A varied weekend for members of Ryston Runners AC saw Liz Blakie and Cath Duhig take part in the Enfield Walking League five-mile Yacht Handicap race at Lee Valley Sports Centre in north London on Saturday.
Duhig, still nursing a hip injury, had pleaded that the two should be able to start at the same time to give each other someone to work off.
This happened, with Duhig labouring hard to match Blakie’s early pace, but edging ahead at the end. Duhig finished fifth and Blakie sixth, in 53:15 and 53:21 respectively.
On Sunday there were almost 60 Ryston vests among the 300-plus participants at the first race in the 2014-15 Cross Country Grand Prix series hosted by the club in Shouldham Warren.
Category wins fell to Annie Rooks (U17G), Marie French (SW), Kelly De Gol (W35), Maureen Wolfe (W55), Nic Bensley, in his last race as an M40 and in a PB time, and Malcolm Tuff in his last as an M45.
Second places: Harry and Charlie Wakefield (U11 and U13 Boys), Alysha Cain (U17G), James O’Neill (SM), Marcus Hawkins (M40), Nicky Roger (W40), Linda Marshall (W45), and Liz Blakie (W55). Thirds: Mia Moore (U11G), Tony Savage (M50), Kevin Howlett (M55), Heather Beattie (SW), Lesley Robins (W40), Karen Smith (W45) and Sine Cane (W55).
Other Ryston results included Juniors: David McQueen, pipped to 4th in U9 Boys, Harvey Judd 16th; Ben Smith 10th in U11 Boys; Suki Wales (8th), Bea Honeybone (11th), Olivia Cole (19th) and Sophie Kua (20th) in U11 Girls; Bailey Took 6th U13 Boy; Renee Dixon 15th and Jessie Kite 16th in U13 Girls; Toby Stenning 7th and Sam Judd 8th in U15 Boys.
Seniors/ Masters, SM: Chris Balmer 7th, Che Plant 8th, Justin Kinsey 9th, Adam Howard (running in his first GP event for over 20 years) 12th, Michael Howlett 17th, Gareth Hunt 18th (PB), Phil Twite 20th, Kevin Smith 23rd. M40: Martin Sheldrick 5th, Shaun Mann 7th. M45: Steve Bowerman 4th, Martin Ive 5th, Sean Sands 7th, David Lane 10th, Jeremy Navrady 12th, Martin Hammond 14th, Andy Smith 18th. M55: In his last race in this category, Paul Firmage was 5th. M60: Peter Duhig 8th. SW: Liz Simmonds 9th, Miranda Keedy 12th. W35: Emma Thompson 4th. W40: Julie Wacey 4th, Jo Brooks 10th. W55: Georgina Allen 4th, Gill Hart 5th.
l On the roads the big local event was the Perkins Great Eastern Run Half Marathon at Peterborough, which was completed by well over 3,000, among them almost 20 Ryston Runners. Karen Wood recorded a PB time by 12 minutes (1:52:33) while Jo isbill improved her PB by 12 seconds, 1:35:31 (4th W45).
A creditable five-minute PB saw Ian Milburn lead the Hares home, in 1:22:36 for 129th place overall. Ian Barrett was 196th (PB) in 1:25:39, with the two separated only by new member Daniel Guppy, 144th in 1:23:04. PB’s also fell to Will Honeybone (1:31:06) and Andy Wicklen (1:33:00).
First of the Ryston women was Lorena Latisaite in 1:35:0.
Other times: Barry Smith (PB) 1:41:45, Anna Seaman (PB) 1:46:58, Simon Tarling 1:54:54, Steve Mickleburgh 1:55:25, Jeff Reed, in his last half marathon before turning 70, 1:55:28, Jill Davis 1:58:50, Phil Thompson 2:16:27 on his chip, Laura Allen 2:16:33, Paddy Thompson and wife Annie chip-timed at 2:20:41, Peter Witley 2:42:42 and Katie Wilson 2:42:46.
Sophie Tarsey continued the big PB theme in the Royal Parks Half Marathon, knocking 13 minutes off her previous best to record 2:26:00.
In the Town and Gown 10K in Cambridge, Adam Matthews, who set a new PB and club JM record over the distance last week, was a little disappointed to clock 37:00.
He is striving to get under 36 minutes before he leaves the category on December 31.