Haggi Haggi Haggi! Masterful Win at Pensford

02 May
Due to my previous extensive report of the National 12-stage road relay and our AGM I have combined performances for the past two weeks. 
1 JON WILLS – Jon gave us the perfect start in the National 12-stage relay championship, laying  the foundation from which we were able to go on and achieve our top six target. His outstanding time of 26:05 was easily his best ever for the long stage and equal fifth fastest overall on the day. 
2 TOM RUSSELL – Tom had one of the toughest legs of the day on stage 7, which traditionally attracts many of the clubs’ top guns. It was no different this year, though Tom for his part was unlucky to take over just out of reach of international pair James Walsh and Phil Hinch who had the considerable advantage of running shoulder to shoulder. Even so he did the job needed to lift us from 8th back into contention into the top six place targeted with another fine time of 26:17. 
3 HARRY WEBB – After Robbie Bugden had finally put us back in the top six on the penultimate stage, Harry refused to settle for that and finished it off with a typical flat out effort to get to within 20 seconds of Northern champions Leeds, who were one of the pre-race favourites. It left us little over two minutes away from the medals. Harry’s time of 14:43 was the fastest of all our short stage runners, including Steve Mitchell and Rich Peters.
1 JULIA BELYAVIN – Julia may not earn many headlines, but she always prepares thoroughly and her consistency was rewarded yet again when she sliced more than two minutes off her previous best in the London marathon with a time of 3:03:07. Next year no doubt she will be gunning to break the 3 hour barrier. 
2 NICKY BROOKLAND – After putting her latest injury problems behind her, Nicky made a winning comeback when she scored a runaway victory in the tough Pensford 10K. Her time of 38:39 was more than a minute faster than when she last ran the race and suggests she could get well inside 37 mins in the forthcoming Bristol 10K. 
3 HELEN FINES – Helen continued her successful fell-running career with an easy victory in the Mynydd Troed 7M/2700ft at Pengleford in Wales.
1 NATHAN YOUNG – Despite restricting his training in recent weeks due to college commitments Nathan finished  a creditable third in the latest Yeovil 5K in15:46 and followed it up last weekend with second place in the gruelling Pensford 10K. 
2 SEAN HAZELL – Sean came in as a late replacement for Rob Whalley in the National 12 stage and did well to run faster than he had at the Midlands with a time of 15:35 for the short stage. 
3 RICH PETERS – Though keeping us very much in the race on the second stage in the Ntional road relay, Rich made the mistake of running tactically to end up running more than 20 seconds slower than he had at the Midlands.
1 HAGGI CHEPKWONY – Haggi returned to racing after an extended lay-off to score an impressive victory in the Pensford 10K. He won by nearly three minutes in 33:50, a respectable time for the tough hilly course. Hopefully he will now form the spearhead with Rob Whalley for our challenge to regain the British masters road relay title. 
2 ALEC WOODS – Alec proved he is rounding into shape for the Masters road relay with second place in the Corsham St George’s 10K. His time of 34:29, like Haggi’s at Pensford, was good for what is a relatively slow course. 
3= HEATH BAMPTON and MARK SCRUTTON – Heath finished a close third in the Highworth 5M, just 11 seconds behind the winner in 27:45, while Mark made his long awaited comeback by finishing as high as 4th in the Pensford 10K, his time of 38:14 suggesting he could be nearer 36mins on a flatter course,which bodes well for his impending move up to the V50 age group.
MIKE DOWN (30-04-10)