While for the majority of the population December means Christmas time, for LERC the final month of the year is synonymous with one race and one race only Ė the Keyworth Turkey Trot. Such is the raceís popularity, entries have to be submitted months in advance to avoid disappointment and 2012 was no exception as a field totalling 860 runners took to the undulating course, that, while snow and ice-free, was rather exposed to the wind, especially in the final few miles. Of that 860, 33 were from Long Eaton and the LERC contingent certainly made themselves seen and heard.
Damian Cowlishaw, yet again demonstrating his propensity for multi-coloured lycra attire (his elf costume bore an uncanny resemblance to Robin Hoodís traditional garbs), Bill Sheppard and Phil Thompson were particularly visible in their festive dress, while Andy Peat, taking LERCís first victory in the race since Rod Harrisís 2005 win, was most prominent, especially as the LERC hordes cheered his victory presentation, where his excellent PB of 71:15 earned him a turkey. Having sat behind Leigh Stubbs of Redhill for the majority of the race, Andy made his move late in the race to win by a clear 16 seconds to round off an astonishing second half of 2012 in which his performances have propelled him towards national standard.
It was a hugely successful day for LERC all round, as the 33 runners were cheered by a support crew consisting of Nicola Bennett, Adam White, Sarah Priestley, Richard Ford, Debbie and Glen Coleman, Sally Barry and Mark Argent , while Richard, Debs and Glen could even be seen dishing out some much needed jelly babies around the half-way point.
After a fast start, everyone settled into the race and, as usual for LERC these days, there was a glut of debuts and PBs. Sarah Lewis and Michael Lockwood were running their very first half marathons, while Richard Howe, Rob Allen, Pete Webb, Mark Hudson, Philip Sugden, John Oleshko, Kev Barry, Bob Crockford, Jackie Mather, Lisa Reddish, Vicky Mycroft and Kathy Crockford were all running the Turkey Trot for the first time. Despite the time of year and the undulating nature of the course (and especially the uphill finish), Andy Peat wasnít the only one to run a PB. Rob Allen, who came so close to breaking the 1:30 barrier at the recent Worksop Half, smashed his way through with an excellent time of 1:28:28, while Mark Hudson, Philip Sugden and LERCís runner of the month, Carrie Chan, also recorded lifetime bests for 13.1 miles.
After a prize giving ceremony in which all the finishers were awarded with a certificate in a frame from Santa, and hot drinks and soups in the main hall, a few LERC runners gathered in the pub for a celebratory drink, where Paddy Fitzgerald had brought some cakes. Like the Turkey Trot, itís an LERC tradition.
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