2010 Belper News Articles

BELPER HARRIERS NEWS REPORTS FOR 2010 – These are the reports that were posted in the Belper News newspaper throughout 2010.


Belper Men in Superb Form

There have been some tremendous performances both at individual and club level during 2009 including the last league cross-country of the old year in December where the Belper men certainly made their presence felt. Taking place at Bramcote Country Park Nottingham and organised by Kimberley Running Club this was the third of the five race series. Going into the race the club were lying in fourth place overall out of the twelve clubs and came out in the same position but there was some strong running from the men as they romped home outstanding winners. Unfortunately the club had only four ladies in the race and could only manage eighth place. This was no disrespect to the ladies who ran with Gemma Redfern in particular having a good race to finish in 96th place.

There were twenty Belper men in the field and they certainly pushed each other over the tough four and a bit miles with Dale Annable and Geoff Lowry finishing in fifth and sixth place respectively. Tom Moulder on leave from the Army helped the team effort with an 11th place finish while Simon Merwood and Krish Mahadevan both had good races. The long awaited return of Andy Parkin to the team saw an immediate result with a 23rd place and along with Mark Riches made up the seven counters for the men. Further down the field Alex Duthie, Phil Conroy, Rob Norman, Ian Hays and Andy Fookes all ran themselves into the top forty runners. The other eight Belper male runners all finished in the top one hundred runners to finish.

The club has caught up points on the team in third place and with two races to go is optimistic of achieving a top three place finish to the season.

Bolsover 11k Race

This race of a strange distance was conceived from the old Bolsover 10k Race. The original race started from the Secondary School but for whatever reason the school was unavailable and so an alternative was found in Bolsover Castle. The route was similar with the extra distance included and a better finish within the grounds of the castle. Three of our runners were in the large field of 700 runners with Krish Mahadevan finishing in 37th place in a time of 44mins 45secs.  Rob Pearce and Rosemary Arris both recorded respectable times with Rob finishing in 53mins 28secs and Rosemary slowly getting back to her best finishing in 59mins 21secs.

Marathon Runners

The New Year sees five of our runners starting their preparations for a marathon. Four of the runners will be in training for the London Marathon in April while the fifth will be preparing for the Barcelona Marathon in March. The club this year has three places for the London Marathon among them Amy Robinson who will be running her first marathon, Rob Pearce and Ian Hays while Simon Merwood has secured his own individual place. Andy Parkin will be traveling to the beautiful city of Barcelona to run their marathon and there could be further runners from the club making up their minds to run marathons later on in 2010.

Harriers at Northern Cross-Country


It was a first for Belper Harriers as they took two teams to Blackburn to compete in the North of England Cross-country Championships at Witton Park Blackburn. In previous years individuals had competed but we had never been able to field enough runners for a team.

There were six ladies and six men running, needing four to count for the ladies and six for the men. In cold, damp misty conditions the ladies were first off over a course of approximately 8k, just under five miles over three laps of the park, two short and a long lap. This real cross-country course was over hills with names such as the ‘saucer’ and the ‘teaspoon’, proved a tough challenge for the runners. In the field of internationals and experienced club runners our first lady home was Sharon Mellors in 112th place. Following her was Gemma Redfern, Sarah Holme, Maddy Salter and Amy Robinson who all joined the club from spring onwards throughout last year. Our final finisher was the ever reliable Rose Sensecall who could have been well pleased with her race.

The men’s race was over a distance of 12k approximately just over seven miles with two short laps and two long laps. The field of six hundred runners saw our first four runners, Mark Riches, Phil Conroy, Rob Norman and Andy Rose finish within thirty-five places of each other with the two remaining runners Malcolm Weir and Simon Hackett a bit further down the field.

Many of the smaller clubs did not field full teams but the stronger clubs were out in force. The Belper men finished 46th out of 49th teams while the ladies finished 20th out of 22 full teams.

It was a commendable effort by the runners, many of whom were new to this type of course and this level of competition.

