New target for race king after successful summer

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Leading local runner Stuart King is reflecting on a terrific 2016 so far by setting himself even higher targets.

King, (28), the Midlands 1500m champion who competes for both Mansfield Harriers and Heanor AC, is looking for a personal best at the Worksop Half-Marathon in October after a successful spring and summer.

King has twice finished second in the Worksop race and been the Nottinghamshire champion on two occasions.

Earlier this month he claimed the Notts AAA Summer League championship to add to his Nottinghamshire 5k road title at Newstead Abbey at the end of July.

Then after his summer league triumph King won the 3k at Doncaster to help Harriers and Derby to climb back into Division Three of the British League.

He finished in 8 minutes 45 seconds to complete a remarkable two weeks of personal success.

“I played it safe in the first 2k of the race,” he said.

“There was a slow pace to start with, a bit up and down, but in the last three laps I took it on, created a gap and managed to make it bigger.”

The triple triumph was a great reward for King, a familiar face on the local parkrun circuit where he has won many races this year at Mansfield Woodhouse, Sherwood Pines, Rother Valley and Nottingham.

“In the summer league I ran better on the courses that were shorter and faster, but struggled on the longer, hillier ones,” he said.

“It has been a good road race season with winning both the summer league and the county 5k and now I just want to improve even further.”

King won the county’s 5k road title at the Newstead Abbey Dash in 15mins 53 seconds.

A few days later he completed the five-race AAA Summer League with third place at Teversal Grange.

That meant he finished with 10 points — eight clear of second place — after wins in the third and fourth races at Colwick Park, Nottingham, and Worksop College, which followed second place at Hexgrave Hall, Farnsfield, and third place at Holme Pierrpont, Nottingham.

At the start of 2016 King, who lived in Mansfield Woodhouse for many years before moving to Kirkby Woodhouse, qualified for the Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships for a third successive year, racing against the cream of the country’s runners at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport

His indoor talent also saw the runner win a 3,000m bronze at the Midlands Indoor Championships.

King, a health mentor at Southwark Primary School, Old Basford, Nottingham, then reclaimed his Midlands 1500m outdoor title, which he first held in 2014, at Nuneaton.

“It has been a busy summer so far,” said King, who is unable to take part in the second Mansfield 10k this Sunday.

Last year, despite injury, he was fifth in the unaugural Mansfield race, the third Nottinghamshire runner home, behind overall winner and Harriers teammate Mark Johnson.

“Now I’m working towards the Worksop Half-Marathon,” said King.

“ I will be trying to break 70 minutes for the first time.

“It means a lot of mileage in training between now and then and I will be putting in a lot of hard work to give it my best shot.”