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newport runners line up before race

Newport Runners En Masse for Sexarathon

Author | 10 September 2019

For the sixth and final time this year on 4th September, Newport & District Running Club’s members assembled en masse on Wednesday night for a Sexarathon race organised by Telford AC.

The final race of the Sexarathon series is the annual “Harper Scarper”, a 5k race which starts and finishes at Harper Adams University in Edgmond. The course took runners around country lanes, farm tracks and woodland paths just north of the university, and finished with a sprint finish on grass right in the heart of the university grounds.

Tom Pope was the first Newport runner back, taking 57th place (in a field of 412) with a time of 19:39. He was just ahead of David Brown, who was 65th, and just broke the 20-minute mark with 19:58. Oscar Johnstone ran a time of 20:49 to finish 89th, just ahead of Phil Dolding, who clocked 20:54 to be 92nd. Phil Cross wasn’t too far behind them, finishing 114th in a time of 21:22, and he was closely followed by Richard Bennett, who was 118th in 21:34. Peter Johnstone was the next Newport runner back, taking 122nd place in a time of 21:43, and Neil Fairbrother wasn’t too far back, finishing 129th in 22:18.

Darren Hesbrook-Edwards was next for Newport, 138th in 22:33, and Simon Yap followed him closely home, 145th in a time of 22:37. Newport runners continued to come in thick and fast, with the close-finishing trio of Nigel Ingram (150th, 22:48), Liz Bennett (156th, 23:00) and Emily Pope (158th, 23:02) just beating out Phil Link, who was 166th in 23:18. Kirsty Greenhead was next, 171st with a time of 23:28, and Stephen Mansbridge was back shortly afterwards, 188th in 23:59. Amy Hughes (202nd, 24:35) and Jo Lutner (205th, 24:40) finished closely together, and Ellen Deighton followed them back, 222nd in 25:12.

Ralph Humphries and Selwyn Plant had a very close finish, as they finished 228th and 229th respectively, with Ralph taking it on the line, edging out Selwyn by 1 second with a time of 25:37. Lee Sutton wasn’t far behind, 233rd with a time of 25:41. Jennie Waters was next, 242nd in 25:59, and Oliver Stokes wasn’t far behind, 252nd with a time of 26:16. Martin Murdoch was 261st in 26:48, whilst Stephen Fowles took 268th spot in a time of 27:05. Annabel Montgomery (281st, 27:32) and Nick Wylie (282nd, 27:33) had a very close finish, crossing the line almost together.

Other NDRC finishers: Tracey Powell (294th, 28:12), Steve Cannon (306th, 28:57), Helen Reid (29:12), Helen Jackson (319th, 29:44), Donna Hesbrook-Edwards (323rd, 30:20), Sue Wylie (325th, 30:31), Lisa Yap (327th, 30:42), Lorraine Meredith (330th, 30:47), Louise Patterson (33rd, 30:52), Sarah Higginson (346th, 31:57), Jennifer Williams (352nd, 32:08), John Stokes (371st, 33:35), Aimee Marriott (399th, 38:41), Hilary Stevenson (401st, 40:04).

Runners who completed all races in the series were rewarded with a technical running t-shirt and a custom-made Sexarathon series chocolate bar, which went down a treat with all finishers. Liz Bennett managed to take third place in her category for the overall series, the second time in a row that she has accomplished this feat. Hilary Stevenson, fresh from competing in the World Triathlon Finals, where she was classified fourth, was first in her age category.

Wolverhampton Half : 1/9/19

Last weekend, Ralph Humphries was the sole Novaportan to take on the Wolverhampton Half Marathon. This race starts and finishes in West Park, following a circular route around roads in Aldersley and Fordhouses, to the north-west of the city. Ralph finished in 315th place, in a field of 470 runners, logging a time of 2:09:09.

Cheshire Half: 1/9/19

Also in action last weekend were a group of runners who ventured to Capesthorne Hall to take part in the Cheshire Half Marathon. The course started and finished at the 18th century country home, following a “lollipop” style route, out-and-back, with a loop around the villages of Gleadsmoss and Lower Withington. 798 runners made up the field for this race.

Alexia Tapley was the first Newport runner to complete the course, coming in a strong 243rd in a time of 1:45:08. Next back was John Metzger, 516th in 2:02:20. Anne Strowger ran strongly to finish 591st in 2:07:49, and not far behind her were Suzanne Potts (610th, 2:09:53) and Helen Edwards (611th, 2:11:48). Kay Wilkinson completed the Newport line up, and was 704, with a time of 2:21:50.

Gary Mountford’s 100th parkrun: 7/9/19

On Saturday, Gary Mountford joined the ever-growing list of Newport & District Running Club members who have joined the parkrun “100 club”. parkrun is a global series of free, weekly timed 5k runs across the planet, which take place every Saturday morning, at 9.00am in England, but at various other times around the world. Runners who achieve milestones of 50, 100, 250 and 500 runs are rewarded with t-shirts and entry into the parkrun milestone clubs. Gary’s 100th run earns him a black technical t-shirt.

