THE green and blue of Mansfield Harriers graced the nation’s TV sets last weekend as Luke Cragg stood on the elite start line of the BUPA Great South Run in Portsmouth.
Cragg has made rapid progress over the last few seasons since finishing at Leeds University and continuing his studies at university in the USA.
Now back home in Nottinghamshire, the 25-year-old is concentrating on domestic racing and hit the big time as the TV cameras scanned the elite men at the start of Sunday’s 10-mile race.
Going under 50 minutes for the first time was an excellent result and one which gained him 17th place overall, only missing out on a top 10 spot by 26 seconds, his finish time of 49:34 representing an average pace of 4:57 for each mile.
Whilst Cragg was dealing with the south coast breeze several Harriers took to the North Nottinghamshire roads for the 30th staging of the Worksop Half Marathon.
With a scenic course winding its way through Clumber Park, the uphill first mile and downhill last mile back to the town centre make this a favourite race with locals.
Jonny Lowe cracked the 80 minute barrier for the first time, finishing in 23rd spot in 1:19.43 with Phil Shaw also breaking the 90 minute marker for the first time, taking 117th place in 1:27.22.
OTHER MANSFIELD FINISHERS: - 201: Graeme Wilkinson – 1:32.19, 237: Dave Ward – 1:33.44, 266: Rob Johnson – 1:35.18, 325: Junior Glave – 1:36.57, 328: Terry Ashmore – 1:37.16, 346: Kirsty Huntington – 1:37.22, 349: Neal Baines – 1:38.18, 500: Colin Fell – 1:41.59, 692: Maddy Collinge – 1:46.57, 723: David Baines – 1:47.55, 753: Sue Day – 1:48.04, 820: Sue Ward – 1:49.16, 821: Clare Coombes – 1:50.20, 1034: Linda Wilkinson – 1:55.03, 1349: Amanda Shaw – 2:02.55, 1385: Heather Schone – 2:03.02, 1419: Angela Davies – 2:04.55, 1607: Chris Huntington – 2:12.33, 1623: Michelle Peet – 2:13.31, 1480: Jason Pashley – 2:13.31
Top class action returns to Berry Hill Park next weekend when the English National Cross country relays take place.
Well over 2000 athletes are expected to race over the challenging parkland course which has been expertly prepared again by Course Director Pat Carlan.
With races across the age groups the action starts at 11am with the Senior Women’s and Senior Men’s races starting at 2.10pm and 2.40pm respectively.
Some of the country’s leading, and most promising athletes will be in action and spectators are encouraged to come along for the free to enter event.