Debbie takes Chester title

SUTTON runner Debbie Mason (pictured, right) is celebrating victory at the Chester Marathon.

A former Great Britain and England international, Debbie won the women’s race in a time of 2hrs, 48mins, 9secs, making her the fastest veteran athlete so far this year and almost five minutes ahead of the next lady.

The 43-year-old Rotherham Harrier said: “It was a very windy day and I was hoping for 2hrs 46mins, but stitch at 18 miles put paid to that.

However, Debbie was very pleased with the time, her last marathon being Nottingham in 2008.

l Winter cross-country action kicked-off last Saturday with the first fixture of the North Midlands League taking place at Derby’s Markeaton Park.

Fresh from their success at the Midlands Road Relays, Mansfield Harriers’ youngsters laid down an early marker of their intentions for their season, moving into the medal positions in five of the six junior races.

Both the U13 Boys and U13 Girls finished in top spots, Archie Rayner and Sam Barker taking second and third for the boys and Tilly Birkin finishing in third place for the girls.

12th-placed Will Barker joined Rayner and Barker in the boys’ scoring team and Ellie White (seventh) and Jessie Tomlinson (ninth) completed the girls’ team.

Lewis Ashmore missed out on victory in the U15 Boys race by just two seconds and with Sam Johnson in fourth and Cameron Smith in 11th, this promising trio made sure of first team spot.

Molly Johnson pushed hard in the U15 Girls race, finishing just nine seconds behind the eventual winner.

With good back-up from Sophie Beckingham (14th) and Alice Venkastesan (15th), the team finished in second spot just two points behind Derby AC.

At U17 level the girls finished in third place through the efforts of Alice Cobb (ninth), Hannah Hardy (14th) and Harriet Codd (15th).

The boys could only manage sixth place, Jake Lancaster being first home in 15th with Jordan Boam in 24th and Sam Dobb in 31st.

Steve Lisgo led the way for the senior men, his first domestic cross-country race for a few seasons having now returned from the USA.

Lisgo finished in 11th place, just over two minutes ahead of Tom O’Mara, who took 35th place.

Andy Wilson (40th), now eligible as a veteran, Pete Stafford (50th) and Steve Davies (54th) combined to take third team spot overall for the veteran men.

Lisgo and O’Mara were joined by another group of veterans – Mark Jenkins (82nd), John Harrison (94th) and Jonathan Mitchell (95th) as scorers in the senior men’s team.

Holly Blount was first senior lady home in 33rd position with Amanda Hardy in 49th and Claire Coombes in 53rd.

OTHER MANSFIELD FINISHERS: SM – 99: Terry Ashmore, 133: Jon Hardy, 139: Les Chambers, 143: Clive Russell, 147: Graeme Wilkinson, 154: Jason Foster, 159: Julian Wood, 164: Adie Bellingham, 181: Ian Dobb. SW – 70: Kate Raynor, 72: Jane Stafford, 74: Sharon Armitage, 75: Tina Green, 76: Maddy Collinge, 94: Linda Wilkinson. U17G – 18: Amelia Mitchell, 19: Eleanor Winning. U15G – 22: Emily Barker. U15B – 13: Alex Rieley, 17: Joe Ashmore, 20: Ben Hardy. U13G – 21: Emma Beeson, 25: Ruby Codd. U13B – 16: Harrison Smith. U11 Mixed – 17: Molly Lever, 20: Freya White.

l Sutton Harriers made the trip to Mablethorpe to participate in the full and half marathons in memory of club member Bryan Timmons, who passed away earlier this year.

Bryan was in training for the full marathon at the time of his passing, and this would have been his debut at this distance,.

So runners, other club members and family members made the trip to the East Coast to pay their respects.

On a sweltering hot day, in the marathon Carl Allwood again showed his quality but was unable to replicate his recent first place in the Robin Hood Marathon. He was still strong enough in this race to finish in a fantastic second place in a time of 2:42:09.

Other club members ran the full marathon together, in memory of Bryan.

Running in her first full marathon was Melanie Hodson, in a time of 4:24:02 (169th place), and joining her in finishing at the same time were Geoff Brown and Nigel Paylor, Nigel having decided to do the full marathon on the day of the race.

Not far behind was another marathon debutant, Mark Smith. Mark found the going tough in the heat from the 16 mile marker but kept going along with Simon Gray, and they both managed to complete the gruelling distance in 4:41:56 (203rd).

In the half marathon, Liam Hodson was the first Harrier home in a time of 1:30:04 (13th place).

On Liam’s shoulder and in 15th place was Steve Williams in 1:30:07.

Further back the heat was beginning to tell, and in 54th place was Keith Brown in 1:40:21.

There then came the first ladies from the club, namely Amanda Clarke 1:49:12 (80th) and Heather Pike 1:49:50 (87th).

In 164th place – and also the winner of the Veteran male over 70 class – was Ken Hensby, in a time of 2:03:21, and coming in after him was Sally Paylor 2:14:13 (209th) and Phillip Bird 2:23:49 (250th).

The final Sutton Harriers to cross the finish line in the half marathon were Michael Bird and Zoe Jones, who ran the course together in 3:10:03 (311th).