Racing was truly back with a bang for PH Racing Club members over the weekend, with club records broken and prizes bagged both on the track and in the hills.
The weekend kicked off with the forth annual running of The Monument Mile Classic race organised by Central AC, with a fantastic night of racing that was superbly broadcast live through YouTube.
The number one performer on the night was Andrew Thomson, running in the 3rd fastest seeded heat amongst a seriously stacked field of athletes. Andrew’s performance was sensational, keeping out of trouble around the first bend and then getting amongst the front runners and putting himself in place to run a fast time.
Andrew kept up the pace lap after lap and clocked an official 1500m split of 4:03.02, a huge 5 seconds quicker than his previous best from last week to set a new PH Racing Club record on his way to a new club Mile record when he crossed the line in a superb time of 4:21.32. This was good enough to place Andrew 4th in his heat and quicker than some of the faster seeded heats.
Conditions on the night were not favorable for fast running yet PH members battled throughout the evening to set down some strong times. The ever improving Aaron Bennet clocked a new best of 5:08.04 only one second ahead of former club Mile record holder Darren Jubb, who ran his first race since July 2019.
Ed Norton put in a good performance, as always, to run 6:01.77 in the blustery conditions. Scott Love was the fastest PH member in Race 8 of the evening clocking a solid 5:27.03 (whilst also setting a new 1500m PB of 5:04.13) to beat Mark McLean (5:45.97) who had a difficult night on the Stirling University track.
Saturday saw Paul Hammond race at the, to quote the Scottish Hill Runners, “SA Hijacked Maddy Moss Race” in Clackmannanshire. Conditions on the day were fantastic out on the hill and contributed to some great racing. The race took place over 10km with 760 metres worth of climbing and descent. Paul finished in a very creditable 28th place in a time of 66 minutes and 17 seconds.
There was a return to the track on Sunday for an afternoon of PBs for PH at the Pitreavie May Open #2 (Together Apart) event. Jamie Lessels was up first on track over 3000m in an open graded heat of 11 athletes. The race quickly strung out and created some breaks throughout the field. Jamie worked extremely hard running a lot of the race solo to set a new personal best of 9:37.1 to come home in 6th place. This time puts Jamie in 142nd place in his age category in the UK this year over 3000m, a great achievement as a first year in the Under 20 category.
Next up on track for PH was Andrew Thomson, racing his second race in 3 days as he went in the A Race of the 800m. It was another PB for Andrew as he capped off an unbelievable weekend of racing with a time of 2:00.5, setting yet another PH club track record, his third in as many days. Andrew placed 4th in the race beating some old competitors and placing himself 76th under 20 in the UK this year.
The final race of interest for PH was the 1500m, which was superbly won by Aaron Bennet, 9 seconds clear of his nearest challenger. Aaron took the lead on and ran hard from the front to set another new personal best. Allen Marr also raced in this heat to run his first race of 2021 clocking 5:15.1 placing him as the fastest V65 in the UK this year so far.
Down in the North West of England, the UK’s hot bed of fast races, there was the Run Heaton Race Weekend and PH’s Mark Western had a run out in the 10k. The race weekend consisted of a 5k, 10k and half marathon, Mark enjoyed the good race conditions and placed 3rd V55 in a time of 42.21.
Finally, not quite as far south, new PH Member Judy Turner came home in 3rd place at the Wamphray Glen race down near Moffat in a time of 40.13. The race is just less than 5 miles off road and is classed as a “SC” hill race run under a Scottish Hill Running classification.
Judy got off to a great start and had placed herself strongly in 2nd place but was caught out by the markings, or lack of, in the third mile, which resulted in her losing well over a minute and ultimately a position in the overall standings. She rallied well to come home in a solid 3rd place.
Thank you to Pat Fitzpatrick, Bobby Gavin and ATHLETICSDIGITAL.COM for the race photos and Michael Wright of Central AC, Nicola Moriarty of Pitreavie AAC and Angela Mudge for organising the races and giving runners the chance to get out there and race.