Summer Kicked Off

Sunday 7th June saw the first race of the LRRL Summer League get underway. Swithland 6 drew a large crowd of athletes with 661 individuals crossing the start mat, including 28 Harriers.

It was an impressive performance from the club who have maintained a stronger presence throughout the LRRL calendar this year. First home for the club was Matt Adcock, who claimed 6th place overall, in a super-speedy time of 32 minutes and 13 seconds. He was quickly joined by teammate Tony Woodward who knocked nearly 3 minutes off his 2014 Swithland 6 time to finish in 7th position with as time of 32:32. The next two Harriers over the line were also only separated by a matter of seconds; Jason Williams romped home with a time of 34:17 and was 2nd in the vet40 category, finishing just 18 seconds ahead of Ryan Twigg who clocked up a new PB of 34:35. The final four members of the team all finished within a minute of each other. Darren Weston claimed fifth place in the men’s team with a time of 35 minutes and was 25th overall and Shaun Coulton produced his best course time in four years to finish in 35:20 and scoop 2nd place in the vet50 category. Next to return was Joe Henson in 37th place with a time of 35:48. The final man over the mat for the team positions was Paul Gregory whose 35:54 time and 39th place finish gave Hermitage Harriers 8 men inside the top 40.

Once again, the ladies managed to field enough runners to claim two finishing teams; A and B. The A team all set new PBs during the race. Vicky Macqueen was the first lady to return home with an amazing time of 41:17 which also gave her a new 6 mile PB. Teammate Mia Weston was next to claim her place in the A Team with a course PB time of 42:54. Third place went to Katie Wright who shaved 3 and a half minutes off her previous 6 mile best to finish in 45:08. The final A team place went to Sarah Kendrick with a highly impressive time of 47:33 which was also a 6 mile PB.

The ladies B team was made up of Judith Brand who claimed 4th place in the vet60 category and set a new 6 mile PB with her time of 50:15, Caroline Townsend who smashed her predicted time by almost 3 minutes and shaved over a minute off her previous 6 mile best to finish in 53:37. The next two spots went to Kelly Garrigan-Cooper who beat her predicted time by almost a minute and clocked up a time of 53:49 and Charlotte Pollard who crossed the line in 56:59.

As always, there were many success stories across the club at Swithland 6. Tina Hazelwood took part in her first LRRL race for the club and finished in a very respectable time of 1:09:27. Hazelwood ran much of the race with fellow Harrier Wendy Buck who was returning to racing after an eleven month break. Buck delivered an impressive performance and finished in 1:09:51 to rapturous applause from her teammates. Tracey Sims reduced her 6 mile PB by almost 2 minutes after flying around the course in 1:00:22. Fellow Harrier, Darryl Johnson, also set a new six mile PB of 49:19, taking over 2 minutes off his previous best. Finally, Pete Armstrong set a new course best with his time of 37:48.

Following the race, a number of Harriers received prizes for their performance during the LRRL winter races. Matt Adcock and Tony Woodward were awarded 2nd and 3rd place overall for the category of senior men and Jason Williams and Paul Gregory collected awards in the vet40 category, claiming 2nd and 3rd place.

The next LRRL Summer League fixture is Prestwold 10K which takes place on Sunday 21st June at 10.30am. Summer league races are open to non-club members