Clowne Road Runners’ Gareth Lowe put in a superb run to take the Mansfield 10k title at the weekend.
He clocked a time of bang on 34 minutes to beat Notts AC runner Stuart King into second spot (35 mins 7).
King, who won the 10k last year, nearly didn’t start the race after a last-second drama.
Less than a minute before the race was due to start his racing flats tore and a hurried repair using a safety pin from his race number failed.
The former Mansfield Harrier, of Kirkby Woodhouse, quickly put on a pair of everyday trainers with a few seconds to spare, but it dashed his hopes of a second consecutive win.
“It was like racing in wellingtons because they were so heavy compared to my racing flats,” he said.
“I wanted to quit, but I carried on even though it was disappointing.”
As 10k winner Lowe pulled clear, King decided to conserve his energy and put his focus on the 5k event instead.
He held off the challenge of Richard Robinson, of Sutton Harriers, to secure runners-up spot in 35mins 7secs before easing up towards the finish.
“I knew I had the chance to get some proper running shoes from my car and try to get a good time for the 5k,” King said. “So I just did enough towards the end of the 10k to get second place.
“I was disappointed with my 10k time. The course was tough and just as hilly as I remembered from last year, but I could have done a lot better with the proper shoes.”
Matlock runner Mike Blair and Paul Wright completed the top five.
Natalie Yates was the highest placed female in the 10k race in a time of 38 minutes 34 seconds, which was also good enough for 15th place overall out of 608 runners.
She came ahead of Sheffield’s Ellen McLeod, who claimed 36th overall spot with a time of 41 mins 52 seconds, and Mansfield Harriers runner Mollie Scott (42 mins 16).
The 5K race was won by rising star Luke Duffy, who was making a rare racing appearance in his home club town.
And he showed great maturity controlling the race from the front to win by 4 seconds in 16.09 and come into the finishing straight to a huge ovation from the large number of supporters from his club.
The noise level continued as another of Mansfield’s junior stars continues to show she is developing into a high class senior as Amber Scott made it a double for Mansfield taking the ladies race in 18.52 and winning by nearly two minutes.
She beat Sutton’s Freja Strom (20 mins 51 seconds) and Mansfield’s Kahli Johnson (20 mins 54 seconds).