County Cross-Country Championship

The re-arranged Derbyshire County Cross-country Championships took place last Saturday at Markeaton Park. After the postponement of three weeks due to snow and ice, the event took place on a sunny frosty morning. The original event would have been a joint competition with Nottinghamshire but they held their own individual races the previous weekend. This lead to numbers being considerably down but there were still nine runners in from the club. Once again the ladies went off first over a much easier 8k course than the Northern event. Steph Ilsley ran a fine race to finish 8th while Gemma Redfern ran strongly to finish 10th.  Steph now has the opportunity to represent the county in the Inter Counties Championship at Birmingham in March.

The men’s race followed over 10k and it was Dale Annable who finished a creditable 16th who lead the Belper men home. Phil Conroy and Andy Rose were once again just a minute apart while Steve Meath had a good run, followed by Malcolm Weir, Simon Hackett and Len Foulk.

Two tough cross-countries in two weeks for some of these runners now see them with two weeks rest before the last two Booth Decorators League Races and the National Cross-Country Championships in Leeds at the end of February. 

February / March

Harriers Ladies in National Event

The conclusion of the cross-country season brought two Belper ladies to the Inter-Counties championship at Cofton Park Birmingham. This is the highlight of the season where representation is based on selection from the county cross-country championships held earlier in the winter. Steph Ilsley and Gemma Redfern were part of the Derbyshire team in the Senior Women’s race over 8k. Both have had a strong winter and were in good form for this important event. Steph finished in 236th place in a time of 35mins 42secs while Gemma came home in 257th place in 38mins 17secs. The team finished in 27th place, a creditable position for one of the smaller counties.

A third member of the club, Gordon Irvine ran for his native Suffolk, in the men’s 12k race and finished an excellent 173rd in 40mins 45secs.

National Cross-country Championship

A group of ten runners from the club made the short journey up to Leeds on the last day of February, to run in the Saucony National Cross-Country Championship at Roundhay Park. It was another first for the club as we had teams of four ladies and six men in the race. There have been occasions when individuals have run in the race but we have never fielded teams as we did at Leeds and for the regional event at Blackburn.

Over the tough, hilly and muddy course the ladies went off first, running two laps totaling 8k in distance. It was no surprise to see Jo Caborn running strongly and finish in an excellent 55th place.

Sharon Mellors ran herself into a good position to finish 208th while Gemma Redfern seems to get better with every race, finishing 318th. The indomitable Rose Sensecall was the team’s final counter in 510th position, bringing in the team in 38th place, out of sixty-one complete teams.

This was a marvelous performance by all four ladies and has set themselves a good marker for future years.

There were even more runners, more mud and a longer distance for the men. The course of three laps, 12k looked a daunting prospect with around an hour of running ahead for our six runners. Andy Rose was our first finisher having an excellent race to finish 989th with Rob Norman only seven seconds behind. Steve Meath who ran a fast third lap finished in 1269th, a minute in front of Simon Hackett who piped Malcolm Weir in the home strait by the odd second. Our final counter Matt Conroy should have been well pleased with his performance in this race, coming home in 1362nd position.

Another member from the club Gordon Irvine running for his first claim club Thames Valley Harriers finished alongside the elite runners in 272nd position.

Our ten runners from the club, six of them running in this level of competition for the first time, should take great credit and next year they will hopefully be joined by a few more from the club.

Booth Decorators League

The final race of the five race series which had been re-arranged from earlier in the winter was cancelled due to an overnight fall of snow. So the final positions stood from the four races which gave the Harriers third position. The men’s team finished in second place while the ladies finished in eighth place. This turned out to be a creditable position after a slow start to the competition.

There were some strong performances from our runners, in particular Dale Annable, Geoff Lowry and Krish Mahedevan and for the ladies a good season for Jo Caborn and Gemma Redfern.



Good Start for the Harriers

The first race of the Booth Decorators Road League took place at Denby, hosted by Belper Harriers. The course of 5.2 miles over two laps was devised by Steve Winfield with the start outside the new Deb factory. The runners took to the main road before turning right up Street Lane and then right again on to the reclaimed land. A lop of off-road running took them back to the start area for the second lap.

The record number of 277 runners from eleven clubs saw 36 runners from the Harriers in the field while more members were employed in marshalling and time-keeping duties.

