Old Belper News Articles

BELPER HARRIERS NEWS REPORTS FOR 2009 – These are the reports that were posted in the Belper News newspaper throughout 2009.

January 2009

Another Honour for Harriers Secretary

After his successes at the Regional and England awards, Steve Winfield Belper Harriers club secretary went forward to the UK Athletics awards. As the representative of the East Midlands and England Club Volunteer of the Year, Steve went on to win the national award for his services to the sport and club athletics.

The dinner was held before Christmas at the British Motorcycle Museum Solihull where there were many famous names from athletics both past and present. The main speakers being the UKA chairman Ed Warner and Sir Trevor Brooking the Sport England chairman who spoke drawing comparisons on the youth development between football and athletics.

This honour for Steve once again reflects on the hard work, boundless energy and enthusiasm he has given to Belper Harriers and athletics.

10k Races

Some of the Harriers runners have been busy over the Christmas and New Year period with some fast 10k races. The Telford 10k always attracts a strong field and Rob Norman and Len Foulk were part of that field. Rob came 153rd in 43mins 53secs while Len finished 248th in 48mins 28secs.

The Bolsover 10k is always a popular race for local runners and seven Harriers joined the field of 748 finishers. Our first finisher was Krish Mahadevan who finished 57th in a time of 39mins 25secs. Theresa Hempsall was our next finisher in exactly 44mins while Simon Hackett would have been well pleased with his time of 44mins 23secs. Our next finisher was Chris Gilbert who has now moved into the veteran’s category and has not raced recently for various reasons, coming home in 46mins 22secs. Just under a minute behind came Len Foulk in 47mins 14secs with Rob Pearce next in 49mins 27secs. Our final finisher was John Naughton who is relatively new to the club but came home in a creditable time of 54mins 1sec.

The third 10k race at Southwell Nottinghamshire saw two very recent members Ron and Stephanie Ilsley run in this race. Both returned excellent times, Ron finishing in 40mins 8secs while Steph recorded a time of 42mins 26secs.

The club is always looking for new runners or prospective runners to join the club which meets on a Tuesday evening at the Belper Leisure Centre at 7.15 p.m. For more information about the club, go to http://www.belperharriers.co.uk. or alternatively Steve Winfield on 01773 513384.

February 2009

Good Start to the year for the Harriers

The Booth Decorators Cross-Country League resumed after the New Year with the fourth race in the series. The 21 runners from the club had an excellent day, finishing first overall. On a two-lap course at Nutbrook, over heavy mud, of approximately 4.8 miles there were some outstanding performances. Running his best race for the club, Tom Molder finished an excellent fourth with the consistent Mark Riches our next finisher. Geoff Lowry and Graham Collins were our next finishers both running their first cross-country of the season. Dave Horton would have been delighted with his run, finishing in his highest position in a league race of 37th. There were two other strong performances, from Steve Meath and Andy Rose while John Naughton was making his debut.

The club only had three ladies in the race, Theresa Hempstall, Helen Skelton and Rose Sensecall but they put in a tremendous performance. Theresa finished in 57th place, second lady while Helen running in only her third race for the club finished an excellent 64th. The ever reliable Rose Sensecall secured second place for the ladies while the men finished third with the club finishing first overall.

With this strong performance the club has moved from sixth to fourth with one race in the series remaining. The final race takes place next month at Berry Hill Park Mansfield, on the best course of the five, so if the club can get the runners out, there is still a good chance of getting into the top three.

County and Northern Cross-Country Championships

The joint county championships of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire were held at Berrry Hill on a particular frozen icy course. The club had nine runners involved with four ladies in their 8k race. The

ladies race saw Sharon Mellors pushing the leaders to finish 6th while Stephanie Ilsley who has recently joined the club finished an excellent 10th. The fast improving Helen Skelton finished 14th while Rose Sensecall beat some good club runners to finish 27th. Sharon and Stephanie have been selected for the Derbyshire team to compete in the televised Inter-Counties race at Wollaton Park in March.

In the mens race of 10k, Mark Riches finished seventeen places up on last year, in 42th place, followed by Rob Norman in 53rd position. Steve Meath and Andy Fookes both running in the championship for the first time along with Malcolm Weir put in creditable performances.

