Athletes take on the High Peak Relay

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Matlock AC had to pull out all the stops again on Sunday 11th November to honour their commitment to clashing events.

The High Peak Relay which the club has taken part in every year since its inception in 1990 fell on the same morning as round two of the Booth’s Decorators cross country league race at Chaddesden Park in Derby.

With the strongest team being sent to the relay they did not disappoint. Eight stages of varying distances out along the High Peak Trail from Cromford to Parsley Hay and back local rivalry is always tough and this year proved to be no exception.

All MAC’s top eight were available and on good form and took the victory on five of the stages along with two second places and a third to overhaul North Derbyshire Running Club by a mere 90 seconds.

Ben Cartwright headed out on stage one, which is all uphill and set the standard by reaching the first changeover at the head of the field.

Wins followed on legs two and three courtesy of Colin Davenport and Joel Stevens but there was no opportunity to take things easily.

Alan Pickering then took up the running, recording a second place on his leg before the race then turned 180 degrees to begin its home straight from Parsley Hay.

A fine run from Richard Bradbury earned another stage win then Ian Phillips banged in a third place on the longest leg which is traditionally reserved for the best runners.

Incidentally, third was also Phillips’ position at last week’s Dovedale Dash showing what superb form he is in at the moment.

The penultimate stage was taken up by Andy Whittaker whose turn of speed on this sprinter leg took second place before handing over to Karl Webster for the final flourish.

Hanging onto the backs of the leaders, Webster left it until the final descent into Cromford before nosing ahead to record the last win of the day. This cemented the club’s second ever win in this race in a total time of 164 minutes 19 seconds.

Flying the club’s flag at in Chaddesden that morning was therefore left to the remaining racers who gave a good account of themselves to finish in sixth place in the mens race and seventh in the ladies. Simon Flitter (36th), Simon Croft (41st).

Completing the team John Birch (72nd), Jim Thorneycroft (7th), Dave Lane (77th), Martin Lea (78th), Mick Kuszynski (81st), Nicky Dick (94th and 1st over 50 lady), Alison Pye (98th), Jan Forrester (130th and 1st over 60 lady), Julie Goodwin (154th) and Paul Keetley (168th).