It was a good solid start for the club finishing third in the team event while the men took third and the ladies an impressive second place. Our first runner home was Dale Annable in 7th place followed by the consistent Geoff Lowry in 11th place. There was some good packing from the Harriers with Ben Humphries in 22nd place, followed by Saul Taylor 29th, Alex Duthie 30th, Andy Parkin 32nd, Mark Riches 33rd and Krishna Mahadevan 34th.

Our first lady home was Steph Ilsley in 99th place with Sharon Mellors and Gemma Redfern making up the ladies team. The club had seven runners making their debuts in a Belper vest with Edward James just out of the counters in 40th place, Jim Naismith, Jack Daykin, still only fifteen, Chris Barker, Craig Allen, Chris Jackson and Sara Russell all producing good performances. An added bonus was seeing Simon Edwards back in action after a long lay-off through injury.

There was a positive feed-back from the other member clubs regarding the course and organisation so it looks a good possibility that we will be back next year for another race which is a compliment to Steve Winfield and the team who were involved in the set-up and preparation.

London Marathon

Our contingent of five runners from the club who ran in this year’s London Marathon did not include any who were running the marathon for the first time. The five of Theresa Hempsall, Rob Pearce, Simon Merwood, Ian Hays and Mark Riches had all put the hard work into their training over the cold winter to record excellent performances. The club’s first finisher was Mark Riches who once again finished under the three hour mark in 2hrs 58mins while Simon Merwood who probably was hoping for a few minutes quicker finished in 3hrs 7mins. Theresa Hempsall was our third finisher in 3hrs 23mins not her fastest but still an excellent run. Ian Hays finished in a time of 3hrs 59mins, well up from his previous London Marathon while Rob Pearce recorded a time of 4hrs 15mins, seven minutes up on his previous best marathon time.

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

Derbyshire Building Society 10K

It was another tremendous turn-out from the club in this increasingly popular event. A total of 33 Harriers took to the streets of Derby in the field of 3,000 runners. There were some notable personal bests including our first finisher Gordon Irvine who came eighth in a time of 33mins 19secs.

The club had six runners under 40mins, another fourteen under 45mins and five more who ran under 50mins. Others from the club could be well pleased with their performances indicating the level of quality and improvement which is taking place within the club.



Harriers Triumph in Second Race

It was first place for the Harriers in the second road race of the season at Teversal Grange near Sutton in Ashfield. Over a distance of approximately five miles the club made their mark with thirty-seven runners in the record number of 282 finishers from the eleven clubs involved.

The ladies had a great evening finishing first while the men could be well pleased with their third place. On an ideal evening for running Dale Annable enhanced his reputation in a strong field with another solid run, leading the club in, to finish seventh. There was some good packing with Alex Duthie, Andy Fookes and Phil Conroy all having tremendous runs and making massive improvements in their running. Further down the field Chris Gilbert, Roger Morgan and Amer Armoush who made his debut all ran well, showing the strength within the club.

For the ladies Sharon Mellors was our first lady in 76th place while Steph Ilsley and Theresa Hempsall backed her up as counters for the ladies team.

After two races of the five race series the club is now in second position to Heanor while the ladies are first and the men are third. If this momentum can be maintained, with runners targeting this competition, it is not out of the question for the club to be in with a serious challenge for its first title.

After the race there was a buffet and presentation of awards from the winter cross-country league by the league sponsor Louis Booth. Rosemary Arris, Dale Annable, Krishna Mahadevan, Geoff Lowry and Malcolm Weir all received awards for their age categories while the club was recognised for finishing third in the team event and second in the men’s.

The third road race of the series will now be held at Shipley Park Visitors Centre on June 15th at 7.30 a change from the original venue due to the increasing numbers of runners.

White Peak Marathon

In temperatures more akin to the Mediterranean, two of the club’s runners, Krishna Mahadevan and Len Foulk were among the 189 finishers in this tough race. In the blazing sunshine and insufficient watering stations, Krish still had a tremendous run to finish fourth in a time of 3hrs 20mins. This was and excellent time considering the conditions and the terrain of the course. Len who runs marathons on a regular basis recorded a time of 4hrs 34mins obviously down on his better times but still a good effort considering the hot weather.