The Northern Area Cross-Country Championship took place last Saturday, at Sherdley Park St Helens, where three of our runners were involved. On another muddy course, Mark Riches and Rob Norman put in good performances against the best runners in the north of England. Mark finished in 365th position while Rob came home in 408th place, one hundred and sixty places up on last year.

Rose Sensecall carried the Belper vest for the ladies to finish in 223rd place over a distance of 8k.

Well done to all three runners who carried the club colours in this top quality cross-country.

March 2009

Good Finish for the Harriers

The final race in the Booth Decorators Cross-Country League took place at Berry Hill Park Mansfield over a two lap course of 4.2 miles. The Harriers were well represented in the race with twenty-three runners and some strong performances carried the team home to finish second. Our first finisher was the ever reliable Mark Riches in 17th place, followed by Krishna Mahadevan in 20th place, Simon Edwards in 22nd place and Rob Norman in 26th position.

The most outstanding performance from a Belper runner was Jo Carborn, running her first cross-country for the club and finishing third lady and 33rd in the race. This helped the ladies to finish in second place on the day.

There were other good runs from the fast improving Dave Horton in 31st position, Andy Rose in 53rd place while Andy Fookes and Mark Leatherland made their debuts for the club. Rosemary Arris made a welcome return after a long-term injury.

The club went into the race in fourth place out of the ten teams and after a slow start in the competition did well to finish third overall. It has been a good season for many of our runners, in particular Theresa Hempstall, Dave Horton, Rob Norman and once again Roger Morgan who kept his record of never missing a Harriers race, either cross-country or road. Helen Skelton, Karl Atton and Steve Meath all had excellent first seasons and the signs are there for a strong challenge in the road race league which starts in April.

National Cross-Country

The Saucony English Cross-Country Championships took place at Parliament Hill London with three Belper Harriers involved in the action. In unseasonable warm weather but deep mud on the course the trio of Mark Riches, Rob Norman and Rose Sensecall would have been pleased with their performances.

In the men’s race of 1455 finishers over a 12k distance, Mark came home in 850th place in a time of exactly 55mins while Rob up position wise from last year and with more runners in the race, finished in 1010 place, in a time of 57mins 38secs.

In the ladies race of 8k Rose came home in a creditable 499th place, in a time of exactly 51mins, out of a field of 546 finishers.

Congratulations to all three runners who have had good cross-country seasons and ran well on a testing course against the best runners in the country.


April 2009


There has not been much activity in individual races by club members during the early part of the year with the exception of Len Foulkes. Len made the journey to Blackpool to run their half-marathon and it was a worthwhile journey as he knocked six minutes off his previous best. Len recorded a time of 1hr 42mins, to finish in 406th position, out of a field of 1193 finishers.

The club meets on a Tuesday evening at Belper Leisure Centre at 7.15 for a 7.30 start. For more information contact Steve Winfield on Belper 513384.

May 2009

Harriers out in Force

Once again the Derbyshire Building Society 10K race was well supported by the Belper Harriers. The field of over 3,000 finishers was the largest number the race has ever had and the 28 runners from the club was considerably the highest number that has been in the race. The start outside the stadium on Pride Park took the runners into the centre of the city, through many of the main streets and then a solid lap around Pride Park to finish within the football stadium.

There were a number of personal bests among the clubs runners while many others ran well getting near to their best form. Ron Ilsley achieved a personal best time of 39mins 4secs, Steve Meath ran 42mins 30secs while Len Foulk ran another personal best of 46mins 18secs after a fortnight earlier running in the Paris Marathon in a time of 4hrs 17mins.

The club had four runners running a sub-40mins race, eight ran a sub-45min and seven ran sub-50min. Others from the club in the race could be well pleased with their performances with their improving times or getting back to near their best form. These times illustrate how the standard of the club and its members is improving and will give both confidence and optimism for their individual and club races.

There was one local runner on the podium, Richard Weir who runs for Derby AC but lives in Belper. Running only his third 10K race he finished third in 31mins 43secs, thirty–eight seconds behind the winner.

This race gets better and more popular every year creating a good community spirit where club runners compete against runners from other sports and runners who are trying the race for the first time.

