Mansfield Harriers have had a hectic weekend of action with athletes competing across England on the roads, cross country and track.

With the London Marathon only 5 weeks away, now is the season for the long road races and Mansfield had seven athletes complete the Ashby 20 mile race in blustery conditions on Sunday. Chris Allcock continues his great run of form placing 21st out of nearly 1400 finishers in a time of 2.06.23 which bodes well for London. Bret Podgorzec was next in for the Mansfield club again showing he is wintering well to record 2.29.18 for 193rd place. Two more London competitors followed and again confirmed they had wintered well with Martin Fickling recording 2.35.25 for 262nd and Matt Bradbury 2.37.29 for 301st.

Jackie Duers was first Mansfield lady home knocking 6 minutes of her course PB to record 3.03.52 and the team was completed by Lyndsey Stevenson and Caroline Rye who recorded 4.07.35 for `1271st and.1272nd respectively. This is an amazing achievement for Stevenson and Rye who have come to the Harriers from the local Run England group Mansfield Runners and who are progressing with every week.

Maddy Collinge continued her dominance of over 65 events racing at the Hampton Court Palace half marathon recording 1.54.08 to win the age group category prize. Another London entrant Steve Davies has had a troubled winter but appears to be running into form at the right time recording 2 hours 25 at the East Hull 20 mile event.

Several athletes competed at the Ed Prickett road relays on Saturday the distance being 2.3 miles around the Nottingham University campus. In the men’s race Mansfield’s International Master Mark Johnson finally showed he was getting over his recent injuries to record 13.30. The ladies had two teams complete and were the first and second club teams back. For the first team Bev Armstrong was first out recording 16.58 followed by Karen Kowalski in 18.36 and the anchor leg was completed by Kahli Johnson in 16.01. For the second team Sarah Bradbury recorded 20.35, Tina Copcutt 22.13 and Angela Purdue brought the team home in 18.43.

A very successful cross country season for the Mansfield club is nearing its conclusion and three athletes represented the county ay the English Schools Championships at Norwich. Running in their last Championships Archie Rayner and Bethany Williams both put in solid performances to finish 29th and 39th respectively in the senior boys and girls races and be first back for the county. Rayner would have been looking for a medal but for a bad reaction from a recent Yellow Fever injection and Williams in probably her last cross country race for some time as she looks to gain an Athletics Scholarship in the USA gave her normal reliable performance. The third athlete competing was Henry Bullough in the junior boys race placing a superb 189th and second Nottinghamshire athlete back.

At the indoor track meeting at the Birmingham High Performance centre both Jess Lake and Kelsey Pearce put in superb early season performances. Lake recorded new best times for the 60 metre hurdles in 9.60 and the 75 metre hurdles in 12.23 to place third in both races and get very close to an English Schools qualifying time. Pearce launched the shot to a massive 10.99 metres to confirm recent form and a distance that is a qualifier for the English Schools. Both young ladies will expect to improve further as the track season gets into full swing.

Picture below of Martin Fickling who is preparing for the London Marathon.