Gary’s milestone was unusual from a Newport point of view, in that he was able to complete his milestone run at East Coast Park parkrun in Singapore, an example of the global nature of parkrun today, which grew from a single time trial event, started by one man in Bushy Park, London nearly 15 years ago. Gary finished in 32nd place in the run, out of a field of 118 runners, and clocked a time of 22:14. His wife Liz, a fellow club member, accompanied him on the run, and took 107th place in a time of 38:55. Perhaps surprisingly, they aren’t the only NDRC runners to have run at that particular event, despite it being over 8,000 miles away. Of Gary’s 100 parkruns, 93 were at Telford, with 1 each at Blackpool, Shrewsbury, Plymvalley, Stratford-upon-Avon, Isabel Trail (Stafford), Lower Hutt, and of course East Coast Park.

Lawley 5k Fun Run: 7/9/19

On Saturday, six Newport runners took part in the Lawley Fun Run, a 5k run around the north Telford suburb, which raises money for the Staffordshire, Shropshire & Cheshire Blood Bikes. There was a field of 219 runners taking part, and Darren Hesbrook-Edwards was the first Novaportan runner to finish, taking 18th place with a time of 23:38. Jo Lutner was next, 42nd in a time of 26:36, and Lee Sutton wasn’t too far behind her, finishing 58th in 28:57. Oliver Stokes was next, taking 62nd spot in 28:57, whilst his dad John was 134th in 35:50. Trudy Grant took 185th place, finishing in a time of 40:59.

Wingham 10k: 8/9/19

Whilst on their summer holiday in Kent, Tom and Emily Pope ran in the Wingham 10k. They ran together and finished in a time of 49:09. The course ran through the beautiful East Kent countryside with rolling hills, set near the city of Canterbury. A big uphill at the start made for a welcome down hill at the finish as the runners retraced their steps for the first and last few kilometres. Emily and Tom had lots of people commenting on how far from home they were, and they received a unique medal made by the Canterbury Pottery.

Gritstone Grind: 8/9/19

3 members of NDRC chose to spend their Sunday tackling the Gritstone Grind - an ultramarathon covering all 35 miles of the Gritstone Trail in Cheshire in one day, starting in Kidsgrove and ending in Disley. The sun was shining, and the hills, which included Mow Cop and Tegg’s Nose, made for a tough course, but the views from the top made the climbs worth the effort.

Lindsay Browning, in her second ever ultramarathon, was the 5th overall female to reach the finish line in an incredible 6 hours and 55 minutes. Ian Vann and Ellen Deighton ran together, with Ian coming back from injury and Ellen running her eighth ultramarathon this year, and were happy to finish in 9 hours and 51 minutes, comfortably beating their target time.

Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon: 8/9/19

On Sunday, 22 Newport runners made the journey to Lake Vyrnwy to take part in the annual half marathon around the shores of the lake. This particular race has become a firm favourite with Novaportan runners over the years, and this is shown by the strength of numbers attending, despite being over 90 minutes’ drive away. This year the field comprised 1,269 runners, and the weather, so often a factor in this race, delivered a dry day.

Phil Dolding was the first Newport runner back, taking 151st place with a time of 1:29:39, breaking the elusive 90-minute mark. Oscar Johnstone was next, just under 5 minutes later, finishing 219th, in a time of 1:34:19, while his dad, Peter Johnstone, was in 331st, running a time of 1:41:18. Phil Link was hot on Peter’s heels, finishing 337th, and just one second behind his clubmate. Richard Bennett was next, completing the course in 1:44:16, to secure 396th position, and his wife Liz wasn’t far behind him, taking 417th place in 1:45:44. Simon Yap followed the Bennetts home, and was 450th in 1:46:43. Jo Lutner ran a time of 1:50:20 to take 522nd place, just ahead of Kevin Phelps, who was 537th in 1:50:54.

Nigel Ingram ran strongly in 511th place to clock a time of 1:54:48, and Colin Woolley followed him home closely, taking 615th place with a time of 1:54:55. Darren and Jennie Waters ran together, and took 712th and 713th respectively, in 2:00:31 and 2:00:32, Jennie’s time being a PB by 10 seconds. Ralph Humphries was next across the line, 739th in 2:01:32, whilst Annabel Montgomery was 778th in a time of 2:03:43. Selwyn Plant (886th, 2:09:25) and Frances Galvin (892nd, 2:09:24) finished almost together, as did Jamie Lou Keeley (908th, 2:12:14), Julia Passey (909th, 2:11:25) and Michael Holbrook (910th, 2:11:05), the chip times indicating that they didn’t necessarily start together. Anne Richards took 1,151st place, running a time of 2:31:44.

Great North Run: 8/9/19

The Great North Run is one of, if not the most well-known half-marathon in the country, and thousands of runners take part every year, with the race covered live on television. Nearly 43,000 athletes took part this year, and one of them was Newport’s Karen Sherriff, who finished in 13,190th position, running a time of 2:04:11. The overall race win was taken by Sir Mo Farah, after a race-long battle with Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola.

New Forest Marathon and 10k: 8/9/19

This weekend, there were a number of different races taking place on Sunday in the New Forest, Hampshire, ranging from a kids Fun Run, right up to the full marathon distance. Newport runners were represented in two of these, the marathon and the 10k. Laura Sutton was the Novaportan taking on the full marathon distance, and she ran a time of 4:49:08 to take 668th place in a field of 983 runners. Steve Cannon took on the 10k distance, and he just missed the hour mark, running a time of 1:00:01 to take 416th spot in a field of 1,282.

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