Derwent Dambusters 10-Mile Race

This race must be the most scenic in Derbyshire taking in the Dams of Ladybower, Howden and Derwent. Three of the clubs athletes, Stephanie Ilsley, Rosemary Arris and Rob Pearce could all be well pleased with their performances. Stephanie was the first lady in a time of 1hr 10mins while Rob who has improved greatly these last few months had a solid run to finish in 1hr 20mins. Rosemary recorded a time of 1hr 28mins which was a significant step in her recovery from a long-term injury.

Booth Decorators League

The Tuesday after the Derbyshire Building Society 10K race saw the first of the inter-club races of the season at the Derby Rugby Club, organised by Chesapeake Running Club. In ideal conditions, the large field of 246 finishers had two laps of approximately four and a half miles to run. The Harriers had another tremendous turnout of 32 runners including 13 who had run the previous weekend.

The club had eight runners making their debuts for the club and one of these Ben Humphreys was our first male counter finishing in fourth place. He was well supported by Mark Riches who was running the London Marathon five days later, finished in 25th place. Dale Annable, Krishna Mahadevan and Saul Taylor all ran well finishing in 27th, 29th and 32nd places. Simon Edwards and Alex Duthie making his debut could both be well pleased with their two races in two days finishing within seconds of each other in the league race, in 41st and 42nd place. Ron and Steph Ilsley both made their debuts and look excellent acquisition for club with Steph finishing first lady for the Harriers. Phil and Matt Conroy, Dave Cooper and Gemma Redfern also making their debuts could be pleased with their performances.

Dave Horton looked in good shape before his London Marathon while Phil Shaw showed what he is capable of by beating all the mid pack Belper runners.

Although the club only finished sixth overall, 4th in the men’s and 6th in the ladies the standard of the race was very high with Long Eaton sending a strong team and Heanor getting their best runners out. There are still four races to go and the club will be pushing to move up to try for a top three position.

June 2009

Good times in the Marathon

A record number of runners from the club ran in this year’s London Marathon, with seven of our member’s, six men and one lady finishing the 26.2 mile course. Our first finisher was once again the marathon consistent Mark Riches, with a time of 2hrs 58mins, up by two minutes on last year. Simon Merwood followed Mark in 3hrs 5mins, having a struggle over the last three miles. The next Belper finisher was Paul Marvel having just joined the club at the end of last year recorded the excellent time of 3hr 8mins. Dave Horton running on one of the club’s places was our next finisher in 3hrs 36mins, with Patrick Phipps, who would have been well pleased with his run finishing in 3hrs 50mins. Rob Pearce who also ran on a club place, recorded his best time of his three marathons with a time of 4hrs 22mins. Claire Lightfoot completed the Belper runners with an excellent time of 4hrs 41mins achieving her personal goal and joining the list of lady runners within the club.

Congratulations to all of our runners who have put in a lot of time, dedication and effort into their training while raising money for chosen charities throughout the winter months.

Uttoxeter Half-Marathon

This scenic and friendly course saw five Belper Harriers in the field of over four hundred runners. With a big hill at eleven to twelve miles when the runners are most tired, the Belper runners still achieved some excellent times. Krishna Mahadevan easily finished under the hour and half mark with a time of 1hr 26mins, followed by Ron Ilsley in 1hr 31mins, just three minutes in front of his wife Stephanie, in 1hr 34mins. Dave Cooper who used the race in preparation for the Edinburgh Marathon finished in 1hr 37mins while Helen Skelton, making excellent progress recorded a time of 1hr 43mins.

The club is always looking for new members and now is an ideal time to join having the opportunity to run off-road during the spring and summer months. To find out more about the club contact Steve Winfield on Belper 513384.

July 2009

Good Team Performance

The second road race of the season took place at Teversal Grange, Sutton in Ashfield over a distance of4.8 miles. Once again the club had a healthy number of runners 30, in the field of 231 finishers. There were three making their debuts for the club, Maddy Salter, Gordon Irvine and Phil Oldfield who was making his debut in any race for the first time. It was Gordon who made the biggest mark upon the race, finishing fourth to the first three from Mansfield Harriers. The ever consistent Mark Riches was the club’s next finisher in 14th place while Ben Humphreys who was up with the leaders until he suffered a calf injury still managed to finish in 28th position and the third Belper runner home.

