Ladies to the fore in races

The Wirksworth Incline Races took place on Sunday in very warm conditions with a record entry level for the newest challenge – the 0.5mile Infants Race.

A total of 40 hardy youngsters took part in that one, while for the long course there were 107 finishers.

It was a good day for the girls. All three of the races are mixed but two of the three were won by female competiors.

In the Seniors, Stuart Bond of the Dark Peak Runners defended his title to win in exactly the same time as he ran last year – 23:50. The first lady was Clare McKittrick of Charnwood Athletic Club.

In the new Under 18s category of the main race, Kristian Edwards of Tamworth and Holly Blount of Mansfield won their respective races.

In the Juniors Race, Jenni Willison of Derby Athletics Club led the whole field home and won the race, continuing a trend that started last year when another girl, Charlotte Bellingham, won the race.

In second place and first boy home was Sam Horton of Belper Harriers.

The infants race suffered from the leaders being misdirected by a member of the public and running a shorter course. Race adjudicators ruled the positions stand but their times will not be entered into the Infant Course Hall of Fame. Hope Hanby (nine) of Wirksworth won the race overall and Matthew Holt (ten) was second.

The Incline Race is joined by two more races in the calendar hosted by Wirksworth Running Club. The club’s charity Tunnels and Trails 10K is on the evening of May 25 and the brand-new Fell Race has its first outing on October 15.