It’s almost unheard of for a lady to win a mixed running race, but Philippa Taylor achieved that remarkable feat in The Vale of Belvoir on Sunday as she left both men and women trailing in her wake.
The 49 year-old Stamford based Nene Valley Harrier was too hot for the rest of the field to handle in the Keyworth 15k Trail Race on a course that wound it’s way across some of the muddiest agricultural land that the organisers could find.
Taylor is regarded as something of an off-road specialist and has represented England several times in cross-country events.
And she used all of her vast experience to hold off a late challenge from runner-up Alistair Hume of Rushcliffe AC to win by 13 seconds in a time of 1:06.44.
Taylor’s Nene Valley team-mate Ruth Jones also had a good run finishing as second lady in 1:15.36.
Married to a shepherd, Jones is currently helping out with lambing and is no stranger to the mud.
Megan Sims of Peterborough AC battled wind and rain to gain herself a fine 400m personal best (PB) of 63.12 in the Leicester University Open meeting on Saturday.
Although primarily a hurdler, it was an impressive performance, given the conditions and that it was Sims’ first track race of the season.
Nene Valley’s Barry Warne and Ruth Jones ran in the 5,000m B race at Leicester finishing fifth and sixth respectively in disappointing times of 20:15 and 20:22. Both athletes were worn down by a blustery headwind on the back straight.
Sophie Wilkinson-Hargate stepped up her London Marathon training with a good run in the Coventry Half Marathon on Sunday. The Nene Valley Harrier finished as 27th lady with a 1:39.23 clocking.
AIR TRAINING CORPS NATIONAL
Five teams of Nene Valley athletes competed against the Air Training Corps national team in a cross-country race at RAF Cranwell on Saturday, enjoying a good deal of success.
Matt Dowling achieved the first win of the day in the Under 15 race. Dowling took the field on from the gun, and won handsomely over the 3.4km course in a time of 13:53.
Harvey Hancock finished seventh, with Matt Church 16th. George Woodward took 19th place ahead of Dan Lawrence who was 23rd.
Alex Hampson showed his confidence by asking whether there was a course record before the Under 20 race. The lanky Stamford-based athlete finished well clear of the field completing the 5k course in a time of 17:10. Jordan Mayhew finished fifth.
Hannah Knight was unlucky to miss out on a medal in the Under 13 girls race finishing in fourth place, missing out on a medal by just a few seconds. Knight was well supported by Eden Oldfield in eighth and Abbey Wright who was 22nd.
Oliver Oakley finished fifth in the boys Under 17 race while Codi-Leigh Middleton placed 19th.
Imogen Woodard came home fourth in the ladies Under 20 race with Amy Gibbons 8th.
Kelsi Ellis and Alyssa Carter placed 11th and 13th respectively in the girls Under 17 event.