Mansfield Harriers make a fine start in the Nottinghamshire Mini League

Martha Manson - clear winner in Mini League opener. (Photo: supp)
Martha Manson - clear winner in Mini League opener. (Photo: supp)

The league is for the U11, U13 and U15 age groups and a strong team performance saw the club come away with an overall narrow victory from Rushcliffe in second place and four age group team wins.

It is a highly encouraging start to the season from the talented group of junior athletes and they will look for more success throughout the cross country season.

First out was the U11 girls and a dominant display of front running from Martha Manson saw her pull away from her rivals half way around the course and she came back a clear winner. Daisy Rowley ran strongly for fourth with Lauren Pate coming back fifth to complete the scoring team.

Showing great strength in the age group Esme Evans placed sixth, Catherine Rivas seventh and Evelyn Wheat 10th.

The only disappointment on the day was in the U11 boys where the club had only two competitors and had to take the last finisher in the race plus one as a third placed team member and is clearly a focus area for the club going forward.

Jack Whysall and William Kenney had great runs to place 12th and 16th respectively.

The U13 girls were impressive taking the team event after a string of terrific performances with Charley Whysall placing second. narrowly missing first place after an exhilarating sprint to the line with a Notts AC athlete, Evie Clifton third and Isla Millns fourth to complete the scoring team.

Myannie Westwood was close behind in fifth, Olivia Wright ninth and Maisie Gill 18th.

Teddy Macintyre was with the leaders most of the way but just fell away over the last quarter of the race as fatigue kicked in from racing the day before, finishing fourth with Will Mcclemens ninth, Chris Nixon 14th, and the team third.

Fantastic running in the U15 age group saw Mansfield come away with two team and individual wins.

Lily Mason was looking to have a superb winter last year until illness curtailed her season, however now fully recovered she looked back to her best as she won the girls race with Olivia Shaw having her best run to date in a Mansfield vest in second and Maisy Slack fourth for a comfortable team win.

Amelia Arbon placed ffith, Florence Kenney 10th, Leila Shaw 13th and Martha Walker 18th.

Jack Pares worked his way through the field to take the lead on the fourth and final lap and went on to a clear win with Ollie Mcclemens third, Dan Adams eighth to close the team and Charlie Taylor 10th.

Good numbers from the club were in evidence at the Robin Hood Nottingham Half Marathon with Adam Wright first Harrier home in 29th place recording 1.20.31.

He was closely followed by Drew Hurst in 51st (1.22.36), Neil Kennedy 81st (1.24.41) and Dave Savage 84th (1.25.03).

Ben Mcclemens was next home in 151st (1.28.26), followed by Andy Walker 247th (1.32.43), Steve Little 328th (1.34.48), Neil Halstead 520th (1.38.36), Dave Carver 778th (1.43.32), Natasha Carver 1336th (1.50.10), Lea Huckerby 1997th (2.00.39), Martin White 3130th (2.11.29), Vikram Desai 32855th (2.13.45), Richard Bamford 3295th (2.18.16), Daisy Allsop 3520th (2.15.46), and Laura Hayes 4143rd (2.22.24).

Andy Longmead and athlete parent Lee Westwood are racing the Marathon de Sables next year - a remarkable footrace over six days and a distance of 250km in the Sahara Desert while carrying what is needed to survive in a bag.

As practice, both ran from Mansfield to Nottingham and went on to complete the Half Marathon while carrying a weighted bag covering well over a full marathon in total.

The Tissington Trail Half Marathon is raced on both the Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend and, taking advantage of the better Saturday conditions, Matt Bottomore had a terrific run for third place overall, breaking the 80 minute barrier for the first time with 1.19.28.

Geoff Bottomore was second Master 60, recording 1.34.22 for 31st, and Jo Horan placed 125th with 1.56.30.

On Sunday Wayne Lowe continued his recent excellent form, finishing sixth with 1.27.44, Paul Castledine 26th in 1.35.47 and also second Master 55.

George and Greg Holden made the journey north to race in the Sheffield 10K with both putting in solid performances. George placed 65th in a time of 38.22 and Greg 140th, recording 40.43.