One of the highlights of 12 Mansfield Harriers at the Charnwood Open Meeting at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium, Loughborough, was the return to the track of May Roberts in the 800 metres.
Roberts continued to train throughout a difficult last two years, although her racing had virtually stopped.
In the last few months she completed some quality training and, although rusty due to lack of racing, put in a superb run to record a time of 2.24.
Under-13 Alex Foster and ladies’ team manager Bev Armstrong had a battle royal in the first heat of the 800m, with Foster going out hard and Armstrong then going past on the second lap.
With 100 metres to go Armstrong had a lead of about five metres, but a superb last 100 from the youngster saw her claw the lead back and overtake on the line.
Foster ran her second fastest time ever of 2.39.99 and Armstrong was rewarded with a new best of 2.40.35.
Jonny Lowe ran in one of the faster heats and the Mansfield master was pulled through in a very fast first 400, battling hard throughout to record 2.15.05
Matt Young made a welcome return after injury, racing to 2.02.03 in the under-11 600m metres.
Two more of Mansfield’s promising under-13s competed over 1,500m, both putting in strong performances with Jake Orr recording 5.25 and Beth Hamilton 5.32.
Under-13 Tammy Smith recorded 15.56 in the 100m and 6.37m in the shot.
First year under-15 Ben Madeley continued his improvement, raced to a new best in the 200m of 26.65 and recorded 12.90 in the 100m.
The fastest sprint double of the night for the club was recorded by Aaron Aplin with 12.07 and 23.90. Martin White raced to 12.76 and 25.83.
Junior coach Chris Ashmore produced a personal best of 8.93m in the shot and clocked 13.07 in the 100m.
On the roads, Mansfield had nine athletes at the Newark Half-marathon.
Dan Hardy continued to show he is going to be a fantastic asset to Mansfield, placing 12th in 1.16.50.
Another recent recruit, Adam Fairfield, used the race as a training run due to a recent hip flexor issue, clocking an impressive 1.36.10.
Angela Purdue ran a new best of 1.55.04.
Peter Copcutt also dipped under two hours with a time of 1.56.06 followed by Mel Ceney 2.06.38, Tina Copcutt 2.18.49, Claire Booth 2.21.38, Sally Wilson 2.29.12 and Latia Renshaw 2.29.13.
Also on the open circuit, Mansfield’s veteran warrior Maddy Collinge ran the Half Tour of Bradwell, a gruelling 16-mile race in the Derbyshire peaks in a time of 3hrs 40mins.
The last Summer League event took place last Tuesday at Shipley Park with the race run over 5.1 miles on road and trails.
The final Booths Decorators League race was held during the torrential rain that came throughout the day, making the conditions difficult.
Despite the weather, the club had 13 men and five ladies competing.
Mansfield had individual glory with Phil Shaw finishing 30th on the night from which he claimed the overall 50 age group title, Maddy Collinge placed 274th for second in the 65 female age group and Roy Smith placed 180th and third overall in the 65 age group.
First home on the night was Neil Cope in 22nd, with Gary Morley 36th, Martin Fickling 51st, Jack Cooke 55th, Matt Bradbury 66th, Nigel Watkin 72nd, Stuart Whysall 121st, Gary Towle 129th, Pete Copcutt 227th, Natasha Carver 243rd, Karen Kowalski 260th, Nathan Ellis 267th, Michelle Baxter 286th, Tina Copcutt 299th and Jim Breider 315th.
For the first time in several years Mansfield had full teams for every race. Overall the men’s team were seventh on the day and ninth overall, the ladies 11th both on the night and overall, and combined ninth both on the night and overall.