The four longest serving members of the club were out in force, Peter Kemp, Graham Johnson, Roger Morgan and Malcolm Weir, with Graham in particular having a very good run.

The ladies were well represented. Steph Ilsley had a fine race to finish in 85th place and was well supported by the other five ladies.

On the night the men’s team came third, the ladies were sixth and combined the team came fourth. After the two races the club holds sixth place with three more races to go. It was a good solid performance by the team and there are positive signs of rapid improvement from some of our newer members. So if we continue to get our runners out, we are still confident of a top three finish for the club.

The evening was concluded with a buffet and presentation of awards from the winter cross-country league by our sponsor Louis Booth. Theresa Hempstall, Helen Skelton and Roger Morgan were receiving awards in their age categories while the club was recognised for finishing third in the combined team, third in the men’s and third in the ladies.

Larwood Healthy Hearts 10k

This race held in Shireoak near Worksop attracted four of our runners to the event. Some good times were achieved by all four with Ron Ilsley being our first runner home in 34th place in a time of 40mins 45secs. Wife Steph was less than two minutes behind in 42mins 39secs, in 58th position while Rob Pearce and Jason Fores can be well pleased with their times and placings. Rob finished in 47mins 26secs in 135th place while Jason in 48mins18secs in 151st place out of a field of 385 finishers.

White Peak Half-Marathon

Two excellent runs by Krishna Mahadevan and Andy Horsley saw them both improve their times on this course. Krishna finished in 10th in 1hr 26mins, two minutes up on last year while Andy finished five minutes up on last year in 1hr 29mins in 20th position. Further down the field were two of our ladies, running together in the cold and wet conditions, Mary Dwyer and Lisa Salton both finished in 2hrs 25mins.

August 2009

Hot Day at Edinburgh

The 2009 Edinburgh Marathon attracted 17,000 entrants which included elite athletes, club runners and those just aiming to get around for their designated charity. On the hottest day of the year there were three Harriers on the start line, Dave Cooper, Adrian Koe and Neil Wilson.

With temperatures at 21 degrees centigrade at the 9am start time and three degrees higher two hours later, the majority of the runners were going to find the conditions difficult without the problem of the shortage of water at the drink stations as the race progressed.

As all three were running their first marathon, it was never going to be easy to attain their predicted times but they still produced highly creditable performances. Dave Cooper was the club’s first finisher in 4hrs 46mins with Adrian Koe just ten minutes behind in 4hrs 56mins. Neil Wilson was just twelve minutes behind Adrian in 5hrs 8mins.

Congratulations to all three runners who would have done their entire pre-race training in weather totally different to the weather on race day.

Tour of the Derwent Valley

The ever popular four races in four days over the Spring Bank Holiday saw six Belper Harriers complete all the races. Ron Ilsley would have been well pleased with his overall ninth place while wife Stephanie came 19th and took the over 45 award for the ladies. Andy Rose also had a good weekend finishing 3rd Senior Male and is making rapid progress since he joined the club. The other three Harriers, Helen Skelton, Rose Sensecall and Rob Norman all achieved their targets and enjoyed the Tour. A number of other runners from the club ran in one or more of the races over the weekend.

Notts 10-mile Road Race

This race at Holme Pierrepont National Water Sports Centre Nottinghamshire saw three of our members in the field of over three hundred runners. Having an excellent race, Mark Riches came home in 59mins 59secs to finish 29th while Helen Skelton recorded a good time of 73mins 57secs finishing 148th. Andy Rose having ran well in his four previous races would probably have been looking for a quicker time but still could be pleased with his 77mins 52secs to finish 196th.

Derwent River Relays

For the third consecutive year the club will be holding their four-stage relay event, to take place on Saturday 11th July at 2.30pm from Belper Rugby Club. All the teams will consist of four runners, either four men, four ladies or a mixed team of four. Each runner will run the three mile stage from the Rugby Club over the footpaths by the side of the River Derwent. The club is looking for as many teams as possible, either from the local community, corporate teams and affiliated running clubs. There are prizes for various team categories as well as fastest individuals.

Before the Relays at 1.30pm there is a Charity Fun Run of 1.5 miles for children and the less experienced runner, in aid of ‘The Friends of the Babington Hospital’. There will be changing facilities available at the Rugby Club along with a Licensed Bar, refreshments and entertainment for the whole family.

