ATHLETICS: Strong half marathon and 20-mile performances

Caroline Carroll, Matt Carroll, Stephen Marks, Dean Oldfield, Mike Andrews, Alistair McDonnell and Iain Botheroyd at the Ashby 20-mile race
Caroline Carroll, Matt Carroll, Stephen Marks, Dean Oldfield, Mike Andrews, Alistair McDonnell and Iain Botheroyd at the Ashby 20-mile race

Vicky takes 12 minutes off PB to run 2-14 at Ashby

Rugby and Northampton AC turned out in force at the Coventry Half Marathon on Sunday with 35 members completing the 13.1 mile course. The pace at the front was understandably strong but R&N athletes were to the fore.

Vicky Nealon

Vicky Nealon

First to finish from the club was Mark Hill, with a new PB of 78 minutes. Not far behind Mark, in 16th and 18th places, were Chris Lamb and Paul Rigby both with times just outside of 1hr 20mins. Next R&N finisher was Jonathan Taylor with another outstanding PB of 81m mins 50.

The first female finisher for the club was Sally Baker clocking 96 minutes and placing Sally as victor in her age group. Following Sally came a whole succession of PB and personal goals.

On the other side of the M69 a group of R&N athletes went a considerable bit further in their preparations for the London Marathon completing the Ashby 20 mile race.

The outstanding performance of the day undoubtedly came from Vicky Nealon, as she took over 12 minutes from her previous best time to claim overall victory in the ladies’ race in an incredible 2hrs 14minutes.

On the male side, Stephen Marks continued his outstanding form of late to claim sixth place overall in a time of 1hr 59mins.

Not far behind Stephen, again with a PB time came Ultra specialist Dean Oldfield in a time of 2hrs 7mins. Just behind Dean came Mike Andrews and Iain Botheroyd in 2hrs 11 and 12 respectively.

The team was completed by the husband and wife team of Matt and Caroline Carroll and Alistair McDonnell.

R&N’s young athletes were also in action, competing in a number of Open Meetings over the weekend. Among them was Josh Tutt, who climbed to the top of the UK rankings in the U13B Shot Put, achieving a personal best and club record effort of 11.23 metres at the Barrie Strange Memorial Throws meetings. Maya Reynolds (10.16) and Izzy Thomson (9.03) also set new PBs at the event in Oxford.

Meanwhile, at the Midland Indoor Open at the Alexander Stadium, Amelia Birkett cleared 2.90 metres in the U17W pole vault, again setting a new PB and a club record. Others to impress in the field were Fenton Bishop-Timings, who threw a 41.48-metre PB in the U17M javelin, and U17W Lily-May Pursey, who recorded 10.61m in the shot put.

More personal bests were smashed around the indoor track, too. Mary Beetham-Green (U17W - 7.92) and Ruby Wood (U13G - 8.71) both impressed in the 60m sprint, while U13B Georgo Barabas set a best time of 13.84 over 100m.

Milan Clues continued her progress with a 9.80 time over the 60m hurdles, and Xcena Pasqualin’s time of 10 seconds flat in the U13G race was a new PB and a club record.

Pasqualin wasn’t done there, adding a 13.18 PB in the 70m hurdles, and a club record and personal best leap of 1.30m in the high jump.

U15G Eloise Nowill, who holds the outdoor club record in the high jump, made her seasonal debut and added the indoor record to her CV, registering 1.50m.

Benjamin Lole (U15B - 10.09) and Megan Burge (U15G - 9.59) rounded off a fine day by setting club records in the triple jump.