Rugby & Northampton AC
PICTURES BY BRYAN ACFORD
Rugby & Northampton AC turned out 45 runners in their home fixture of the East Midlands Grand Prix Series last Wednesday.
The Rugby 6 mile road race was the third event in the series and the host club had a clean sweep of all four team categories.
The most notable performance came from Tori Green with a massive personal best of 36 mins 52 secs to take her first ever victory in the Ladies race and make it six wins out of the last seven for an R&N lady in the Rugby 6.
Amy Sarkies made it a 1-2 for the club for the first time in an EMGP race by winning the F40 competition in 37:37 and clinching top spot in the F50 race was Sally Baker in 7th position on 40:14 for a resounding ladies team victory.
The R&N Veteran Women won by an even bigger margin when Tamara Hardman joined Sarkies and Baker in the team to clinch 2nd F50 and 13th overall in 43:02.
The domination of the over 50 race continued when Elaine Morris finished 3rd (14th overall) in 43:10 and Alison Cobb in 4th (24th in 44:26), who was just one place and four seconds behind Judith Rose (3rd in the F45 category).
Valerie Cross took her first win in the F65 event in 64:26.
The men’s race was convincingly won in 31 mins 18 secs by local athlete Alistair Smith running for Coventry Godiva.
Alistair McDonnell improved by over two minutes from last year’s race when he led home the R&N men in 3rd place with 31:51 and took home the Tony Hetherington memorial trophy now in its 10th year. He had back up from M40 athlete Stephen Marks whose 6th position in 33:54 gave him 2nd spot in the age group.
Daniel Williams became the 40th R&N man to make the top 10 in a Grand Prix race since the clubs merger in 2002 and his time of 34:22 gave him 10th place. Completing the winning Men’s team for the club was U20 athlete Joe Childs when his 12th position clinched the age category in a pb of 34:24.
Dave Ball was the next man home in a respectable 14th spot in 34:42 with Dean Oldfield following in 35:50 (27th and M40 6th) to join Marks in the victorious Veteran team. Making up that quartet were Richard Stevens (M40 13th in 38:16) and Max Chippington (M50 8th in 39:33).
Other Senior Men to break 40 mins were Matthew Gee (35th in 36:28), Jonathan Burke (48th in 37:58 ), Dan Hartwell (62nd in 38:55) along with veteran Richard Thomas (M40 18th in 39:57).
Alan Mould was a clear 2nd in the M55 race with 40:49.