More information can be obtained from Steve Winfield on 01773 513384 or Malcolm Weir on 01773 826799.

September 2009

Harriers up and Running

The third race of the Booth Decorators Road Race League took place at Grassmoor Country Park near Chesterfield with 31 Harriers in the slightly smaller field of 203 runners. On a course of just over five miles the club put in another excellent performance finishing third overall out of the eleven clubs.

For the men, the ever consistent Mark Riches lead the team home finishing in 15th place followed by the now injury-free Geoff Lowry in 19th place and Dale Annable in 20th position. Running in his best form while being with the club, Krishna Mahadevan came in a superb 22nd followed by the reliable Simon Merwood in 23rd spot. The final two placings to count for the men were taken by Alex Duthie in 29th place and Simon Edwards who is also on top of his running at the moment, finishing 38th.

It is also good to see runners from further down the field making improvements and there were plenty of healthy improvements, notably Andy Rose, Andy Fookes and Simon Hackett who all could be well pleased with their performances.

The star of the night for the Harriers was the performance of Joanne Caborn who finished second lady in the race and 36th overall. This was a tremendous performance when you consider that in the corresponding race last year, Jo finished 151st and ran nine minutes quicker this year. She was well supported by seven other ladies including Sharon Mellors who made a tentative return after injury to help the ladies finish third on the night.

With three races gone and two more to run, the club is now confident of improving their current fifth position overall and making it into the top three. The next race on a new course at Carsington Reservoir will be on Tuesday July 14th.

Potters ‘Arf’ Marathon

The Stoke-on-Trent half-marathon saw three of our runners on this difficult city course. The husband and wife team of Ron and Steph Ilsley both had great runs with Ron finishing 68th in a time of 1hr 29mins while Steph took first place in her age category and recorded a time of 1hr 33mins. Jason Fores was our third representative in the race and would have been well pleased with his time of 1hr 58mins.

Long Eaton 5

This popular 5-mile race only saw two of our runners in the field of 336 finishers. Rob Norman and Rose Sensecall were our representatives with Rob recording 33mins 30secs, just a little down on last years time. Rose recorded a time of 43mins 41secs to finish 246th with still nearly a hundred runners behind her.

Derwent River Relays

For the third consecutive year the club will be holding their four-stage relay event, to take place on Saturday 11th July at 2.30pm from Belper Rugby Club. All the teams will consist of four runners, either four men, four ladies or a mixed team of four. Each runner will run the three mile stage from the Rugby Club over the footpaths by the side of the River Derwent. The club is looking for as many teams as possible, either from the local community, corporate teams or affiliated running clubs. There are prizes for various team categories as well as fastest individuals.

Before the Relays at 1.30pm there is a Charity Fun Run of 1.5 miles for children and the less experienced runner in aid of ‘The Friends of the Babington Hospital’.

More information about the day can be obtained from Steve Winfield on 01773 513384 or Malcolm Weir on 01773 826799.

October 2009

Good Week for the Harriers

This last week has seen the club enjoy considerable success in both the Booth Decorators league race and the promotion of the Derwent River Relays. On the Saturday at the Belper Rugby Club, Belper Harriers promoted the Derwent River Relays, a race with four runners to a team, either four men, four ladies or a mixed team of four. This is the third year the event took place. Conditions were ideal with the much heralded rain not arriving until evening. The forty teams on the starting line, six more than last year saw teams from running clubs, corporate, community and teams from local organisations. The 3.3 mile route around both sides of the River Derwent and back to the Rugby Club saw some fast times achieved.

The winning men’s team was Heanor’s Swine Flu Boys followed by Heanor’s Ginger and Out, both teams from Heanor Running Club. The winning ladies team came from North Derbyshire Running Club and the winning mixed team from Kimberley Running Club.

There was some local success with Belper Harriers Vets team of Mark Riches, Krishna Mahadevan, Simon Edwards and Geoff Lowry running under Lowry’s Matchstick Men, finishing third overall and taking the vets prize. The prizes for the fastest male and female runner went to Chris Rainsford from Heanor with a time of 17mins 15secs and Suzanne Roddis from North Derbyshire with a time of 20mins 49secs.

