A busy weekend of competition for Mansfield Harriers saw the clubs athletes competing in the North Midland league at Shipley Park, Heanor, on Saturday, and the Booth Decorators League at Bakewell and Edwinstowe 10k on Sunday.
Shipley Park was the third of the four race series and the club continues to perform superbly in the league.
On a blustery, cold and extremely muddy course the green and blue army put in some superb performances throughout the day.
Mansfield’s U17s were superb, Archie Rayner winning the boys’ race comfortably, despite being sent the wrong way.
Matt Buchan had a strong run to finish sixth, though unfortunately Cam Walker had to pull out through injury. In the girls’ race Bethany Williams showed how tough and determined she is. Although feeling ill before the race, she did not want to miss out on overall league placing and hung on grimly to finish a close fourth.
May Roberts, who has had a busy winter so far, put in what is now her trademark race full of guts and determination to finish a fantastic fifth
For the first time this winter Mansfield had U15 girls competing and were both outstanding on debut. Katie Lancaster showed what a talent she could be, racing to 10th, and Rebecca Hamilton, also in her first race ever for the club, ran beyond expectations to finish 15th. The U13 boys, for the first time in several years, fielded a complete team in the league.
First back for the club was Matthew Woodhall, who put in a strong performance to finish 23rd, just behind was Curtis Moss in 25th and Joel Whittaker-Naylor, again in his first race for the club, finished in 41st position.
Paige Vick was the only U13 girl to compete and had her best run of the winter, looking strong throughout to finish 15th - a great reward for the consistency in the training she is putting in week in week out. The senior and vets men saw first year junior man Alex Rieley come of age with an outstanding run, finishing in eighth overall.
Alex has been outstanding since U13 and is now successfully making the transition to senior competition.
Mark Johnson was next Mansfield athlete in finishing 18th. Mark showed great team spirit in not feeling that well but wanting to support the vets team to consolidate the team’s series lead.
Next in was Alan Smith in 23rd and he was followed by local legend Andy Wetherill, who had his highest finish this season to come home 40th.
This should leave the vets team in an unassailable position going into the last event.
Next in was Andy Day in his first club event, finishing 69th. Nigel Watkins was 82nd followed by Jon Hardy in 147th and Julian Wood 185th. The team had four ladies out with team manager Beverley Armstrong first home in 31st followed by the ever consistent Amanda Hardy in 55th, supervet Maddy Collinge 85th and Jackie Duers in 96th.
Mansfield had smaller numbers attend the Booth League event at Bakewell due to the other events.
The team was lead home by Phil Shaw in 20th place followed by Matt Storer in 36th, Nigel Watkin in 37th and Martin Fickling in 71st.
For the ladies, first home was Maddy Collinge in 179th closely followed by Jackie Duers (181st) and Amanda Shaw, who finished in 183rd.
Highlight for the club at the Edwinstowe 10k was Kerrie Allen’s fine win in the ladies’ 35 category in a time of 46.31. Kerrie was an outstanding junior athlete at the club and has recently returned to the sport and is making rapid progress.
First in for the club was Steve Davies, finishing 23rd overall in a time of 41.40, followed by Matt Bradbury in 44.42, Helen Jones 47.13, Bev Armstrong 47.50, Trevor Hiscox 55.09, Heather Shone 56,49, Sarah Bradbury 58.19, Sue Pepperday 59.48,Tina Copcutt 62.13 and Petra Kucerova in 66.54.