First marathon victory for Simon

The White Peak Marathon produced a new winner on Saturday with marathon debutant Simon Sleeney, of Clowne Road Runners, first across the line at Cromford Meadows.

To reach this end point, Simon and the other hardy competitors had completed the hundreds of feet of climb and descent on the Tissington and High Peak trails.

Simon said he found the high winds near the Parsley Hay summit a problem but had no difficulty descending the Sheep Pasture incline, where he caught the early leader, Oliver Jeffcote, and took 43 seconds out of him along the Cromford canal.

Former multiple winner of the race, Peter Bates of Bury AC, took third and also the first veteran 50 prize, just beating Alistair Chambers of Ivanhoe Runners, who was first veteran 40.

This course is generally reckoned about 15 minutes slower than a road marathon, even in good weather, and only the first two broke three hours. Simon Sleeney posted 2.57.01 and Oliver Jeffcote 2.57.44. The first lady was Jenny Lingrell of Barnsley Harriers, in 11th place from a field of 200.

Two local runners ran well. Roger Clarke came through well in the later stages to finish 14th and first vet 60, followed by Matlock AC’s John Birch in 16th.

In the Half Marathon, where runners face no climbing, times were faster. The winner was Rob Hughes of Telford Harriers in 1.17.57. There was another fantastic performance by a female runner as Alison Lavender of Oswestry Olympians took fourth place overall in 1.20.41. The team prize went to Riverside Runners.