ATHLETICS: Champ Birch back in form

HARBOROUGH 5 MILES

June 14

Club cross country champion Paul Birch returned to form to lead home Rugby & Northampton AC in the Harborough 5 mile road race when he recorded 28 mins 29 secs to finish in 14th place over a course, which included a long hill in the fourth mile.

Birch completed the sixth race in the East Midlands Grand Prix Series, which started and finished at Foxton Locks, 12 seconds ahead of the club’s top veteran Greg Spellman who won the M45 category for the third time to finish in 16th position overall.

Terry Egan was timed at 30 minutes exactly in 29th spot, which gave him second place in the over 50 section and Neil Willsher completed the Men’s team with 31.16 in 47th place.

The Senior Men finished fourth on the night one place higher than the Veteran team in which Aaron Lincoln (64th in 32.11) and Brian Malin (264th in 41.24) joined Spellman and Egan to close off the team.

Angela Copson had already secured the F60 title, but it didn’t stop her from turning out to lead home the R&N Ladies in all six races so far. On this occasion she was 7th in exactly 33 minutes with yet another age group victory.

Second in the F35 race was Daisy Melville who crossed the line in 16th position on 34.35 and securing second spot overall in the Series for her age group was last years champion Barbara Parkinson when her 41.13 for 56th place gave her a fifth runners up spot in the over 60 competition.

The trio finished 2nd in the Veteran team race for the fourth time and 5th in the Senior team event.