By Mark Fletcher
The Christmas period is a time most people take to wind down and have a rest. However, for Richmond and Zetland Harriers this is the start of the new racing year and the return of some of our athletes home for Christmas gave them a chance to race against the best of the local opposition. Ribble Valley 10k holds the Northern road race championships and has been a happy hunting ground for the club and medals in recent years, but this year it went beyond all expectations.
Marc Scott our Team GB U23 member returned from his training base in Tulsa, USA to destroy the field and set a new road pb of 29:33 to make it a double to add to the Loftus poultry run before Christmas. The Roberts brothers returned from north of the border where they are part of the Scottish triathlon squad with Doug producing a fine run to finish 7th and also set a new pb (30:18), not to be outdone his younger brother Fergus finished in 10th (30:59), Liam Rabjohn was next in 64th (34:00) and the excellent Lee Davies in 155th and a massive pb (37:34). Steve Sadler unfortunately had to pull up during the race.
Marc Scott arrived home before Christmas to an early Christmas present of selection for England to compete in the Stewart Cup. The Stewart Cup is run on the same day as the Great Scottish Cross Country as a male and female relay against 7 other teams including Team GB and America. At the Jolly Holly 10k run over the picturesque Studley park, Carl Jones continues his return from injury with an excellent 12th and the 3rd V40 (38:46:7) and was followed by the impressive Simon Withers in 72nd (44:13:1). Ian Hepworth had another good outing and was 319th (54:55:1), Nicki Buckett continues her good form in 484th (1:01:03:7), followed by another decent run from Jane Bond in 534th (1:02:33:6) and Michelle Withers very close behind with a great finish in 549th (1:02:51:4). A select few of our other runners took to the Fells around Guisborough Woods with another set of fantastic results.
Julian Simpson was our top athlete in a very good 12th and the 3rd V40 (44:01), with the flying Jacqui Keavney in 50th, the 5th lady and the top V50 (48:43) and Rebecca Simpson not far behind in 60th and also making the top 10 in the ladies in 8th (49:28). The York new year relays had a the club involved with a scratch team of Rob Scott, Jo Adams and Rosie Adams. Each runner has a different distance to run and a handicap system is in place to ensure fairness. For every female runner you get a 3 minute head start.
Unfortunately, the organiser decided that the Richmond team should only have 3 minutes and even with this unfair application came a fantastic 3rd. Even the intervention from our international who suggested that 4.5 minutes would make a race of it was over ruled. The team was beaten by you guessed it 1.5 minutes! Matthew Lawton was also out on the Fells around Holmefirth and Holme, West Yorkshire in the rather hilly 7 mile Tinker Cup and finished in a very satisfactory 7 th (51:20) Steve Middleton was 3rd at Northallerton parkrun (19:29) and Josh Hammett 6th (21:48) and 10th (22:36). At Darlington, Reece Dalton was 2nd (16:18, pb), Jeremy Pattison 3rd (17:33, pb), Michelle Nolan 6th (17:58, 1st lady, pb), James Greer 9th (18:09), Ken Harker 10th (18:17), Shona Fletcher 22nd (19:50, 2nd lady), Rebecca Simpson in 30th (20:06), Maisy Squires in 113th (24:16), Ian Hepworth in 141st (25:23), Ryan Greer in 183rd (27:20), Nicki Buckett in 201st (27:51), Jane Bond in 207th (28:12) and Karen Greer in 299th (35:00).
Christmas Day had Rob Scott in 1st (17:10), Harry Robson in 4th (18:03), Ken Harker in 7th (18:33), Shona Fletcher in 72nd (24:57), Ian Hepworth in 86th (25:37) and Helen Robson in her 1st parkrun a very respectful 200th (41:52). New Year’s Eve had Jeremy Pattison in 2nd (17:36), Carl Jones in 5th (18:03), Ken Harker in 7th (18:11), Lee Davies in 8th (18:20), Shona Fletcher in 12th (19:10, 2nd lady), Laura Kirkham in 49th (21:51), Anna Harrison in 61st (22:25), Ryan Greer in 188th (27:14), Jane Hack in 197th (27:43), Jane Bond in 205th (27:56), Sally Harrison in 207th (27:57), Nicki Buckett in 212th (28:17) and Karen Greer in 292nd (35:05). Ken Harker was 7th at Stewart’s park (19:10). Albert park had Jeremy Pattison in 5th (18:24), Jo Adams in 7th (18:35, 1st lady) and Ken Harker in 20th (19:53).
Doubling up was Jeremy Pattison who took the tape in 1st in big new pb at Sedgefield (18:12).
- Further information on the club and training nights can be found on the website www.richmondzetlandharriers.co.uk.
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