There is a half-marathon run at the same time and more Belper Harriers were in the field of 247 finishers. Andy Parkin had a great run to finish seventh in a time of 1hr 24mins while Andy Fookes could still be pleased with his time of 1hr 33mins although for the last two miles he struggled to keep going. Emma Williams, Mary Dwyer and Lisa Salton all finished the course which was an achievement itself considering that all the training for the race had been done in conditions totally different to the day of the race. Emma finished in 2hrs 8mins, Mary in 2hrs 31mins and Lisa in 2hrs 32mins which were all creditable times in those conditions.

Derwent River Relays

For the fourth consecutive year the club will be holding their four-stage relay event, to take place on Saturday 17th July at 2.30pm from Belper Rugby Club. All 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 a family team, a community team, a corporate team or teams from running clubs. There will be prizes for various categories as well as fastest individuals.

Before the Relays at 1.30pm there will be a Fun Run of either a half-mile, a mile or one and a half miles for younger runners or the less experienced. The club is trying to make this a family day with other attractions including a Bouncing Castle and a Penalty Shoot-out Challenge.

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


Record Number for the Harriers

The third race in the summer league series at Shipley Country Park saw a record number of Belper Harriers in the race. In a field of 256 finishers, there were 43 runners from the club, beating the previous record of 37. Over a distance of just over four and a half miles our runners made their mark with some excellent performances. The in-form Dale Annable was our first finisher coming in third while Geoff Lowry, Alex Duthie and Mark Riches would all have been pleased with their runs, finishing in the top twenty. Further down the field Jim Naismith, Marcus Hanford, Theresa Hempsall, Craig Allen, Phil Shaw and Len Foulk all put in good solid performances. Once again the club had runners making their debuts, Rachel and Dan Clark, Allison Merriman and Tim Holling who had a great run to finish 32nd.

On the night the club came second in all three, the team event, the men’s and the ladies events and overall after the three races, the ladies are first, the men are second and team are second. There are still two races to go with the next one at Carsington Reservoir in July where the club will be pushing the leaders Heanor all the way until the end of the final race.

Long Eaton 5-miler

This race is one of the few five mile road races in the Midlands and over the years has proved very popular with some fast stretches making for good times. Four of our runners, Andy Parkin, Alex Duthie, Rob Norman and Rose Sensecall were in the field of 335 runners with Andy and Alex both having tremendous races, finishing in 29mins 9secs for Andy while Alex was three seconds behind in 29mins 12secs. Rob finished in a creditable 33mins 26secs while Rose finished in 41mins 25secs.

Runners Required

For the fourth consecutive year the club will be holding the Derwent River Relays, a four-stage relay event on Saturday 17th July at Belper Rugby Club. All 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 either side of the River Derwent.

The club is looking for as many teams as possible, either a family team, a community team, a corporate team or teams from running clubs. There will be prizes for various categories as well as fastest individuals.

The Relays start at 2.30 but before that at 1.30 there will be a Fun Run of either a half-mile, a mile or one and a half miles around the Rugby Club ground.

The club is trying to make this a family afternoon out with other attractions including a Bouncing Castle and a Penalty Shoot-out Challenge.

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


Derwent River Relays

This Saturday July 17th Belper Harriers are hosting the Derwent River Relays for the fourth consecutive year. This event will be taking place at Belper Rugby Club, on the A6 next to Babington Hospital at 2.30pm. All teams must 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 course is measured, flat and suitable for anyone who is reasonably fit.

The club is looking for as many teams as possible, not just regular runners but any sporting groups, companies or families who could field a team of four. The cost is £16 per team with prizes available for various categories of teams and individual performances. Registration on the day can be accepted until half an hour before the race.

There is also a Fun Run at 1.30 of a half-mile, a mile or one and a half miles around the Rugby Club ground. There will be changing facilities available at the Rugby Club, along with licensed bar, refreshments and entertainment for the family including a Penalty Shoot-out Challenge and a Bouncing Castle. More information can be obtained from the club secretary Steve Winfield on Belper 513384 or Malcolm Weir on Belper 826799. 


