Lots to report from the first really busy winter racing weekend of the year

Lots to report this week from the first really busy winter racing weekend of the year.

We start bright and early on Saturday morning with the latest race in the Club’s Grand Prix calendar, the Dukeries 10. This was a trail race over “mixed terrain” of 10.8 miles. Unfortunately, due to the recent weather, a large part of that mixed terrain was hidden under a couple feet of water. Some of the course flooding was so bad, Prince Charles should probably have been visiting it.

The first water hazard consisted of a 100m stretch of freezing thigh deep water; the second was a little shorter and shallower, unless, like your correspondent, you fell off the underwater path and took a full-on dip! Add to all of that, a bit of weather and a lot more mud and it made for a challenging Saturday morning all round.

That said, of the 180 or so finishers, CRR had 3 in the top 10 and 9 in the top 50. First home for the Club was Chris Amery in 6th place in 1:19:37, Nick Roberts was immediately behind him in 1:20:17 and Sam Bellamy 1:22:31 for 10th place. Mike Brown started his bog-snorkelling double-header with a 1:32:21 course PB. Andy Foster came in on 1:34:55; Paul Sadler, also doubling up, 1:35:37; Giles Searby 1:36:39 and Neil Yewman 1:37:26. Louise Lowe’s 1:37:45 saw her finish 20 places higher than last year whilst clocking a minute slower. Paddy Abbott ran 1:43:45: Ian Rookes 1:44:47; Michael Burr 1:50:26; Julie King 1:55;10; Graham Sheen 2:00:54 and Michael Lees 2:04:10.

Meanwhile, at the Parkruns, at Poolsbrook Paul Taylor ran a 22:28 and Martin McShane knocked another couple of seconds of his distance PB with a 23:54. At Millhouses, Andy Portwood ran a 22:16 course PB.

Saturday also saw the English National Cross-Country Championships taking place on a very challenging course at Wollaton Hall in Nottinghamshire. The photos and videos from the event give some insight into the brutal mud-bath that faced our runners. Certainly looks like the gully at Clowne XC was good practice for it.

Undeterred, in the Ladies’ race over a 5 mile/8km course, Gemma Scougal was first home for CRR in 47:43; Kerry Anderson 54:19; Bridget Hemstock 55:14 and Allison Preece in 57:00.

In the Men’s 8 Mile/12km race Andy Ward was first CRR finisher in 49:15. John Sanderson ran a 53:59; Peter Twigg 1:00:04; Steve Hatterseley 1:08:31 and Malc Stapelton 1:09:15. Doubling up from Dukeries were Paul Sadler and (not content with having already run 30k for the day) Mike Brown, who unintentionally added an extra small loop to his race and finished in 1:23:20.

Talking of spending a lot of time and distance running in difficult conditions, Chris Lane was up North on Saturday running in the Northumberland Ultra over 32 miles of 50mph headwinds, hail, mud and tides. Chris ploughed through it all to finish in 7:50:38.

To Sunday, and we start at Carsington where in the 10k event, Ricki Oscroft finished in 51:07. In the Half Marathon, Andy Little was first home for the Club in 1:39:56. Annie Morton ran a 1:54:08 and Chris Jones 2:02:27. Paddy Abbott completed his weekend double race duty with a 2:11:10 and Rebecca Marshall ran a 2:13:02.

The postponed Run Your Heart Out Valentines 10k at Scunthorpe saw Gareth Lowe finish 5th in 32:51 in very windy conditions.

At the Longshaw Trust 10K, Helen Lindley was chasing Red Deer to be First Lady home in 8th place but the wet conditions meant that finish times were not recorded.

Well done all!

Finally, don’t forget it’s the final Inter-Club XC Race of the year this coming Sunday at Worksop. We’re running our way through the storm alphabet – so let’s just hope for no F storm next weekend!

Everything is to play for and we need the best possible Red and White turn-out for both the Men’s and Ladies’ teams.