Intrepid veteran Les takes Snowdonia Marathon by storm

SCALING THE HEIGHTS -- veteran Les Thurston coming to the end of the Snowdonia Marathon.
SCALING THE HEIGHTS -- veteran Les Thurston coming to the end of the Snowdonia Marathon.

Veteran Les Thurston flew the flag for Matlock Athletics Club when he took the demanding and spectacular Snowdonia Marathon by storm on Saturday.

More than 2,000 runners took part in the race, which encircles the highest mountain in Wales. But he finished fourth best in the category for male competitors aged 65 and over and clocked a fine time of four hours, 21.13 seconds.

“It was a bit damp early on,” reported intrepid Les. “But it cleared up and, with very little wind, running conditions were decent.”

The following day, Matlock fielded a sizeable contingent of runners for the Worksop Half-Marathon, which wended its way through Clumber Park and attracted a total of 2,421 competitors.

Established in 1982, the event encourages Hallowe’en-themed fancy dress, and first home for the club was Colin Davenport in one hour, 19.20 minutes. He was followed by Simon Croft in 1.25.53, Peter Wilmot in 1.26.46, Andy Hall in 1.33.30, Simon Flitter in 1.33.30, Jason Turner in 1.37.14, Andy Hodkin in 1.43.34, Emma Machin in 1.44.52, Roseana Croft in 1.45.32, Steve Holt in 1.56.08, Gavin Simmons in 2.01.16, Laurie Croft in 2.01.42 and Michelle Lester in 2.12.01.

Elsewhere, Christine Howard was an excellent fourth lady home and first in the 45-49 age category in the Macclesfield Forest Off-Road Duathlon, posting a time of 2.02.53, while Olivia Allen was second in the U11 girls’ section in the opening race of of the Derbyshire Cross-Country Mini League season at Buxton.

The Matlock club also staged the first of their monthly 10k handicap races of the winter, which followed a route from Arc Leisure to Matlock Bath and back. Twelve made it to the start line, with Billy Cartwright taking most of the plaudits by setting a course record of 37.19 minutes, just beating brother Ben (37.20).

Helpful conditions produced many more quality performances. Other times were: Karl Webster 40.07, Peter Wilmot 41.46, Jim Thorneycroft 42.55, Robert Clough 43.47, John Brennan 43.51, Myles Webster 48.49, Jonathan Lake 49.12, Neil Webster 49.33 and Mark Jackson 50.16.

The previous Sunday, Matlock’s Sam Thompson led the club’s runners in the Trust 10 Longshaw Estate 10k Race, not only taking third place in 43.57 minutes but also beating dad Scott, who crossed the line seventh in 45.42 minutes.