Summer League Success

It was another good night for the Harriers in the final race of the series of Booth Decorators summer league races. After the fourth race, the club were lying second to Heanor Running Club in the team and the men’s event and leading in the ladies event. With once again a strong contingent of thirty-four runners out, the Harriers were going to give it their best for the team honours. For the second successive race the club had the eventual winner in Gordon Irvine, easily beating the opposition over the four and a half mile course. Following Gordon was Ben Humphreys in an excellent seventh place while Alex Duthie who has had a tremendous summer followed in 21st position. The ever reliable and experienced Andy Parkin, Mark Riches and Krishna Mahadevan along with a strong run from Alan Billington made up the male team counters.

The ladies knew they would have to be at their best to hold on to top position and with great determination they achieved their reward. Our first lady was Steph Ilsley, followed by a courageous run from Sharon Mellors while Gemma Redfern and Jane Armoush should be well pleased with their performances.

The club had two father and son combinations in the race, Andy and Jack Daykin and Chris and Tom Jackson with young Tom making his debut for the club finishing in 41st place.

It was a pleasing performance but the strong Heanor team held off the challenge to take the team event with Belper taking second place for the third consecutive year. The men took second place in their event while the ladies who came fourth last year had a great series to win the ladies team event.

The support for the club over all the races has been brilliant with fourteen of our runners running in all the races and averaging around thirty-five runners in each race.

Derwent River Relays

This event took place for the fourth successive year with a record number of fifty-five teams taking part. Over a course of 3.3 miles from Belper Rugby Club each team of four runners saw each runner run a leg from the Rugby Club over the footpaths along both sides of the Derwent and back to the Rugby Club field.

The overall winners were Killamarsh Kestrels with Barnsley Harriers second. There was some local success with Belper Harriers Ladies team of Sharon Mellors, Theresa Hempstall, Gemma Redfern and Leila Armoush winning the ladies team prize. The prize for the Veteran Men was won by North Derbyshire Running Club and the winning mixed team was Formula One.

The prizes for the fastest male went to Shaun Dimelow of Barnsley Harriers who ran his leg in the excellent time of 17mins 5secs and Lucy Holmes from Ripley Running Club who recorded a time of 21mins 4secs.

This year saw more teams from the local community taking part along with established running clubs both from Derbyshire and even further.

It was a good afternoon of running with the relays preceded by a Fun Run around the Rugby Club field in a area where spectators could watch both races in a relaxed atmosphere.

All the preliminary work for the event was arranged by Steve Winfield and joined on the day by club members, relatives and friends who took on the many roles to make it a successful day.

A special thanks must go to our sponsors the Midland Co-operative who supplied the water for the runners with the profits going to provide much needed water pumps in Africa. The Belper Rugby Club once again was able to let us use the ground and all the facilities which were most appreciated.  


Busy Time for the Harriers

This time of the year is quiet for any team events for the club but many of the athletes have been busy running local races. The tough Chesterfield Spire 10-mile road race saw twelve of our runners competing on this hilly course. Our first finisher was the indomitable Andy Parkin who is running as well as he has ever run, to finish 23rd in a time of 1hr 4mins 34secs. Following Andy was Simon Merwood just under a minute behind in 1hr 5mins 21secs in 27th place. Krishna Mahadevan was just a further four places behind in 31st place in 1hr 6mins 18secs. Steph and Ron Ilsley both recorded good times with Ron finishing in 1hr 9mins and Steph in 1hr 14mins. The next Belper finisher was Len Foulk who has a busy autumn with half and full marathons coming up, finished in 1hr 17mins. Simon Hackett struggled after sustaining an injury to finish in 1hr 18mins while Rob Pearce who is running well at the moment finished in 1hr 23mins. A good run from Jason Fores saw him record 1hr 24mins with Gary Knights giving a good account of himself to finish in 1hr 31mins. Amy Robinson was the club’s next finisher, running some longer races, in preparation for a marathon next year, finished in 1hr 33mins and our final finisher was Georgina Bestwick who is getting back into running, finishing in 1hr 38mins.

The number of runners, 330 was down on previous years but the Belper runners certainly gave their support.

Robin Hood Marathon and Half-Marathon

The Nottingham Marathon and Half-Marathon now in its 29th year attracted nearly eight thousand runners. Two of our members were in the full marathon and seven in the half. Making his debut in the full marathon was Tom Jackson, holidaying from university, running an excellent race to finish in 3hrs 31mins. This was a tremendous effort from Tom and hopefully we will be seeing a lot more of him in the future. Running his first marathon of three before the end of the year, Len Foulk recorded a time of 3hrs 54mins which was encouraging as his next marathons in Berlin and Athens will be on faster courses.

