Weekly Round Up – 14th March 2022

After a quieter period for racing, it was back to normal in a big way for the Peel Road Runners this weekend with events all over the Midlands attracting the club’s runners.

In the build up to spring marathons, running a 20 mile road race is seen as a good way to assess progress and to this end the Oundle 20 in Northamptonshire is a big draw for runners. The course was described as “scenic and gently undulating, following wide and quiet country lanes” with ‘personal best’ potential. However, the strong headwind was not in runners’ favour for the last couple of miles, but that did not stop Peeler Mike Shelton and Kathryn Adams putting in good performances and finishing in 2:38:00 and 2:41:00 respectively.

Sarah French took on a new challenge by running her first ever 7 mile road race at the Burghley 7 in Lincolnshire, thus achieving a personal best at the distance! The course took in the beautiful town of Stamford and nearby historical villages and grounds of the Burghley estate, including areas not normally accessible to the public, making for a very interesting route. Sarah finished the race in 1:30:12.

At the Florette Fradley 10k on Sunday, Peel Road Runners were represented by Allen King (47:37); Chris Bennett (48:31); Darren Truman (51:51); Claire Guffick (1:01:16); Emma Whorwood (1:03:43); Roger Eastaff (1:07:10); Alison Upton (1:13:07); Kelly Porter (1:14:15); Lee Guffick (1:19:32); Stephen Andrews (1:22:06); Chris Norris (1:34:05) and Alison Dolphin (1:34:07). With dry, sunny and mild weather conditions, a sneaky strong breeze would remind runners that the fast and flat course would not be an “easy” run for anyone chasing a personal best time, however that did not stop Kelly Porter, Roger Eastaff and Allen King doing just that (with King knocking two and a half minutes off his previous best time)! 

Meanwhile at the Hatfields Shrewsbury 10k, Stella Martin ran a well-paced race to finish in a time of 59:45. The scenic course started in Quarry Park, Shrewsbury, ran through the medieval town centre and residential areas before entering the grounds of the prestigious Shrewsbury School and finishing back in the Quarry Park.

Sunday also saw the final race in the 2021/22 Derby & Staffs cross country League with runners facing a 5 mile challenging course at Sinai Park near Burton upon Trent. The course is renowned for its uphill start and muddy tracks and this year was no exception, with a revised course due to storm damage requiring runners to run over a couple of sections twice making the going even tougher. One new challenge for this year (and much appreciated by runners!) was a rope installed on the infamously steep and muddy hill midway through the course to help runners gain traction on the ground! 

First back for the club was the ever-consistent Martin Hollamby, who finished in fourth place overall. He was followed by Lee Rickards in 19th place; Luke Collins in 20th place; Zac Gibbons in 26th place; Ben Dorkins in 44th place: Mark Boffey in 49th place and Simon Gordon in 53rd place. Running for the women’s team, Emma Pick had a true battle with the eventual third placed lady runner, losing out in the final few metres of the race before finishing in fourth place. Rachael Rickards also ran a strong race to finish in 7th place, followed by Sophie Galloway in 25th place, Sarah Barber in 34th place and Jackie Tierney in 36th place. 

At the post-race prize giving, Lee Rickards was presented with the prize for first M40 over the full series of races, whilst Wayne King was second M40. Robert Dyjak, after a series of very strong and consistent race finishes, took the prize for third place overall concluding a very successful first season of running with the club.

At Kingsbury parkrun this week, whilst Alison Dolphin, Claire Guffick and Stephen Andrews all volunteered to help check in the runners, Mark Boffey was first runner back for the club in a time of 26:48. He was followed by Darren Truman (26:51); Jackie Tierney (28:23); Ben Dorkins (29:11); Joy Sykes (30:16); Clara Walton (30:17); Wendy Bowyer (41:13); Nicola Bannister (41:14) and Ann Hill (41:14). Peeler parkrun tourists this week included: Tony Bryan (24:07) and Dave Fern (25:13) at Conkers; Tim Mudd (25:28) at Beacon, Walsall and Rob Mace (20:08) at Watermead, Leicester.

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