, not only winning their series but coming second and third as well. It’s a testament not only to our fastest runners turning out but to everyone else who filled the other places. It shows our fantastic strength in depth.
On Saturday the HPRC parkrun challenge descended upon Melton Mowbray, with an impressive 23 members making the trip. The reigning challenge king Alex Loach was first across the line in 18:05, with Christine Heaton (79.71%) and Julie McGeorge (77.78%) the highest age gradings.
Sunday was the final fixture of the East Midlands cross country league. As has been the case throughout the series, HPRC were well represented and were rewarded with victories in team categories for Senior Men’s C, Senior Ladies B, Vets Men’s A, B & C and Vet Ladies A, B & C.
Cross country of a different sort saw a few club members in the Peak District for the Wildest Peaks Trail Races, which feature either a 10.6km or 25.6km route. HPRC’s Wayne McAneaney was the winner of the Short race.
This weekend sees one of the biggest events in the calendar, with the English National Cross Country Championships at the iconic Parliament Hill venue. HPRC’s men’s and women’s teams will be amongst the record 9472 runners entered in the event this year.
There’s also a muddy challenge closer to home on Saturday, with the 15 or 26 miles of The Belvoir Challenge. With some of the most well-stocked bounteous checkpoints of any race, it’s “arguably the only event of its nature where entrants can put weight on“.
For those racing the clock, it’s also the Carsington Water 10K & Half Marathon and the East Midlands 10K, the latter at NWSC where “runners will take in the breathtaking views around this facility completing 2 x 5km laps of the regatta lake“!
Despite the rearranged mid-February date, HPRC were out in force at the traditional end of year Keyworth Turkey Trot. A sensational run by Matt Nutt saw him take the win in club colours in a fantastic time of 1:15:27.
The club also won the men’s team prize (Matt Nutt, Matt Clapp & Sam Williams-Duncan) and the women’s team prize (Christine Heaton, Claire Hayes & Natalie Hoffman).
In addition, Christine won the Women’s 45-54 prize, whilst Kev Ford was first Male 60+.
Strong winds added to the challenge of a tough undulating course at the Stamford Striders Valentines 30K. The race is used by many as a training run for those building towards a Spring marathon, as was the case with race winner Aaron Scott who will be on the elite start at the Virgin Money London Marathon in April.
The club were well represented with three runners in the top 10, including a podium place for Craig Taylor in 3rd with a tremendous time of 1:48:56.
Looking ahead to this weekend, on Saturday the club’s parkrun challenge visits Melton Mowbray whilst on Sunday it’s the final race in the East Midlands Cross Country league at the permanently moist Trent Meadows bogfest. The positions in numerous categories are still up for grabs. These races are free for all club members, but you must wear your club vest.
On Sunday a handful of HPRC members tackled the Charnwood Hills Race, the only fell race in Leicestershire, often simply referred to as “The Bowline.”
On the roads, Stewart Gregory continued his excellent return from injury at the Chichester 10K, where the race finish includes a complete lap of the Goodwood Motor Circuit. This was one of three qualification races for the England Masters 10K team and, in a quality field, his 34:48 placed him 42nd overall, 2nd V50 and will mean he has the honour of wearing an England vest in the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k in May.
The other two qualification races for the the England Age Group 10K are at Trafford and Lincoln. All the details are here.
Away from racing, it was the club’s annual off-road weekend in Castleton, with groups making use of the great location to explore the snowy Peaks.
Looking ahead, this weekend sees some big events in which HPRC will be well represented. On Sunday it’s both the inaugural Leicestershire Half Marathon at Prestwold and the 25th running of the Stamford Striders St Valentines 30K. Sunday also sees the rescheduled Keyworth Turkey Trot, which was cancelled in December due to poor weather. Let’s hope the prize turkeys are still edible and that the snow doesn’t strike twice!
As always, keep on eye on the race calendar for dates of upcoming events.
On Saturday it was the Midland Cross Country Championships, at a particularly boggy Wollaton Park.
The men’s team placed 19th/38 whilst the ladies were 12th/34.
The double header was completed by the third race in the East Midlands XC League, in the hilly Colwick Woods.
Both the men and ladies teams are well positioned in the overall tables.
The final race in the series is at Trent Meadows on February 18th.
In the middle of the sandwich, on Saturday night it was the club’s Annual Dinner where the achievements of the past year were celebrated. Congratulations to this year’s trophy winners.
Chairman’s Trophy – Glyn Sawford
Ladies Captain’s Trophy – Sarah Tyler
Men’s Captain’s Trophy – Peter Savage
Ladies Newcomers Cup – Hannah Sampson
Men’s Newcomers Cup – Rob MacDonald
Ladies Fell Championship – Amanda Hibbert
Men’s Fell Championship – David Greenwood
parkrun challenge – Alex Loach
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