Another varied and successful weekend for Ryston Runners, including the “big one” for road runners preparing for the spring marathon season, the Tarpley 20.
Race conditions were sunny yet cold and breezy which made for an excellent race over an undulating Suffolk course.
A highlight for Ryston was Eamonn McCusker who took the M60 category for the second consecutive year with 2:37:38, faster by four minutes than last year. Lesley Robins claimed W40 honours, third in category in 2:35:58.
Ryston second claimer Danny Rock was 7th overall in the “20” with 2:03:34.
First Ryston home was Stewart Robins, continuing his phenomenal comeback, in 32nd place overall/5thM45 in 2:20:35. Will Honeybone recorded a PB of 2:22:03 for 36th place; Simon Levy, returning to competitive running, was 51st in 2:27:17; and the evergreen Jeremy Navrady was 92nd in 2:38:58.
In the accompanying 10-mile race Lorena Latisaite recorded another PB (69:39) for second in the SW category. Mel Reed was 5th SW in 74:16, and Sue Smith 1:59:50. Almost 700 runners enjoyed this popular event.
Those opting for the Cambridge Half Marathon on the same day enjoyed a new course which was deemed far more “runner friendly” and enjoyable than in previous years. Six of the Ryston contingent recorded sub-90 minutes, a pleasing indicator of current form.
First “Hare” across the line was Chris Balmer, chopping three minutes off his PB time to record 75:20 for 17th place. Robert Simmonds (65th/ 79:23), Daniel Guppy (82nd/ 81:14PB), Andrew Simmonds (94th/ 81:50), Marcus Hawkins (161st/ 85:06) and Phil Twite (269th/87:47) were the other sub 90-ers.
Penny Seegar recorded a PB of 1:43:33, Charlotte Barrett ran 1:46:27, Kevin Piggott 1:51:36 (PB), Anna Seaman 1:52:12, Jane Ashby 1:56:10, Andy Harrod 2:20:46, Mark Doughty 2:09:52, and Miranda Keedy 2:34:35.
One of the best runs of the day was possibly that produced by Nic Bensley who placed third overall and 1st M45 by a considerable margin in the Hotelympia 10K in London. A PB time of 34:45 came after a day representing Foster Refrigeration at a trade exhibition. This represents an age graded result of almost 84% and follows a string of consistent improvements and PBs over recent months.
Out of the chilly winds a little further north in London five athletes were representing the East in the annual English Masters Inter Area Challenge indoor track and field competition at Lee Valley Athletics Centre. Unable to compete due to a knee injury, Gaye Clarke was team manager for the EVAC women, who recorded an almost unbelievable victory in their match considering how many cry-offs there had been even up to the morning of the fixture.
Cath Duhig, despite being 61, raced in the W35 category, placing third in the 2000m walk, and then hobbled a leg of the 2x200m relay.
Peter Duhig (M60), Mick Ennis and Jeff Reed (both M70) contributed to the Men’s team’s points tally, which helped EVAC to place third in their competition, with the combined points of the men’s and women’s team resulting in a second place overall for the East.
The previous day at Lee Valley Lily Teasdale took part in the annual winter minathon series, an initiative which provides juniors with a way of progressing their skills during the off season.
Lily took part in the 60m, 60m Hurdles and 200m, despite having never hurdled nor run 200m competitively. Lily performed outstandingly to come away with a bronze medal, which was presented to her by GB sprinter Bianca Williams.
Other juniors were in action on the same day in the ECCA National Cross Country Championships at Donington. Charlie Wakefield, who was running for his joint club Bury Pacers, maintained the form he has shown during the winter to finish a very respectable 42nd out of 420 runners in the U13 Boys, running the 3K in 13:48.
In the U13 Girls’ race, Kate Willis was unlucky not to finish in the top 50, placing 56th in 15:01 minutes for 3K.
Her sister Meg, who is a year younger than most athletes in this age group, finished in the top half of runners, 208th out of 449 with a time of 16:12.