Weekend update 8-10th November 2019 by Darren S

It was a weekend that saw parts of Derbyshire, including of course Belper, suffer heavy flooding. In running terms, this of course simply meant that training and social runs took a slight diversion.  Most parkruns seemed to go ahead, and luckily it wasn’t a huge weekend in terms of the number of local events.

But on Sunday, at Chaddesden Park,  it was the second race in the all important Winter BDL Cross Country league, sponsored by Derby Runner. It was confirmed that the race was indeed going ahead, and that conditions were simply wet and muddy underfoot. This proved to be no exaggeration!

A fantastic 32 Harriers turned up to race, a brilliant number, well done all. The weather on the day was fine, a little chilly but the sun was out. Making it’s eagerly awaited debut was the brand new club tent (maybe that’s why so many runners turned up?). It proved to be an instant hit, and those people secretly hoping to witness David Horton rolling around wrestling with the tent while putting it up were disappointed, in less than a minute and with minimal effort it was up and ready for all of our shelter + storage needs. Anyway…I’m sure something else happened that morning, other than the tent….ah yes, the actual race itself. After a poignant silence at the start for Remembrance day, the race was underway. The course, as expected, was a complete mudbath. Slippy one minute, and like running through treacle the next, it was clear that this one would be tough. After a few minutes of racing we came to a dramatic makeshift water feature. There was no avoiding it, no way round, just a case of splashing through the cold, muddy (smelly) hazard. The remainder of this two lap, 4.4 mile course allowed for no easy sections, it was mud, mud and more mud – and of course a stream crossing towards the end, which of course was much higher than previous years.

Nevertheless, Nathan Brickman (14th) and Ed James (20th) did us proud and finished in the top 20.  First Belper lady back was Ruth Keeley. Lots of superb results and achievements from the Harriers –  Full results here – http://www.leaguetracker.co.uk/Event/?E=5680554708041728

After the BDL – the awards from the summer series were handed out. Louise Rowley (2nd VL40) and Dave Heslop (3rd VM40) picked up their awards. Also announced as prize winners were Wendy Amis (2nd VL55) and Cathy Mitchell (2nd VL60). Well done all!!!

This weekend saw the results of the Accelerate Gritstone series  sent over to me, and the Harriers have achieved some astonishing results. It’s a series of 9 tough fell races across the year, 7 classed as ‘short’ (around 9 or 10km) and 2 classed as ‘long’ (around 20km).

Completing every single event is a coveted achievement among fell runners, and earns a special “True Grit” award. And that’s exactly what Richard Hickling did. Not many can say they have managed this, so well done Richard!!!!

For the final results, Ruth Keeley managed a magnificent 2nd place across the series. Wow. Well done Ruth!!!  For the boys, Ed James finished in 5th overall place, another amazing achievement.

And finally, this weekend Wendy Amis was in the mood for a long distance event. The Druids challenge is an 84 mile ultra marathon, crossing the historic ‘Ridgeway’ – the oldest roadway in the UK – heading from Buckinghamshire to Wiltshire over the course of three days. Wendy completed the event, a fantastic achievement. Well done Wendy