It was a great afternoon of running with the main race preceded by a Fun Run around the Rugby Club Field in a safe environment where spectators could watch both races in a relaxed atmosphere.

The preliminary work for the event was arranged by the club secretary, Steve Winfield and was joined by club members, relatives and friends who took on the many roles during the day. The Belper Rugby Club once again was able to let us use the ground and all the facilities which were most appreciated.

League Race

The following Tuesday it was back to the action of the Booth Decorators Fourth League Race at Carsington Reservoir. It was a new venue, orgainised by Wirksworth Running Club on a 2.5 mile out and back course. Not even a deluge with thunder and lightening ten minutes before the race could dampen the spirits of the thirty-seven Harriers, creating a new club record of runners in a Booth Decorators race.

It was a tremendous performance from the club with the majority of the runners having excellent runs to win the overall race. The men came second and the women had a great day finishing first, this helping to push the club up from fifth place overall to second with one race to go. This was a massive leap up which saw Dale Annable getting back to his best form, lead the club home in 14th place, closely followed by Krishna Mahadevan, running brilliantly at the moment in 16th place. They were followed by Mark Riches and Simon Merwood both in the first twenty. Once again Joanne Caborn had another good race finishing second lady and 27th in the race. It is most unfortunate that Helen Skelton who had an excellent race and has run consistently well for us over the last eight months is leaving the area will be greatly missed by the club.

There were four members making their debuts for the club, Sharon Colegate, Andy Shorney, Adrian Koe and Richie Barker who must all have been well pleased with their performances and so must Andy Fookes, Andy Rose and Chris Gilbert who had impressive runs.

The final race will be from Shipley Cricket Club on the 4th August where the club is hoping to finish in the top three positions in the three race categories.


Good Result for the Harriers

The final race of the Booth Decorators Road Race League at Shipley Cricket Club saw the Harriers take a well deserved first position, equaling their position at Carsington. Once again the club got its runners out to hold on to its second place overall or to even improve it. The two-lap course of five miles was a good challenge but the Belper runners responded with Geoff Lowry leading the club home in 14th place followed by Dale Annable, Krishna Mahadevan and Simon Merwood. For the ladies Jo Caborn continued her great form finishing first lady for the club and second lady overall. The club once again had runners making their debuts with Belinda Shorney and seventeen years old Jordan Whitehead having their first introduction to club racing.

The performance although excellent was not good enough to win the competition, finishing runners-up to Heanor Running Club. This was the second consecutive year as runners-up but realistically an even better performance than last year, as the competition itself has improved. The introduction this year of Long Eaton and more runners from the other clubs have improved the standard and the competitiveness of the races with fields of over 230 runners not being uncommon.

The clubs men’s team was strong throughout the five race series finishing second while the ladies came fourth although the ladies have had a few long-term injuries which have made a difference. This year the club has regularly fielded more runners than the other clubs with fourteen runners appearing in all five races. Krishna Mahadevan and Steph Illsey in her first season with the club have won individual prizes for their age groups and both have had a tremendous season for the club. Some of the younger club members have made an impact this season with Dale Annable running consistently in all five races while Alex Duthie, Andy Rose, Matt and Phil Conroy, Gemma Redfern and Maddy Salter should all be well pleased with their first season. Of the older runners Theresa Hempstall, Phil Shaw, Simon Hackett, Andy Fookes, Steve Meath, Simon Edwards, Mark Riches and Ron Illsey could all be relied upon to produce consistent performances.

All members of the club who played a part in any of the five races should be proud of their achievements and next year the club will be looking for an even better return, considering the improvements many of the runners are making. Before that there will be the small matter of the Cross-Country League which starts in October where we will be hoping to make a very strong impression.

Pride Park Relays

The relays which incorporate the Derbyshire Championships saw a good number of teams in the event with eight teams from Belper. This consisted of three ladies teams, three men’s teams and two men’s veteran teams. The course of two miles from the stadium around Pride Park is relatively flat and conditions suited the runners with some fast times recorded. The first ladies team of Jo Caborn, Herbie Kaur and Step Illsey finished fourth overall but third in the Derbyshire Championship with Jo recording the third fastest ladies time of 11mins 53secs. There were twenty-four runners from the club involved making it an enjoyable evening for both competitors and spectators alike.

