ATHLETICS: RUGBY and Northampton’s veteran men landed the East Midlands Grand Prix title, winning the fifth race of the series in Weedon to claim the crown for the first time since 2009.
Individually, Dominic Jones put himself on the brink of the overall title after claiming a third triumph of the series with a 10k time of 33mins and 48secs – and he can land top honours if he competes in the final race at Milton Keynes.
A solid performance by R&N’s seniors saw four runners finish in the top eight, ensuring they came out on top in the team race – but they still need to win the final race to give them any chance of retaining their title.
Ben Musgrove, who finished fourth in a time of 35mins 2secs, was a clear U20 winner, while the top M40 athlete was Stephen Marks – whose fifth-placed finish of 35mins 15secs puts him second for the series overall.
Completing the team in 36mins 1secs was eighth-placed Daniel Mould, giving him a top-three place in the senior men’s overall standings.
M40 athlete Dean Oldfield clinched third in his age group and 14th in the race when he was timed at 37mins 13secs, just two seconds and one place behind was Matthew Chronicle – the U20 series champion.
Closing out the veteran squad were Iain Botheroyd – 21st – 37:37 – and Paul Birch – 22nd – 37:40 – who finished third and fourth respectively in the M45 age category.
Vicky Nealon helped the R&N senior ladies to their seventh straight victory, finishing second on 39:44.
She now ties for second place in the overall standings, and is already assured of a top-three finish.
Another great run by Amy Sarkies secured her the W35 title, with her fifth victory of the series coming after a run of 40:45.
That was enough for fifth overall in the race, one place ahead of Tori Green who completed the team in 41:32.
Despite just turning 50, Sarah Davis-Foxon proved she was still good enough to win the F45 category, coming home in 42:30 for seventh place overall.
Judith Rose – 18th – 47:53 – secured third place in the F40 final standings, helping the veteran ladies to their sixth team victory.
Lastly, Sally Tilt’s effort of 49:33 secured her sixth in the F40 event while Helen Jones and Alison Cobb recorded respective times of 49:37 and 50:40 to grab third and fourth in the F50 category and Valerie Cross (71:14) completed her fifth race to guarantee second overall in the F65.