The Virgin London Marathon was the place to be last weekend and Mansfield Harriers had a superb eight athletes complete the race. Leading the way for Mansfield was Gary Morley who cracked the magical 3 hour barrier coming home in a time of 2.59.34, a personal best time by a huge distance running over 6 minutes faster than ever before.
Mansfield Harriers had three club events over the last week, the first of the Booths Road Race series at Teversal, the Notts AAA’s road race league at Hexgrave Park the day after, and at the weekend the juniors were competing at the first of the Nottinghamshire Mini League events at Ashfield School.
Another busy and successful weekend for Mansfield Harriers as club athletes competed in various events across the region. The premier event of the weekend was the English Schools Cross Country Championships held at Wollaton Park in Nottingham which is the highlight of the schools cross country calendar. On the day Mansfield had five athletes competing for Nottinghamshire and one for Derbyshire.
The first of Mansfield Harriers marathon men Martin Fickling competed today at the Manchester event one of nearly 10,000 to finish crossing the line in 3 hours 45 minutes and 41 seconds to place 2961st in the race. In warm and windy conditions Martin went through 10k in 48.38, 21k in 1.43.16 and 30k in 2.28.13 on his way to complete his debut marathon.
Mansfield Harriers were in action at the weekend at the National Cross Country Championships at Castle Donnington held on a tough undulating course that became very heavy throughout the day. The event was put on by an organising committee including Mansfield’s Pat Carlan and on the day the club had more volunteers on duty than any other club and combined with a sickness bug that seems to be sweeping around the team the actual numbers competing was probably smaller than could normally be expected.
Mansfield Harriers outstanding endurance athlete Mark Johnson claimed another national title at the weekend. Running in the British Masters 10k championship at the Olympic Park in London the Mansfield maestro showed his rivals a clean pair of heels to cross the line in an impressive time of 32.58 to take the masters 45 title.
As we move into the last month of winter several Mansfield Harriers are undergoing the winter slog in preparation for Spring Marathons with athletes competing in the London, Manchester and Shakespeare events. Months of increased mileage and carefully structured training plans will be put to the test at these major events. As part of the build up to the main event the Harriers will be competing in several long distance races in the next few weeks to gauge fitness and how the training is going.
Mansfield Harriers Ella Hughes put in an outstanding performance on her England debut in the Under 20 race at the Lotto Cup event in Rotselaar Belgium. Racing over 4200 and nearly 4 laps the course was like nothing Ella had raced on before with numerous tight turns, two hurdles a stretch of heavy mud, another of firm ground and long stretch of manmade beach.
Mansfield Harriers were out in force over the weekend on both road and cross county, with the marathon men putting in superb performances. Leading the way at the Retford Half Marathon Gary Morley put in a fantastic run coming home in a new personal best of 1 hour 23.32 to finish 22nd.