November 2009

Loch Ness Runners

The period between the road-racing league and the cross-country season sees many of the clubs runners involved in individual races, both local and around the country. None more so than Krish Mahadevan and Ron and Steph Ilsley who made the long journey to Scotland to run in the Loch Ness Marathon and the River Ness 10km race.

The marathon has now become the third most popular after only eight years behind London and Edinburgh. It suggests that runners are looking for something a bit different from the city races and undoubtedly the course is tough but it will be the most scenic long-distance race. Starting from the end of Loch Ness after a 50 minute delay the runners ran by the side of the Loch to finish at Queens Park Stadium in Inverness.

The field of 3500 starters included Krish Mahadevan and Steph Ilsley who have trained and worked hard for the marathon and their times justified all the efforts they have made. Krish recorded the excellent time of 3hrs 8mins and finished in the first 100 runners in 96th position. Steph who is still in her first year with the club has certainly made a big impression particularly over the longer distances as she clocked a time of 3hrs 21mins to finish in 197th position.

Husband Ron went for the shorter option of the River Ness 10km race, held over a much flatter course. His time of 39mins 9secs put him in 50th position which was highly creditable considering the quality of the race with a number of Kenyans involved.

Great North Run

Five members of the club joined the thousands on the start line for this popular half-marathon from Newcastle to South Shields. Once again Mark Riches who regularly runs this distance and race had an excellent run to finish in 153rd place, in a time of 1hr 22mins. Mark would have been well pleased both with his position and time while competing with the faster runners in the race.

Simon Merwood was the next Belper finisher in 1hr 33mins, just down on his best but still a good time while Phil Shaw should be pleased with his time of 1hr 46mins not his best but certainly good for the course.

Rosemary Arris who has ran this race a number of times and Tom Steel who returned to his native North-East recorded times of 2hrs 1min and 2hrs 36mins respectively.

Robin Hood Half-Marathon

Another Belper Harrier who enjoys the longer distances, Rob Pearce who has run this race for the last five years, recorded his best time of 1hr 46mins. He was joined by Maddy Salter who ran her first half-marathon in the Belper colours finishing in 1hr 51mins. Amy Robinson and Becky Poyser completed the clubs runners with Amy who is new to the club finishing in 2hrs 4mins while Becky who is slowly returning to full fitness finished in 2hrs 9mins.

The club held their first 10km Handicap of the winter last Tuesday from their original course at Coxbench. Thirty-four runners participated in warm damp conditions with some excellent times achieved.

This time of the year is ideal to start running and the club is always looking for new members. Anyone over sixteen would be welcome to join us on a Tuesday evening at Belper Leisure Centre at 7.15. If further information is required visit our web-site on http://www.belperharriers.com or contact either of the officials listed.

Harriers in National Relays

Once again the club was involved in the Saucony English National Cross-Country Championships at Berry Hill Park Mansfield. For three years the club has only fielded one male team but this year we were represented by four teams, two men’s teams and two ladies teams.

Each leg for the ladies was 3k long with three runners to a team and for the men, a distance of 5k with four runners to a team.

The club looked particularly strong in the first ladies team of Jo Caborn, Sharon Mellors and Steph Ilsley and so it proved with them just missing out on a top fifty position, finishing in 51st place. An excellent performance from the team and a good marker for future years. The second ladies team of Maddy Salter, Gemma Redfern and Amy Robinson have all been with the club only a matter of months and have never been involved at anywhere near this type of competition. They all could be well pleased with their position of 75th place out of the104 teams on the start line, with the winning team being Charnwood AC.

The men’s race proved highly competitive with many of the country’s top runners involved. The men’s team of Geoff Lowry, Krish Mahadevan, Dale Annable and Mark Riches put in a solid performance to finish in 109th place while the second team of Simon Edwards, Ron Ilsley, Steve Meath and Dave Horton came 140th out of 164 teams. The winning team was Bedford & County with the strong Derby & County just out of the medals in fifth place.

