Herbert gets his revenge at Eye
ATHLETICS: Werrington veteran Herbert finishes strongly to win at Eye
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.
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.