Har­ri­ers win a bronze medal and PAC reach na­tional fi­nals

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - By Bob French bob.french@jpress.co.uk

City clubs Pe­ter­bor­ough AC and Nene Val­ley Har­ri­ers both had cause to cel­e­brate at the South­ern Road Re­lays at Bed­ford on Sun­day. Ne ne Val­ley picked up a bronze medal in the men’s Over 50 race while Pe­ter­bor­ough’ s se­nior men’ s team fin­ished 23 rd to qual­ify for the Na­tional Road Re­lay fi­nals for the first time since 2006.

The suc­cess­ful Ne ne Val­ley vet­er­ans team, which com­prised Dave Neal, Chris Mooney, Barry Warne and Paul Parkin, spent much of the pre-race pe­riod com­par­ing aches and pains caused by a re­fusal to re­spect the age­ing process.

How­ever, the fleet-footed four­some rose to the oc­ca­sion once the start­ing gun was fired.

Bat­tling gale force winds on the ex­posed Bed­ford Au­to­drome course, the Har­ri­ers team rolled back the years and were only just pipped for sec­ond place by Dul­wich Run­ners AC af­ter a close tus­tle.

PAC were de­lighted to qual­ify for the na­tion­als for the first time in 10 years.

“It was our goal to make the top 25, so ob­vi­ously we’re real- ly happy,” said team man­ager Elaine Larkins.

“2006 was the last time we made it and that was with a team that in­cluded in­ter­na­tional ath­letes Glen Watts, Daniel Pet­tit and Matt Gunby, so to get back to the top level says much for this team.”

On their last fi­nal ap­pear­ance Pet tit ran a leg just 35 sec­onds slower than the fastest run­ner at the event, a young Ne­wham and Es­sex Bea­gle called Mo Farah!

Pe­ter­bor­ough 5k Grand Prix Se­ries cham­pion Stu­art Haw got things off to a fly­ing start for PAC bring­ing the team home in 20th place with a bril­liant 18:16 clock­ing (the 45 th fastest of the day from the 300-plus run­ners) and from there the team re­mained com­pet­i­tive all af­ter­noon.

Larkins added: “Ev­ery­one ran re­ally well, but I have to say ‘well done’ to Jon Peet (21:22).

“He only started train­ing just over a year ago be­cause his daugh­ter Olivia was train­ing at the club and now he’s made the na­tional cham­pi­onships.”

Steve Robin­son ran a crack­ing 18:48 on leg three to move the team up 11 places an­dis now tar­get­ing the Great East­ern Run next week­end (Oc­to­ber 9).

Steve Hall (21:18), James White­head (19:50) and Shaun Wal­ton (20:12) all had solid runs around the 6km windswept cir­cuit.

The squad are now des­per­ately try­ing tore-jig their rac­ing and train­ing pro­grammes along with work com­mit­ments in or­der to com­pete in the na­tional event, which takes place in Sut­ton Park, Birm­ing­ham, next Saturday, the day be­fore the Great East­ern Run.

Nene Val­ley’s vet­eran ladies team came home in sixth place. Laura Grimer, Sophie Wilkin­son-Har­gate, Louise Blake and Nicky Mor­gan all com­pleted the 4.5k cir­cuit in pleas­ing times, on a day when the un­re­lent­ing wind was the real win­ner.

The Nene Val­ley se­nior men’s team fin­ished 51st. The team of six had some good in­di­vid­ual per­form­ers, and open­ing leg run­ner Chris Wright was the fastest with an 18:43 clock­ing.

Lo­cal times:

Men’s Se­niors (6k): Pe­ter­bor­ough AC - Stu­art Haw 18:16; Jon Peet 21:22; Steve Robin­son 18:48; Steve Hall 21:18; James White­head 19:50; Shaun Wal­ton 20:12. Nene Val­ley A - Chris Wright 18:43; Mike Chap­man 21:19; Michel Chan­ning 19:50; Sam Hunt 21:51; John Nash 23:20; Sean Beard 21:52. Nene Val­ley B (in­com­plete team) - Ol­lie Slater 21:17; Tim Hunt. 26:19.

Men’s Over 50s (6k): Nene Val­ley - Dave Neal 22:05; Chris Mooney 22:07; Barry Warne 23:46; Paul Parkin 25:27.

Ladies Vets (4.5k): Nene Val­ley - Laura Grimer 18:58; Louise Blake 20:31; Sophie Wilkin­son-Har­gate 19:36; Nicky Mor­gan 18:53.

The Pe­ter­bor­ough AC team which qual­i­fied for the Na­tional Road Re­lay fi­nals. From the left are Steve Robin­son, James White­head, Steve Hall, Shaun Wal­ton, Stu­art Haw and Jon Peet.

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