In the half-marathon the club had seven runners including the club’s experienced distance runner Mark Riches. Mark was just outside the first one hundred to finish in 105th position in a time of 1hr 27mins. Rob Pearce another busy runner who has run this race many times finished in 1hr 47mins. The other five runners all finished within four minutes of each other led by Amy Robinson and Dan Clarke who both recorded 2hrs 2mins. Gary Knights would have been pleased with his time of 2hr 3mins while Rosemary Arris who recorded 2hrs 5mins and Rachel Clarke 2hrs 6mins were rewarded for the hard work in training they have put in.

Another of our runners Craig Allen took to the streets of Bristol to run in their half-marathon and record the time of 1hr 35mins. This event saw 11,000 runners in the race giving Craig who is relatively new to the club the impetus to run a sub 90 minute half-marathon race.

This time of the year is ideal to start running and the club would welcome any new runners. For further information regarding the club, contact Malcolm Weir on Belper 826799 or join us at Belper Leisure Centre on a Tuesday evening at 7.15.

September / October

Northern Relays

It was another first for Belper Harriers last Saturday at Wythenshawe Park Manchester as the club fielded a team in the Northern Region Six-stage Road Relays. The team of Alex Duthie, Geoff Lowry, Andy Foulks, Mark Riches, Andy Rose and Steve Meath finished a commendable 82nd out of 96 complete teams over the 5.6k course. There were other teams in the earlier legs with either four or five runners as Alex Duthie running the first leg recorded 19mins 52sec to finish in 76th position. This was a real good run by Alex who was followed by Geoff Lowry suffering with a heavy cold but still put in a professional run to finish in 20mins 20secs. Andy Fookes who was not down to run until the morning of the race, ran leg three in the time of 21mins 37secs. The fourth leg was run by marathon man Mark Riches, a little short in distance for Mark but still a good time of 20mins 41secs. Andy Rose who is growing in confidence in every race took over for leg five to finish in 22mins 48secs. On the final leg to bring the club home was Steve Meath who as usual gave his all and a bit more to finish in 24mins 13secs.

Of the club’s six runners only Mark Riches has run at this level of club competition, so it was an excellent return both for Belper Harriers and the runners themselves.

The event itself was won by Derby Athletic Club who had a tremendous day with their second team and ladies team both finishing in the top twenty-five. All three teams will go on to the National Finals at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield on Saturday October 16th.

Heanor Cross-Country Relays

This event put on by Heanor Running Club at Shipley Park the previous Saturday morning was a new event on the local running calendar. The four runners per team, saw the Harriers take ten runners, having two complete teams and a third team of a runner running twice and borrowing another runner from Derby AC. The course of two miles was over well cut paths, undulating but not too tough over the parkland from Shipley Cricket Club.

Once again Derby AC was the winners but the first Belper Harriers team of Geoff Lowry, Phil Conroy, Mark Riches and Krishna Mahadevan finished in a creditable fifth place. The mix and match third team of Rob Norman running two legs, Malcolm Weir and a borrowed runner came 8th while the second team of Andy Rose, Dave Chadwick, Matt Conroy and Steve Meath came 12th out of eighteen teams.

This was another well organised event by the proficient Heanor Club and should increase in teams next year but there is now a lot of competition regarding races trying to attract runners that some may go to the wall.


Two totally different half-marathons took place on the same Sunday morning, the Great North Run in Newcastle with thousands of runners participating and the Ashbourne Half-Marathon where there were 188 finishers.

Four members from the club chose the latter and produced some excellent times on the tough hilly course. Andy Parkin came an excellent 10th in 1hr 27mins with Tim Hollings just recovered from injury finishing in 18th place in 1hr 30mins. The first lady home was our own Steph Ilsley in 1hr 35mins in 34th place while Andy Rose must have been well pleased with his 1hr 41mins finishing in 55th position.

