Mansfield Harriers saw success last week on a global scale as one of the club’s rising stars Luke Duffy claimed a bronze medal at the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games held at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in the Bahamas. Combined with Anna Smith placing a superb 4th at the same competition the Mansfield club can look back with great pride at a very successful fixture. It had been a very tense day as lightening had called a halt to proceedings for about one hour but both athletes remained calm during the delays and came out ready to race hard.

Racing in the Under 18 boys 1500 metres Duffy put in a phenomenal performance going with the pace throughout. After a steady first lap of 65 the two Kenyans in the field set about a blistering pace. Duffy managed to stay with them and kicked for glory with 300 metres to go. The eventual winner from Kenya cut across Duffy with just under 200 to go as they battled for the inside lane resulting in him having to check his stride which gave the Kenyan an advantage he was to hold all the way to the finish line with Duffy being pipped for silver in the home straight. His reward was a superb new best time of 3.49.70 and with a last 1100 metres of 2.44 suggests he can go faster in a fast paced race.

Anna Smith also put in a scintillating run in the Under 18 girls 1500 metres. Smith who moves clubs to Mansfield on the 1st of August put in what England Athletics described as a “breakthrough performance.” Although only coming in ranked 10th  in the field the 15 year old raced with great maturity to place second coming of the final bend only to miss out on a medal in a desperate 4 woman sprint to the line. Her reward however was a massive 5 second new best time as she clocked an amazing 4.17.99.

These runs put both Duffy and Smith 11th fastest UK runners of all time at 1500 metres for the Under 17 age group.

On the roads Mansfield once again had large numbers racing at the penultimate fixture in the Notts AAA Summer league at Worksop College and the very tough Hardwick 10K

The Worksop event was close to 5 miles around the outskirts of Clumber Park and 32 blue and green vests made the start line. The clubs outstanding Male masters team stole the glory again with another team victory and they go into the last fixture with a 122 point lead over the nearest rivals. The team consisted of Mark Johnson 6th, Andy Wetherill 21st, Phil Shaw 41st and Gary Morley 43rd.

First man home was recent new member Dan Hardy who is going from strength to strength placing a magnificent 4thon the night.  In a field of 290 men Neil Cope was 25th followed by Martin Fickling 74th, Jack Cooke 76th, Tony Gelsthorpe 96th, Stuart Whysall 103rd, Garry Hodgkins 105th, Gary Towle 139th, Alan Kemp 164th, Colin Fell 172nd, Pete Wheldon 174th, Trevor Hiscox 185th and Pete Copcutt 228th.  The mens tam placed 6th out of the 25 complete teams on the day and lie 9th overall after 4 races.

The ladies Masters team also put in a great performance finishing 4th on the night which also places them 4th overall in the competition. The team comprised of Kahli Johnson 26th, Helen Prichett 35th and Karen Waterhouse 73rd. Once again the ladies field was a very large one with 203 finishers and next in for Mansfield was Angela Purdue 80th, Sarah Bradbury 82nd, Natasha Carver 83rd, Jackie Duers 84th, Maddy Collinge 93rd, Christine Fell 112th, Ester Sinclair 126th, Amanda Shaw 135th, Sue Pepperday 139th, Mel Ceney 148th, Tina Copcutt 149th and Julie Winter in 165th position. The senior ladies placed 14th on the night and are now 10th overall in the series.

The Hardwick 10K is a recently returned race to the local race calendar, a very tough hilly race run around the grounds of Hardwick and some of the local villages. 22 Mansfield athletes raced the event this year with first back being Sam Bradley in 24th position with a time of 40.40 closely followed by Jack Cooke in 28th with 41.21. Making his debut performance in the green and blue Adam Fairfield was 44th in 43.03. Stuart Whysall was next man home in 57th place with a time of 43.51 followed by Alan Kemp 76th 45.55, Pete Wheldon 122nd 48.56, Mark Burr 196th 53.07 , Pete Copcutt 203rd 53.14, Graeme Baguley 212th 54.23, Tim Richardson 235th 55.09 and Jim Brieder 370th in 64.37.

The fast improving Sarah Bradbury was first Mansfield lady home in a time of 54.11 for 218th closely followed by Maddy Collinge with 54.24 to place 223rd. Diane Stewart was 277th with 57.24, Karen Kowalski 278th 57.26, Mel Ceney 315th 59.46, Tina Copcutt 333rd 60.58, Michelle Baxter 338th 61.49, Jess Brieder 343rd 62.12, Julie Winter 363rd 63.47, Jemma Arbon 376th 65.42 and Theresa Copcutt 72.35.

Mansfield’s ironman Matt Bradbury competed at the weekend in the Snowdon Trail Marathon. The event with nearly 5,500 feet of climbing is one of the toughest events in the UK with parts of the course impossible to run along. Bradbury placed 279th overall out of 660 finishers in a time of 6 hours 27.30.

Report by Richard Massey, Coach and Press Officer.