Most of the weekend action took place at opposite ends of the compass, with Harriers competing at events in Plymouth and Edinburgh.
Up in Edinburgh, two club members - Jamie Palmer and Scott-2-Trigs-Jordan - were taking on the mighty challenge of the marathon distance. The the ever popular event forms part of a weekend long running festival, held each year on May Bank Holiday weekend, in the Scottish capital. Traditionally this race has been struck by soaring temperatures, so thankfully, a rather balmy but semi-overcast day greeted the participants this year as they made their way along the course that starts and finishes in Hollyrood Park, near St. Arthur's Seat.
Both our guys had pre-race targets that they wanted to achieve; for Jamie, it was it first ever marathon (hard to believe, given his vast experience and years of running, but true), and for Scott, his second, and so he was looking to build upon his previous time of 3:34, run in London in 2012.
For some reason, the organisers have opted to protect people's personal details by not publishing a full list of results this year, so we don't know Jamie and Scott's official chip to chip times, however, they are in the region of 3h10 for Jamie (he was hoping for close to 3 hours and so, for a first attempt at this distance and on the back of a winter of disrupted training following a nasty fall whilst running on Woodbury Common), this is extremely encouraging and shows the promise of a sub 3h clocking in the near future.
Scott was aiming to just duck under 3h30 and, we hear, ever so narrowly missed this, his time approximately 3h31. Still a great effort and showing that our 2 Trigs is just as at home on the roads as he is grinding out a rhythm uphill, in the mud on our Devonshire cliffs!
Devon County Track and Field Championships, Plymouth
Perhaps the enforced change of venue for this year's championships, following the recent temporary closure of the Exeter track, meant that we had less members competing at this year's county championships, held on the track at Brickfields Arena, Plymouth. Nevertheless, for those who did opt to trek off down the A38 on bank holiday Sunday, the journey proved worthwhile, as all three members came away with medals, PBs and/or SBs.
Second claim member, Tom Merson, stormed to unchallenged victories in both the 3000m (8:49:99) and 1500m (around 4:13:89).
Adam Miller, always keen to have a crack at new events and distances and to lead by example in his role as men's team captain, took on his first Senior 1500m race. Inexperienced at this distance - indeed, at track events as a whole - Adam ran a very astute and tactically clever race to cross the line in silver medal position (behind Tom) in 4:25:43. With Merson disappearing into the distance, half-a-dozen other men were left to battle it out for the silver. Adam positioned himself well in the chasing pack and pushed himself to the limit down the home straight to finish second, also picking up an Over 35 Men’s Gold.
In a mixed 3000m race, Dave Eveleigh was towards the back of the field but had a really good battle with local category rival, David Phillips from SWRR, for the spoils in the over 60s men section. Although he narrowly missed out on the gold, Dave was thrilled with his time - an excellent 11:59:35: a time which eclipses most of the times he ran for this distance when he was in the vet 55 category. The time was well inside the 13 minutes standard which entitled him to collect his well deserved silver medal, even against limited opposition.
Muskies Madne5.5, Plymouth
Nope, not a typo, that is 5.5 that you read in the title of this race which also gives away it's distance: 5.5 miles. I, Ellie Sutcliffe, was the lone Harrier representative at this multi-terrain race, held on the Saturday evening from King's Tamerton, on the outskirts of Plymouth. Billed as a trail race, the run was unfortunately only 1 part trail to 2 parts Plymouth housing estate. Had I have known this, I probs wouldn't have made the trip down there. Nonetheless, it was a well organised race by the Plymouth Muskateers (you know, the ones who wear those lovely turquoise running vests?!) and I had a good race, having a really competitive tussle with 4 other females for the top three spots. In the end, I finished 2nd lady, just 10 seconds behind first, and having been given a confidence boost that my calf can now handle fast descents on tarmac: good to know!