The Track and Field season is now entering its final month for 2017 and last Wednesday 12 Mansfield Harrier’s took the opportunity to race at the Charnwood Open Meeting which was held at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium in Loughborough. The previous days rain cleared and by the time the event started the competitors were greeted with warmer weather and a very slight wind.

One of the highlights of the night was the return to the track of May Roberts in the 800 metres. Roberts has had a difficult last two years and throughout her struggles continued to train although her racing had virtually stopped. The last few months she has managed to put in some quality training and although rusty due to lack of racing put in a superb run to record a time of 2.24. She will now be looking for a good winter and come back stronger next summer.

Picture below of May Roberts

Under 13 Alex Foster and ladies team manager Bev Armstrong had a battle royal in Heat 1 of the 800 with Foster going out hard and Armstrong coming past on the second lap. With 100 metres to go Armstrong had a lead of about 5 metres but a superb last 100 from the youngster saw her claw the lead back and overtake again on the line. Foster ran her second fastest time ever with 2.39.99 and Armstrong was rewarded with a fantastic new best of 2.40.35. Jonny Lowe ran in one of the faster heats and the Mansfield master was pulled through in a very fast first 400 and battled hard throughout to record 2.15.05. Matt Young had a welcome return to the track after injury racing to a 2.02.03 in the Under 11 600 metres and with a bit more training would have been good enough to win the race. Two more of Mansfield’s promising Under 13’s competed over 1500 metres, both putting in strong performances with Jake Orr recording 5.25 and Beth Hamilton 5.32.

Under 13 Tammy Smith was the only junior female competing in the Sprints and Field events recording a time of 15.56 in the 100 metres and 6.37 metres in the shot. Ben Madeley continues to get better with every race, the first year Under 15 raced to a new best in the 200 of 26.65 and recorded 12.90 in the 100. The fastest sprint double of the night for the club was recorded by Aaron Aplin with 12.07 and 23.90 with another Mansfield master Martin White raced to 12.76 and 25.83. Junior coach Chris Ashmore produced a PB of 8.93 in the Shot and clocked 13.07 in the 100 metres.

On the roads Mansfield had nine athletes compete at the Newark Half marathon on Sunday.  Dan Hardy continues to show he is going to be a fantastic asset to Mansfield going forward placing 12th in a time of 1 hour 16.50.  Another recent recruit Adam Fairfield used the race as a training run due to a recent Hip Flexor issue but still clocked an impressive 1.36.10. Angela Purdue continues to get better with virtually every race running a new best of 1.55.04. Peter Copcutt also dipped under 2 hours with a time of 1.56.06 followed by Mel Ceney 2.06.38, Tina Copcutt 2.18.49, Claire Booth 2.21.38, Sally Wilson 2.29.12 and Latia Renshaw 2.29.13. Also on the open circuit Mansfield’s veteran warrior Maddy Collinge continues to find challenging races when not winning local events with this week running the Half Tour of Bradwell a gruelling 16 mile race in the Derbyshire peaks in a time of 3 hours 40.

The last Summer League event took place last Tuesday at Shipley Park with the race run over 5.1 miles on road and trails. The final Booths Decorators League race was held during the torrential rain that came throughout the day making the conditions difficult and inspite of the weather the club had 13 men and 5 ladies race. Mansfield had individual glory with Phil Shaw finishing 30th on the night from which he claimed the overall 50 age group title, Maddy Collinge placed 274th for second in the 65 female age group and Roy Smith placed 180th and third overall in the 65 age group.

First home on the night was Neil Cope in 22nd, with Gary Morley 36th, Martin Fickling 51st, Jack Cooke 55th, Matt Bradbury 66th, Nigel Watkin 72nd, Stuart Whysall 121st, Gary Towle 129th, Pete Copcutt 227th, Natasha Carver 243rd, Karen Kowalski 260th, Nathan Ellis 267th, Michelle Baxter 286th, Tina Copcutt 299th and Jim Breider 315th. For the first time in several years Mansfield had full teams for every race and overall the men’s team were 7th on the day and 9th overall, the ladies 11th both on the night and overall and combined 9th both on the night and overall.

Report by Richard Massey, Coach and Press Officer.