It’s been a busy weekend for some of Matlock Athletic Club’s members, starting with a trip to Derby’s Markeaton Park in the Derbyshire cross-country championships.
The recent heavy rain had left the usually well-drained parkland course soft and the going was heavy at times.
The first race – the under 11 girls over 1500m – brought the club’s only gold medal courtesy of Hope Hanby’s fine performance, edging out the competition by a single second. This was a great run by a promising young athlete.
The under 11s boys’ race had Reuben Orr taking on boys a year older than him and he excelled, finishing just out of the medals in fourth.
Emily Croft was the club’s only runner in the under 13s girls’ race, having only just moved up into that age group. Some tough competition saw her finish in ninth place but, having only recently turned 11, it was a commendable showing.
In the under 13s boys’ race, Matlock AC had enough lads to make up the required number for a full team. Led by Cameron Orr, who took third place overall, the support from John Webster in 14th and Sam Allen in 17th earned Cameron a double bronze with the team podium place, only beaten by the considerably bigger clubs of Derby and Amber Valley.
The ladies’ race over 8km was a tough run for Christine Howard, who finished seventh against some youthful competition, although the age-related reward of the silver medal in the 40-49 age group shows her continuing determination. Nicky Dick, taking third in the 40-49 category in her first county championship, provided the back-up, along with Julie Goodwin, to secure the silver for that age group.
Finally, the club’s men lined up to do battle over 10km. A welcome return to Matlock AC by Josh Moody showed he is well on the way back to fitness, taking fourth in the under 20s category.
The rest were all veterans, or ‘masters’, to use the new euphemism, except for young Simon Flitter who finished as 15th senior.
The masters’ team title was taken by Andy Whittaker, Karl Webster, Simon Croft and John Hurley. Mick Moorhouse, John Birch and Rob Allen were the other runners, along with Clive Russell taking second over 60, only a month short of his 70th birthday.
The next day it was the first of 2012’s Shining Cliff fell races. Almost 150 turned out for a very muddy experience on the woodland slopes between Alderwasley and Ambergate.
The clear winner over the 7km was Peter Hodkinson of Erewash Valley RC.
First Matlock runner home was birthday boy Mick Moorhouse, expecting that his new-found 11-hour-old status in the over 60s category would bring the dividends associated with the diminishing benefits of ageing.
However, much cursing could be heard as it became apparent that only 11 seconds ahead of him was a man of equal age and similarly youthful looks.
Next it was Christine Howard taking the second lady’s position before John Birch and Nicky Dick, all pinning on their numbers for the second consecutive day, and Mick Kuszynski.
In the junior race which provided the supporting event, John Webster took second place, his sister Elizabeth was first girl and Marianna Kuszynski was third girl.