Busy day for Matlock athletes

Sunday saw Matlock Athletics Club members take part in two annual running events held locally.

A cool morning saw the start of a very busy Clowne Half Marathon which incorporated the Derbyshire AAA Championships.

With 614 runners preparing to run the 28th staging of this popular Half Marathon, the rain began; drizzle at first which turned into a sharp shower.

However, conditions improved during the race and it wasn’t that long before the rain subsided and gave way to clear but still cool running conditions.

Another regular factor of this race is the wind, which did not seem to faze the winner. In just 1:11:51, Sheffield Running Club Member Meles Okbazghi had crossed the line; an incredible time but as Meles was running as a guest member he was not able to claim first prize which instead went to Mark Couldwell of Charnwood AC who finished in a time of 1:12:35.

The first Matlock AC runner home was Colin Davenport who finished in eighth place in a time of 1:16:32.

Second Matlock runner home was Alan Pickering who finished in 15th place in a time of 1:23:32 while the third of Matlock’s finishers was Martin Lea who 137th in a time of 1:37:52 but who had an interesting race with former Matlock AC runner Dennis Holmes.

Holmes had overtaken Martin during the race and it wasn’t until the last few hundred meters of the race that Lea had turned it around again and powered his way home beating Holmes by just seven seconds.

The excitement didn’t stop there as the winners of the Derbyshire AAA Championships were announced.

Matlock’s Colin Davenport took first place winning gold, with Alan Pickering claiming third place and a bronze medal for the second year in a row.

The second race of the day was the Matthew Walker Christmas Pudding 10k race at Shipley Park, Heanor.

On an undulating course, a record 881 runners took part.

The winner was Rich Weir of Derby AC in 31.36 and first lady home was Lisa Palmer of Heanor RC in 37.06.

Two ladies from Matlock AC completed the course with good times - Christine Howard n 41.25 and Kate Hemsley 46.52.