Her­bert gets his re­venge at Eye

ATH­LET­ICS: Wer­ring­ton vet­eran Her­bert fin­ishes strongly to win at Eye

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Athletics - by BOB FRANK

JOHN Her­bert gained re­venge over An­drew Jakeman to win the sec­ond race of the Peter­bor­ough 5k Se­ries at Eye.

Hav­ing led the opener at Ferry Mead­ows for all but 400m, only to get caught by Jakeman, Her­bert was out for re­venge but came up against a stronger field.

Triathlon in­ter­na­tional Josh Daniels may not have been in ac­tion this time but tal­ented Nene Val­ley teenager Chris Wright, in-form Stam­ford Strider Mark Green­wood and for­mer se­ries win­ner John Pike - who had all missed the opener - gave the race a de­cent front-end.

Know­ing he would miss the South­ern Men’s League three days later due to fam­ily com­mit­ments, Wright chose to have a run-out at Eye al­though he has re­cently been ill and hadn’t trained for a week.

The 17 year-old led for much of the mainly up­hill open­ing kilo­me­tre and re­mained at the front un­til half­way but he wasn’t able to main­tain it and he even­tu­ally fin­ished fourth. With a track best of 15.20.6, a healthy Wright would surely have won this race but as he tailed off Green­wood took up the chal­lenge.

Hav­ing re­cently rat­tled off three wins in eight days, the Army man was bid­ding for an early birth­day present on his last day as a 35 year-old.

Her­bert has been guilty of go­ing off too fast on oc­ca­sions but he ran a sen­si­ble tac­ti­cal race on this oc­ca­sion and bided his time be­fore hit­ting the front.

But, mind­ful of the fact triathlon in­ter­na­tional Jakeman had fin­ished strongly last time out, Her­bert de­cided not to leave his fin­ish­ing kick too late and timed it to per­fec­tion to win by four sec­onds from the Fen­land Run­ning Club mem­ber with Green­wood in third.

Her­bert said: “My legs felt heavy un­til 2k so I sat in and then man­aged to get go­ing again. Once Mark took the lead I was think­ing: ‘Is it too soon to hit the front?’ so I waited.

Jakeman was just 11 sec- onds down on his win­ning time from two weeks ear­lier, de­spite the fact Eye is a much tougher course, and he and Her­bert are now tied on three points from two races - with the best three re­sults from the five races to count.

Work com­mit­ments for swim­ming coach Jakeman means he may only do one more race in the se­ries, in which case he could only fin­ish with a best of four points, while Her­bert will also miss at least one race.

Her­bert added: “I may miss the next two. I’m think­ing about do­ing the East­ern Vets League, which clashes with the next race, and I will cer­tainly miss the Stam­ford race as I’m do­ing the Cam­bridgeshire Mile Cham­pi­onships that day.”

Green­wood was just 10 sec­onds out­side his per­sonal best, so should go much quicker if he runs at Ferry Mead­ows, while hayfever suf­ferer Pike was happy with his run given the hu­mid con­di­tions.

Wer­ring­ton Jog­ger Michael Moore, who had won at the same venue six days ear­lier in the Eye 5, was dis­ap­pointed not to im­prove his 16.12 per­sonal best but nei­ther the course nor the con­di­tions were con­ducive to fast times.

In­deed, fe­male win­ner Ni­cole Roberts was 40 sec­onds down on her best - set when win­ning the NVH 5k last year - but the 18 year-old Birchfield Har­rier was just look­ing for a fast run-out.

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously won the ju­nior 3k se­ries in her younger days with Ket­ter­ing, Roberts now hopes to win the se­nior award al­though she will miss the next race as it comes just two days be­fore the English Schools Cham­pi­onships, where she hopes to win a medal in the steeplechase.

She has only run two steeplechase races and won both, and cer­tainly no-one pro­vided any bar­ri­ers in her quest for vic­tory at Eye, al­though fel­low teenager So­phie Couper of Lin­coln was not far be­hind in the early stages.

Fen­land Run­ning

Club’s Becky Cousins ran su­perbly to move through the field and fin­ish sec­ond in a per­sonal best of 19.06, tak­ing 12 sec­onds off the time she ran dur­ing last year’s se­ries.

Or­ton ath­lete Ruth Wat­son, the run­ner-up to reign­ing cham­pion Philippa Tay­lor two weeks ear­lier, was third de­spite not be­ing at her best at the moment. She is cur­rently await­ing re­sults of tests to de­ter­mine whether she has a virus but could line-up in Wed­nes­day’s Race for Life 5k, an event she won for the sec­ond time 12 months ago.

Wat­son will no doubt be run­ning much faster soon, and the same can be said about for­mer Great East­ern Run win­ner Mike Ex­ton.

Af­ter eight years out of the sport, Ex­ton - who won the city’s big half-marathon in 1983 - has re­turned to com­pet­ing this year and won his age group at the Radar Chal­lenge and Eye 10k and not sur­pris­ingly he was the first Over 60 at Eye.

An am­bu­lance was called for Nene Val­ley teenager Emma Chan, who col­lapsed fol­low­ing an asthma at­tack. Af­ter two games of rounders ear­lier in the day, a 5k in warm con­di­tions took its toll on the young­ster.

CHRIS Al­li­son made it two wins out two in the ju­nior 3k, sprint­ing for the line but fin­ish­ing 3k sec­onds out­side the time he ran at Ferry Mead­ows two weeks ear­lier.

Nene Val­ley club­mate Alex Hamp­son was bat­tling with Ket­ter­ing’s Jack Hope for sec­ond but pulled out in the clos­ing stages with a knee in­jury and was taken to hos­pi­tal.

Hamp­son, run­ner-up and first Un­der 13 two weeks ear­lier, twisted his knee early on avoid­ing an ath­lete who had cut across him but he man­aged to get most of the way be­fore the in­jury wors­ened.

Ket­ter­ing’s Gina Diaz-San­tana held off Nene Val­ley Har­rier Jade Car­vath-Smith to fin­ish first girl while the lat­ter’s club­mate Elisha Reid was the first Un­der 13 girl.

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