Star-studded Helpston dominate Green Wheel

Aaron Scott.

Aaron Scott.

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Helpston Harriers, an unofficial running club and training group with lofty aspirations, dominated Sunday’s Green Wheel Relay, winning in a course record time, writes Barry Warne.

The team, which included many of the region’s top runners, completed the 50-mile course around the Peterborough Green Wheel cycle network in a speedy 4:42.09, finishing over 24 minutes ahead of runners-up Stamford Striders.

Such was the dominance of the Harriers that their athletes ran the fastest time on each leg, apart from the final one where Tom Musson finished second to the Stamford athlete. However, the race was already won by then.

The competition rules allow runners to complete a maximum of two legs each, and with Aaron Scott of Notts AC and former Werrington Jogger Anthony Johnson both doubling up they were always going to be a hard team to beat.

Johnson ran the second and third legs covering the 11.56 miles from Eye to Etton via Newborough in 1:05.26. He handed over to Scott who ran 16.71 miles from Etton to Norman Cross via Ferry Meadows in 1:30.48.

Peterborough AC’s Steve Robinson, Josh Lunn of Bedford and County, and Highgate Harrier Tom Musson made up the rest of the team which was very much a who’s who of the top local running talent.

The winning ladies team were an amalgam of Cambridgeshire club runners, and included athletes from Nene Valley Harriers, Yaxley Runners and Eye Runners.

Kerry Balmer of Yaxley led after the first leg with the Nene Valley trio of Jordan Foster, Sophie Wilkinson and Louise Blake all helping to extend their lead, as did Eye’s Melanie Tindale. Their finishing time of 6:41.55 gave them a huge winning margin of over an hour.