Some Matlock runners are faster than a train

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Kristian Watson and Ruth Keeley battled through the winter weather to take the honours racing a train in Matlock Athletic Club’s inaugural Peak Rail 7 Runner v Steam race on Easter Monday.

The brainchild of MAC’s Jim Thorneycroft, with the help of Peak Rail and Derbyshire County Council, this seven-mile event saw runners racing on the new section of the White Peak Loop, which runs from Rowsley to Matlock, and the close proximity of the Peak Rail track to the course gave cheering supporters on the train a number of photographic opportunities.

The course is almost exclusively off road apart from a small section heading in to Matlock.

The train completed the seven mile journey in 57.24 minutes.

Of the 124 runners taking part, 54 beat the train.

First back was Kristian Watson in 41.34 and first lady was Ruth Keeley of Belper Harriers in 48.19.

First MAC home was Paddy Wright in second place overall in 42.04, followed by Andy Sheldon 44.17, Ian Watson 47.59, Dan Ashcroft 51.56, Jason Turner 52.30, Kathryn Berrisford 57.38, Les Thurston 60.23, Rachel West 61.38, Jan Forrester 62.37 and Jo Lloyd 65.00. Gavin Simmons DNF.

MAC’s Jan Forrester said: We had snow, sleet, light and heavy rain, slush, floods, mud but we also had guts, determination, comeraderie, energy and fun! “Unfortunately some were unable to make it due to the weather conditions but runners came from as far afield as Congleton, Manchester, Mansfield and Stoke to contribute to a truly great experience.

“It was cold and wet and our feet were frozen but there was a bond of friendship between the runners and it really was about the taking part in very challenging conditions.”