League Cross-Country

The first Booth Decorators League Cross-Country of the winter took place at Shipley Park where the club made a consistent start finishing 3rd overall out of the eleven clubs. Our first finisher for the men was Dale Annable in 10th place with Geoff Lowry just behind in 12th position. There were also good runs from Rob Norman, Andy Fookes, Ian Hays and Andy Rose to help the men’s team to second position. In the ladies race with some of the faster runners missing through injury, illness or unavailability it gave the opportunity to some of the younger ladies to make their mark upon the race. Maddy Salter did this by leading the way, with Gemma Redfern just behind and Becky Poyser returning from injury counting for the team to finish in seventh place.

Merrill 10k

This is always a popular race for the Belper runners, taking place from Merrill School in Derby. There were seven of our members in the race where Phil Conroy our first finisher, broke the forty minute barrier to finish in 38mins 53secs and in 33rd place. Ron Ilsley came exceeding close to running in less than forty minutes, finishing in 40mins 1sec. They were followed by Phil Butt in 43mins 19secs and Rob Norman in 43mins 43secs. Maddy Salter was our next finisher in 48mins 50secs, followed by Gemma Redfern in 49mins 51secs and Rose Sensecall in 57mins 23secs.

Leicester Marathon

This race although not one of the most popular or well-known of races got a good rating from two of our runners who ran the race. Mark Riches, Belper’s marathon man and Simon Merwood took on the distance with both doing exceptionally well. Mark recorded the time of 3hr 4mins finishing in 48th place, not Mark’s fastest but still a very good time. Simon finished in 83rd place in a time of 3hrs 12mins just below his best but still a good time for the marathon.

———————————————————————————————————————————————— December 2009

New York Marathon

Once again there was a Belper runner in the international New York Marathon. Len Foulk from the Harriers was among the 43,741 runners on the start line for this prestigious race. This was Len’s fourth marathon in less than fourteen months, having ran at Nottingham, Paris and Venice and he easily recorded his best time of 3hrs 58mins. As Len said ‘’If he had concentrated more in the first half of the race, instead of taking in the atmosphere, he would have ran an even better time.’’ He now joins the rapidly increasing number of Belper Harriers who have run sub-four-hour marathons. Not only did Len run for his own personal performance but he was raising money for Cancer Research where he hopes to raise the sum of £500.

League Cross-Country

The second Booth Decorators Cross-Country of the season took place at Chaddesden Park Derby. The course of four and a half miles, over two laps saw 32 runners from the club in the field of 172 runners. A warm autumn Sunday morning saw the race attract a good crowd of spectators particularly at the crossing of the stream which the runners cross four times.

The first Harrier to finish was Dale Annable producing another quality performance to finish in seventh place. Geoff Lowry followed him while Saul Taylor showed what a good runner he is to finish 20th. Further down the field, Rob Norman, Roger Morgan, Richie Barker, Garry Knights and Steve Winfield returning from a long-term injury would all have been well pleased with their performances.

For the ladies, Joanne Caborn ran a good race to finish 26th while Gemma Redfern and Amy Robinson continue to improve. It was a good turn-out for the ladies with Sarah Holme making her debut for the club.

The star performance for the club was Andy Fookes who finished 28th, up eleven places from the previous cross-country, in a much stronger field. This all helped towards the club finishing 3rd overall and after two races sit in fourth place with three races to go.

It was an excellent representation of club members, right through the race and hopefully the numbers will stand up for the remaining races.

Heanor Christmas Pudding 10k Race

A popular local race at this time of the year around Shipley Country Park saw ten Belper Harriers in the field of 704 finishers. The first finisher from the club was Andy Parkin in 37th place, in a time of 39mins 10secs. Andy has re-joined the Harriers after a number of years away, coming back to a much stronger, better organised and competitive club. He will make his much awaited debut back in the team at the next cross-country in December. Following Andy was Alex Duthie in a good time of 40mins 24secs while Phil Butt should have been well pleased with his 41mins 22secs.

Our next finisher was Len Foulk in 48mins 5secs while Maddy Salter recorded 48mins 30secs. New member Sarah Holme ran a creditable 50mins 14secs, followed by Neil Wilson in 53mins 14secs and Pete Kemp in 55mins 52secs. Anthea Page and Philip Nicholls completed the Belper runners in times of 60mins 26secs and 65mins 53secs. Congratulations to all our runners who helped to make this an enjoyable race to watch.


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