Bleak mid-winters and frosty winds blowing did little to deter runners from Long Eaton Running Club over Christmas and the New Year, in spite of some tough weather conditions. The action started the day after Boxing Day with the annual Queens Head Canter 5k road race in Belper. The exposed, out-and-back course is over undulating lanes and the icy conditions were made even colder by a snow shower just after the start! The club had 3 ladies and 15 men competing, with Jodie Wilkes coming home in 6th position in the womans race in a personal best time of 22:47 and Alan Seamer leading the men home in 11th place and a season’s best of 17:34. Many of the rest of the club’s runners also proved they’d gone easy on the turkey and mince pies by recording either personal or season best times.
In between the race programmes and just for rest and relaxation a total of 14 runners took part in a run on 29th December from the club’s base at West Park Leisure Centre to the Dead Poets Pub at Holbrook in Derbyshire. In spite of the arctic conditions – minus 4 at the start! – everyone made it safely over the 13 mile off-road course and no doubt the beer tasted better for it!
Back to the racing and a variety of New Year’s races with 34 runners making the trip over to Caythorpe on New Year’s Eve for the Millenium Runs On 10k, held by Southwell Running Club over a flat riverside course in conditions slightly more benign than the preceding few days. Neil Renault had a fine top 10 finish in the men’s race, his 32:59 narrowly beating Andy McNeil’s 33:07 - Renault in 10th place and McNeil in 11th. In the ladies, Monica Fee recorded 45:41 and 31st position with Jodie Wilkes recording yet another personal best in 38th place and a time of 46:46.
In Derbyshire, Men’s Captain John Birch competed in all three events that make up the New Years Triple Sporting Challenge. Event 1 was a duathlon where Birch recorded an aggregate time of 63:37 for the 2.4m run/9.2m bike/2.4m run race. The second event, the Bryan Clifton 2km midnight run, started at 3 minutes to midnight with Birch completing his first 2006 race 7 minutes and 22 seconds later in 10th place with Carole Birch finishing the ladies race in 7th position and a time of 11:07. The final Challenge event took place on New Years Day with an additional 14 runners taking part in the Whatstandwell ‘Hangover’ 5m. Alan Seamer once more put in a fine performance to finish in 6th place in a time of 30:40 closely followed by Andy Dickenson 14 seconds and two places later. Two ladies competed – Zoe Fletcher placing 12th in 44:22 and Carole Birch finishing in 16th position and a time of 51:40.
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