Last weekend saw some outstanding efforts for Beverley AC in 4 local and national events.
Torrential rain before the race greatly reduced the size of the field to 165 runners but considering the deluge that had already fallen, the runners who decided to brave it escaped fairly lightly with only light showers, the sun making an appearance by the end. However, the 1.5 mile Green Lane cross county section was reduced to a quagmire in many places which slowed runners down in the 2nd quarter of the race.
The Mucky Duck is part of the Beverley AC handicap League Series and provides an interesting and enjoyable challenge over many types of terrain. The race starts at Driffield Rugby Club and heads out for 2 miles on road to the uphill Green Lane stretch, a mile and a half section with a long, steep climb on a muddy farm track.
The sharp, rutted descent gives tricky underfoot conditions before a return to the road for a very steep climb and then a 3 mile downhill into Driffield, through the nature reserve, entering the rear of the Rugby Club, for an energy sapping last half mile wading through deep grass to the finish at the Club House.
The race was won for the 5th time in the last 6 years by Phil Taylor of Bridlington Road Runners in 51:25. First Beverley runner back was Aubrey Morrell, who was 6th overall in 51:55, only 30 seconds behind the winner, in this tightly fought race, where the first 3 battled it out in a sprint finish, with Michael Hargreaves and Matthew Hayes of East Hull Harriers, 2nd and 3rd,recording dead heat times.
James Durham was the 2nd club member back in 66:11. First Beverley lady back was Christine Whitehouse in 88:16, who continued her improvement and picked up a spot prize for her efforts.
Member’s times at The Mucky Duck: Aubrey Morrell 51:55, James Durham 66:11, Lucas Meagor 67:30, Andy Grainger 74:02, Mike Anderson 74:34, Andrew Gray 77:43, Nicholas Riggs 84:56, Christine Whitehouse 88:16, Frank Harrison 91:36, Sarah Tock 94:44.Diane Coleman FTC injured
Away from the Mucky Duck, a number of club members were running Marathons. Stand-out performances came from Laura Egan, Pete Watkinson and Darren Rodmell. Laura has made impressive progress as a distance runner over the past year and turned in a top class time of 3:16:56 at The Edinburgh Marathon.
This gives her an age grading of around 70%. Age grading is a calculation made to compare performance against the best for that distance, age and Gender. 70% puts Laura as a regional class Marathon Runner. Also at Edinburgh, Pete Watkinson smashed 3 mins off his time for London, coming in with an amazing 3:32:38, which gave him 9th place in the Male 60-65 category. Edinburgh also saw Julia Baggs delighted with her time of 4hrs 13 and Saskia Berkin, in her first marathon, was delighted to come home in 4 hrs 49. Julie Donald and Bruce Woodford also competed in the Beverley colours.
Darren Rodmell’s great effort resulted in a Personal Marathon Best in The Liverpool Marathon. His time of 3:02:54 mins represented a ‘good for age’ which means his is eligible for automatic entry to races such as The London Marathon. Andy Johnson turned in the sub 3 ½ effort he was looking for, finishing in 3:28:32 and Francesca Giuntini amazed herself by doing 4 hrs 50 mins with no training!
To cap an extraordinary weekend for the club, Mike Blamires completed the 145 mile Grand Union Canal UltraMarathon in 39 hrs and 58 mins. Starting in Birmingham and finishing in London, Mike joined over 100 national and international elite UltraMarathon runners. He was supported by family and friends in this overnight mileage haul along the path of The Grand Union Canal.
Fellow club member, Lucy Stamford completed almost 50 miles herself ,supporting Mike by running long stretches overnight and in the last 30 miles as he again pushed the boundaries of human endurance.
Mike has previously described the race jokingly as a running buffet, as thousands of calories have to be consumed to keep him going, ably supplied by his Mum and Dad amongst others. Back home, those not there stayed glued to Facebook, awaiting news of the latest milestone achieved, as the hours passed and the tension rose. Finally, the news arrived after nearly 40 gruelling hours that ‘the eagle had landed’ and Mike was in safe and sound with another famous Ultra under his belt.
“You would not believe the world of mental and Physical pain Mike was in for a lot of that race.”
“This is the UltraMarathon that he rates as the best in the world. ‘That’s last year’s disaster at the Spartathlons laid to rest. I had no doubt from the start I would finish but, but as Lucy has pointed out I might like to look at my training!”
“Certainly not a year I could’ve done without my team not only because they help but because it’s such fun doing this with them. Ma and pa on kit and crew duties, Lucy on food and crew, Graham and Monty on night driving duties.” said Mike.
Report by Andrew Grainger