Busy weekend for Worksop Harriers as big marathons finally return

It was a busy weekend of many miles for the Worksop Harriers as they stepped into April with one of the big UK marathons returning on Sunday, writes John Harrison.

Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 11:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 11:29 am
One of the teams of Worksop runners who kept busy at the weekend.
One of the teams of Worksop runners who kept busy at the weekend.

But first they took part in the Chicken Run Fell Race on Saturday from Hayfield Primary School. The 8.4 mile route was new for this year and with over 1600 feet of ascent, offered some fantastic views and varied terrain.

Kerry Saville had a fantastic run with his 'dual nationality' of DPFR & Worksop Harriers, home in 1:14:55, closely followed by Richard Hind in 1:15:40, Arron Jackson in 1:22:18, Jim Staveley in 1:27:09, Gemma Hind in 1:42:28 and Sally Staveley in 1:59:51.

Closer to home, ‘It’s grim up North’ hosted their Roche Abbey Trail Running festival with a variety of distances on offer with a multi-lap hilly trail course around the scenic abbey and local Hills.

Picking up the silverware, Matt Daly took 1st place on the 20 mile race in a time of 2:43:16 to put in an impressive weekend of training on the way to an upcoming ultra, and joining Matt on the 20, Sally Hamer also covered the course in 3:55:23. David Bulmer joined the duo opting for the half marathon option and some hard work meant a chance to join Matt on a celebratory tipple for breaking 2 hours on the challenging course in 1:59:37

On to Sunday and 6 Harriers made the trip over the Pennines to the Manchester Marathon and despite some incredible running for the gents in an attempt to steal the limelight, we’d be remiss if we didn’t start with the ladies this week and some incredible performances and PB’ing.

First home for the ladies was Rachel Silcock who after first running the London Marathon in October-2021 set herself the lofty goal of 'Good For Age' London Marathon qualification to allow herself guaranteed entry by achieving the high standard. Six months of hard work and focus paid off as Rachel clearing the first 30k with an impressively metronomic 55:27/1:55:07/2:44:28 (10k/21.1k/30k) before a real gritty performance through the final 12k to make sure the sub-4 dream didn’t go down without a fight. Rachel crossed the finish line in 3:54:51, not only giving her a clear 5 minute UNDER the GFA target but knocking a simply incredible 48 minutes off her marathon PB.

Also out of the Orange Start with Rachel was Cathy Mhembere who after achieving her GFA qualification back at York in October, was on the hunt for further improvements and a PB, going off at a brave pace and also clearing the halfway mark at 1:54:06 putting her on track for a PB.

Some minor niggling unfortunately knocked Cathy off her pace as she entered the final quarter but Cathy still managed to keep her composure and not drop too much time as she still finished in a strong time of 4:03:22.

Still with the ladies and one making their marathon debut as Emma Butcher celebrated a big birthday (though not on the day) by joining the Marathon Club alongside training partner Michelle Atherton.

After putting in the training miles together it was only fitting that the two should help get each other round the 26.2 miles as the two shared the pace setting to cross the finish line together in 5:36:52.

Michelle and Emma both used the marathon as part of a fundraising effort for Alzheimer’s society for a very valuable cause alongside their marathon goals.

Last but not least and on to the Men, two gents went chasing some great times as Matt Chappell made his Marathon debut and showed great pacing experience beyond his first time outing as he cleared the mid-way in 1:40:12 before a really strong final 1/3 as he passed many of the runners he has initially let run away in the first part of the race to finish with a huge negative split of 1:40:12/1:34:35 in a time of 3:14:49.

Not far behind Matt and spending much of the marathon within viewing distance of each other, Steve Carr seized on an excellent block of training to go chasing big marathon PB’s after previously having failed to crack the marathon distance.

A clear plan and confidence in his ability saw Steve ready to tackle the full 26.2 miles as paced superbly through 10, 20 and 30 km. A bit of cramping threatened to derail the good work with 3 mile to go but some quick thinking and keeping calm saw Steve quickly readjust, get moving again and cross the finish line in 3:23:51.

Another huge PB for the day of nearly 18 minutes. With both gents showing excellent progression and ability, there’s certainly more to come so it certainly won’t be just ladies of Worksop setting the lofty target of GFA qualification.