Joining the thousands in the North East were Phil Shaw, Len Foulks and Tom Steel. Phil and Len finished five seconds apart with Phil just running the faster time of 1hr 42mins 19secs while Len who was running only a week before his Berlin Marathon finished in 1hr 42mins 24secs. Tom one of the clubs senior vets was back in his local area finishing the course in 2hr 37mins.

Well done to all our runners who have raced over these last weeks and the hard work in training has produced some excellent performances.

October 2010

English National Relays

The English National Cross-Country Relays were held at Berry Hill Park Mansfield and once again Belper Harriers were involved. The club had four teams out, three men’s teams and a ladies team.

The ladies team of Sharon Mellors, Steph Illsley and Gemma Redfern each running the distance of 3k just missed out on a top fifty position by finishing 52nd out of the hundred teams on the start line.

In the men’s event running the distance of 5k, the four runners to a team saw the first Belper team finish in 94th place while the second team finished in 118th position and the third men’s team in 137th place out of the163 teams.

All of the runners could be well pleased with their efforts particularly Dale Annable, Simon Merwood and Rob Norman. The winning teams were the same as last year, Bedford and County winning the men’s and Charnwood AC winning the ladies.

League Cross-Countries

The start of the League Cross-country season for the club was our first race in the newly joined North Midlands League at Markeaton Park. This is another step up for the club where the opposition is stronger with more clubs from the Midlands area.

There are separate races for the men and women with races also for youngsters from thirteen years. This was a complete change for our four ladies who ran in the women’s race over the distance of 7k. Our first finisher was Steph Ilsley in 26th place followed by Sharon Mellors in 32nd position, Theresa Hempsall 34th and Jane Armoush in 76th place. This was a highly creditable performance by all four ladies helping the team finish an excellent 6th.

The Senior Men’s race saw nine of the club’s runners in the field of 245 runners over the 10k course. Andy Parkin was our first finisher in 70th place followed by Mark Riches but all the club’s runners could be pleased with their performances, particularly Craig Allen running for the first time at this level to finish in 156th place.

Sixteen year old Jack Daykin ran in the under 17’s race finishing in 31st position over a 7k distance. This was an ideal opportunity for Jack to race against his own age group and to assess his progress.

Booth Decorators League

The following week saw the first race of the five race series at Shipley Park. The two-lap course of four and half miles saw twenty runners help the club finish 5th overall. Saul Taylor was our first finisher in 19th place while Andy Fookes, Chris Jackson and Dave Chadwick could all be well pleased with their performances helping the men to finish in 4th place. For the ladies Theresa Hempsall, Rachel Clarke, Georgina Bestwick and Geraldine McLaughlin all put in a tremendous performances to help the ladies team finish in 5th place.

Worksop Half-Marathon

This popular race which takes in most of Clumber Park saw thirteen of our runners taking part and eight of them were extremely pleased, having run personal bests over the distance. Dale Annable was our first finisher in 1hr 20mins with Andy Parkin only eleven seconds behind, both recording personal bests. Andy knocked two and half minutes off his previous best with surely more to come. Geoff Lowry followed next in 1hr 23 with Simon Merwood having a good run to finish in 1hr 25sec. Krishna Mahadevan and Ron Ilsley both finished in 1hr 27mins, Krishna just pipping Ron by 57secs who also ran a personal best. Not far behind husband Ron was Steph Ilsley who recorded a personal best in a time of 1hr 32mins. Andy Rose was our next finisher in 1hr 35mins, another personal best and again in Andy’s case much more to come. Rob Norman followed next, in a time of 1hr 43min while Rob Pearce who is running his best since joining the club finished in 1hr 44mins, another personal best. Another of the club’s runners who is quietly making steady progress is Jason Fores who ran his fastest for the distance in 1hr 49mins. Sarah Holme and Amy Robinson completed the Belper runners, Sarah finishing in 1hr 55mins, a personal best and Amy finishing in 2hr 8mins, using the race as a build-up towards her London Marathon training.

Marathon Man

To run four marathons in a year is quite an achievement for any runner so Len Foulk can sit back and think about all the mileage he has ran this year. Three of his marathons have been over the last seven weeks with his final marathon race in Athens where he recorded his best time of 3hrs 48mins 30secs. Len’s previous marathons this year were the White Peak, Nottingham and Berlin along with a number of half-marathons, 10k’s and club races.

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