Another busy week of cross country, road and fell action for Mansfield Harriers that saw athletes once again competing across the UK. The highlight of the weekend was the final cross country events of the winter with Mansfield athletes competing in the English Primary Schools and year 7 Cross Country Championships at Prestwold Hall near Loughborough and the Home Countries international in South Wales.
Four of Mansfields outstanding Under 11 athletes qualified to run for the county at the School event with this being the first experience of national competition and large numbers of competitors. In the year 6 girls race Mansfield’s double cross country county champion Beth Hamilton had a superb run to finish in 49th in a time of 9.02 and team mate Alex Foster continues to show great improvement to place 108th in a time of 9.32 out of nearly 250 finishers. In the boy’s race first back was the fast improving Jake Orr who placed 108th in a time of 8.51 and he was followed by Matthew Young who placed 179th in a time of 9.30 again out of nearly 250 finishers. Young did exceptionally well to qualify still being a year 5 and he also had the misfortune to take a fall at the cavalry charge of a start. Racing in South Wales Alex Rieley represented the Midland Counties Under 20’s in a small but high quality field placing 28th overall.
On the roads the club competed in the Midlands men’s 12 stage road relays and the ladies 6 stage relays at Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield. This is one of the premier events on the road race calendar and for the first time in several years Mansfield fielded complete teams in both events and being the only club in the county apart from Notts AC to achieve this. The Ladies race comprised of two long legs and four short and the team placed 37th. Bev Armstrong and Helen Jones ran the longer legs clocking 39.23 and 39.33. The short legs were run by Kahli Johnson 21.48, Helen Pritchett 23.32, Amanda Shaw 28.17 and Jemma Arbon 28.39.
The men’s race consisted of 4 long and 8 short legs with the team placing a superb 35th. The long legs were the first four with Chris Allcock leading the team out with 32.13, Mark Johnson 32.02, Nigel Watkin 35.28 and Martin Fickling with 34.44. The short legs were completed by Jack Cooke 20.03, Garry Hodgkins 20.59, Chris Monk 18.29, Sam Bradley 19.01, Andy Wetherill 18.06, Jordan Boam 18.27, Dave Robertson 25.30 and Graeme Baguley.
The Harriers had four athletes compete at the Wolfspit Fell Race in the Hope Valley which also doubled up for the fell running county championships. The mighty atom Phil Shaw had a superb run placing 32nd overall which was good enough to become county champion for the men over 50 category and also taking a bronze in the open race. Paul Butcher ran well for 45th place and second in the over 50 category and the team was completed by Tim Raynor in 124th and Jack Cooke in 136th. For good measure the team of Shaw, Butcher and Raynor also took third and a bronze in the county team event.
Maddy Collinge and new Mansfield member Claire Booth competed in the Monsal Trail half marathon. Collinge continued with her relentless domination of local races in her age group winning the over 65 category in 1.49.30 and Booth recorded a time of 2.10.
Picture below of the U11 Team, left to right Left to right Jake Orr, Matthew Young, Beth Hamilton and Alex Foster.