County title for Mansfield Harriers’ Hallowe’en heroes

COUNTY CHAMPION -- Alan Kemp, who smashed his previous best time.
COUNTY CHAMPION -- Alan Kemp, who smashed his previous best time.
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Superb performances, including the winning of a county title, made Mansfield Harriers the headline act at the Worksop Hallowe’en Half-Marathon and Fun Run on Sunday.

A total of 2,420 runners, many in Hallowe’en fancy dress, tackled the carnival-style event, which followed a new route through the beautiful scenery of Clumber Park. But it was Harriers’ contingent who stole the show as several athletes achieved personal, year best or course best times.

No-one more so than Alan Kemp, who has improved rapidly in the last year, feeling the benefits of group running and structured training. Kemp smashed his previous best time by a massive six minutes to record one hour, 32.08 minutes for the 13.1 miles and finish an excellent 220th. What’s more, his efforts helped Harriers’ men’s team, which also included James Mee, Chris Allcock, Philip Shaw and Gary Morley, take first place in the Notts AAA County Championship, which ran alongside the Worksop race.

First home for Harriers, after a three-way battle, was Mee in a time of 1.21.47 to finish a superb 33rd in the huge field. Recovering well from his first full marathon last month, Mee will now look to improve performances throughout the winter.

Close behind in 34th was Allcock in 1.21.54, while 35th was Shaw, who recorded 1.22.03. Morley was next in a personal course record of 1.25.57 for 76th position, followed by Tony Gelsthorpe in 253rd with a time of 1.33.24 and then two Harriers recording PB times, Jack Cooke in 1.35.11 for 292nd and Bret Podgorzec in 1.36.23 for 322nd.

After them came Jon Hardy in 511th with 1.42.13, Shaun Middleton in 687th with 1.46.05, Trevor Hiscox 744th 1.47.40, Craig Linacre, who defied an injury halfway round to take 769th with 1.48.57, Peter Copcutt with his first sub-two-hour half-marathon in 1,270th and a time of 1.57.11, and Tim Richardson, who was 2,012th in 2.19.10

For the ladies, the first Harrier home was Helen Jones, who produced a terrific run to finish 456th in a time of 1.39.53, followed by Maddy Collinge, who was 813th in 1.49.28, and Karen Kowalski, who recorded her best time for several years to finish 1,081st in 1.54.18.

New recruit Esther Sinclair was next in 1,580th after clocking 2.04.41, followed by Sarah Sinclair, who was 1,602nd in 2.06.09, Amanda Shaw, who was 1,699th 2.09.01 and Theresa Copcutt, who showed real courage to finish after being hit by illness during the race. She placed 2,345th in 2.44.27.