Lessons Learned as Edwards Shows his Class
This summer, one Harborough AC youngster might be forgiven for ruing the end of the school year more than is usually expected; as Sam Edwards still at the tender age of just 14 has used this seasons Schools Track and Field campaign to firmly establish himself amongst both local and national elites for 800m. Racing in the Under-15 age bracket, Edwards was not even born when either his High School or Harborough AC Club Records were set (in 1973 and 1985 respectively). Yet this year, he has not only reduced his own Personal Best mark by some 8.5s rocketing into the top-20 of the UK rankings in the process but has also expunged both the marks from the annuls; courtesy of his most recent clocking of 2:03.40. And he chose the highest stage to do so, at the recent English Schools Championships, held at the globally-recognised Gateshead Stadium.
Having been selected as a result of his win in the County equivalent just three weeks earlier, Edwards chose to run a brave race in his national heat, chasing hard on the heels of the fastest two runners in the Country. His combative tactics bore fruit, as he took third spot in that race, with the aforementioned time. However, the effort clearly took its toll for the final, and he was unable to quite repeat his heroics, finishing a very creditable seventh as cramp took hold.
Edwards, who now boasts County titles and representation on both the track and country trails, looked back on his exploits with a maturity echoed by his running mentality, countenancing: Ive really enjoyed my running this year over all types of distances and grounds and a lot of what Ive managed to do has surprised a lot of people; including me! To be honest, I just go out and run [according to] how I feel, and I seem to be doing ok!
A couple of days earlier, and both Chris Holliday and Niamh and Mollie Watson were also lacing up their spikes, to compete at the Charnwood AC Open meeting. On a track that would host a raft of International and Team GB stars just days later, the trio ably represented the black and yellow tricot of HAC; Holliday over the 100m and 200m, and the twins over the two-lap distance. Tracking her sister all the way, Mollie chose the race to further lower her lifetime best by over 1.5s (recording a time of 2:40.07), while Niamh came close to matching that feat, with her 2:39.12 taking just over a second from her previous best.
Over the sprint double, Chris Holliday maintained his excellent form this term, with the longer discipline seeing his register his quickest time for six years stopping the timing beam at 26.72s taking him inside the top-50 nationally in the MV45 age group. Sitting just outside that similar echelon over the shorter version, his 13.43s for the 100m merely reinforced his standing.
In the U20 Midlands Championships 100m, Roy Barber overcame a recent bout of illness to successfully qualify for the final with a consistent clocking of 11.53s, for third place. He followed that up less than two hours later with seventh place in the final, in a time of 11.66s.
Away from the track, Lin Farrow completed the 2012 East Midlands Grand Prix Series in fine style. Her 51:19 clocking for the Milton Keynes 10k saw her take third spot on the day in the FV55 category (299th overall), cementing the same bronze medal position in the overall standings. Elsewhere on the roads, a quartet of Club members took on the notoriously hilly challenge of the Hungarton 7 mile course, for the second in the 2012 Leicestershire Road Running Summer League. In fourth spot amongst the MV40s, Ady King led the foursome over the line, in 42:08, and 21st place overall. Adam Brooks using the outing as part of his fell training was next, in 60th spot with 45:43. Tony Harrison clocked 53:15 for 183rd, while Jackie King completed the representation with 59:34 for 294th from the 449 runners.
With her 12-in-twelve-in-2012 challenge having reached the half-way stage, Rachael Hardman chose the Milton Keynes Enigma Ultra event to chalk up number seven. With the marathon held as part of a two-day festival of long distance running, Hardman found herself in good company for her endeavours. And the setting served her well, as she finished in a commendable 4:07:57, for 13th position on day one. Next on the agenda is the Thames Meander race, in around six weeks time.
Finally, concluding the recent road surface action, Hannah Stewart competed at the Braunstone Parkrun. A time of 29:52 for the 5km route saw the nine-year-old finish 105th from a field of 146.