Olympic champion Mo Farah leaves lasting impression on Matlock AC runner

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Mo Farah took his second Great North Run title then made a lasting impression on one lucky Matlock AC member.

Double Olympic champion, Farah, ran the fastest half marathon by a British athlete to finish in 59 minutes 22 seconds ahead of Stanley Biwott of Kenya.

He then did his customary interviews and posed for pictures but before he could race off Dennis Belbin got closer than Biwott did in the last 200 metres.

The Matlock AC athlete, Belbin, who finished the 35th Great North Run in Newcastle slightly behind in 1.47.10, grabbed a picture with World Champion Farah.

Fifty-seven thousand runners took part in all, and as many lined the route, including Matlock’s Andy Lessiter, Belbin, Julie Goodwin and Antonia finished.

Lessiter finished in the top 1,000 with a time of 1.30.41, Belbin 1.47.10, Goodwin 2.19.30 and lady captain, Nicky Dick’s daughter, Antonia 2.49.31.

Elsewhere, the return of the Pilsley race on September 10 saw 100 runners take to the start line outside the Devonshire Arms, with clubs from as far as Sale, Totley and Southwell. The 6.85-mile course consisted of 780-foot descent spanning over rolling cross country hills that gave runners the chance to stretch their legs.

Stuart Bond, DPFR, won in time of 40.07, five minutes ahead of second place Austin Frost, 45.11, DPFR. First MAC was Andy Sheldon, 48.56, in 12th, Scott Thompson, 13th 49.20, Mark Pollak 29th 55.47, Dan Ashcroft 41st 57.45, Greg Woodward 46th 58.50, Andy Heath 59th 61.56, Paul Keetley 67th 63.57, Darren Nutall 70th 64.34, Steven Holt 77th 66.34, Ian Gibbs 86th 68.37.

Afterwards the runners posed with the Olympic torch from the 1948 games.

It was a damp Autumnal start for the monthly Whitworth Thread 5k on September 12 and this time saw a win from first timer Graham Cooper in 17.23.

MAC’s Billy Cartwright was second in 17.46. For the ladies, Alison Pye led them home in 22.37.

There were over 20 MAC runners in a field of 95 and William Croft, aged six, continued to improve in a time of 24.57. A total of £90.41 was raised for Derbyshire Federation of Mental Health, nominated by Tessa Brough and the Thread has now nearly raised £2,000 for various charities since it’s inception.

The Grindleford Goat Cyclo-Sportive also took place on Saturday. There are three routes and MACs Christine Howard took on the toughest Billy - 108k with 1,577m ascent and finished in 5.13 hours. There were 390 entrants in the Nanny and the Billy.

As the Tour of Britain passed through Grindleford on Friday, a competitve hill climb event was organised to mark the occasion with a cycle climb up Sir William Hill.

It was the last race in the Peak Half Series 2015 on Sunday - the Ashbourne Half Marathon. MAC won this series last year and were hoping for some good turnouts and performances again this season.

Lots of events going on this weekend, however, four MAC runners lined up at the start and put in some impressive performances.

Billy Cartwright, after coming second at the Whitworth Thread on Saturday, came third in a time of 1.22.29. The winner was Chris Patterson of Ashbourne RC in 1.20.08.

Other MAC results: 11th Matt Haywood in 1.30.46, 34th Dennis Holmes in 1.39.03 and 82nd Dan Ashcroft in 1.50.16. There were 160 runners. The first lady was Rebecca Harrison of Cheadle in 1.29.29.