Race Date: 14th April 2019 – The one with the hill
Round 4 of 12 – Divisional Road Race Championship
With barely a pause for breath, the Green & Gold Flying Circus once again made City Hill it’s own as the ever popular Sheffield Half rolled around. By my best count, 224 Striders took part on the day which is a whopping 3.7% of all finishers. Not quite Vaporfly levels but pretty impressive none the less. With such a fantastic turn out it was no wonder that some spectators had to remind others, quite loudly, that this wasn’t in fact the inaugural Striders club half marathon.
Liam Walker really must be ruing not getting his paperwork into SCS headquarters in time to enter the divisional championships, having another storming run to finish 5th overall. Stu Carrack has voraciously denied reports that he was seen carrying the broken pieces of the club fax machine on deadline day, and further denying that he may have then posted them through Phil Skelton’s letterbox. With all 3 of these big names not taking part on the day, James Rose took advantage to plunder 20 points with a time of 1:17:17. Ben Jones (1:19:21) and Stephen Schubeler (1:22:06) following . However currently sitting in top spot overall is Paul Middlemas (1:23:01) having run a race more than most of his division foes:
Dave Forrest (1:34:49) , despite being on pacing duties, managed to hold onto to top spot in Division 2. John Lea-Wilson (1:26:57) quickest home with Ed Startup (1:29:28) looking to have got his season started, following up his good outing at Dronfield with another solid 17 points. Macolm Baggaley (1:29:36) also running well again, leaving him currently sat 2nd overall:
Division 3 looks to be all but over in name as Jordan Moat again showed he’s more than ready to run in the higher leagues with a scorchingly fast 1:23:53. Taking his 3rd maximum of the season was enough to finally elevate him to the top of the standings. As the previous incumbent I feel I must move to quash rumours that my “injury” was a mere cover for negotiations to make a big money move across to the Fell Racing Championship since my adoption by the Davies clan. Heather Hatton (1:27:50) also had another great run herself, no doubt making her favourite to join Jordan in Division 2 next season:
James Boreman came oh so close to breaking 90 minutes with a time of 1:30:09 to take the 20 points on the day in Divison 4. Hot on his heels was Amy “Bob” Earnshaw (1:30:17) in her first showing in the competition showing that there could be plenty to play for before the end of the season. Adam Bishop in his first ever half set a pretty high bar for future efforts running 1:33:53 to take home 17 points:
Following a spell of injury to Ben Sanderson who looked like he was going to run away with Divison 5, things have all of sudden got very tight with the top 7 runners separated by only 10 points. Ben Elmore took the round in a time of 1:30:08 with Russell Stevenson (1:30:16) and Dominic Sleath (1:37:22) scoring well in addition:
Into Division 6 and Charlotte Roper continues to show she’s one to watch for the future, knocking out 1:35:47, leaving Katie Morris (1:36:38) and Claire Grisdale (1:36:58) scrapping for the 19 points behind. Dronfield’s own Sarah Allcard (1:38:15) picked up 17 points, taking advantage of Scott Liddle being on pacing duties to climb into joint 2nd:
Poppy Tovey put herself back into the frame in Division 7, running 1:35:51 to leave her 12 points off top with a race in hand behind James Broomhead (1:37:56) and Gareth Pert (1:42:20). Nicola Ross (1:49:58) is still in touching distance herself, despite pacing on the day and having missed Dronfield 10K:
There’s currently a dead heat in Division 8 with Matt Gibson (1:43:18) and Phil Dooley (1:43:29) both on 77 points, setting up for an exciting head to head as rapidly near the half way point. They both have to be mindful to not let Loz Harvey (1:47:10) slip in, sitting only 7 points behind them. Anna Lowe (1:48:39) picked up a very useful 17 points to move her up to joint 6th, showing that might be in the promotion hunt:
Division 9 could be anyone’s to take with no clear cut leader currently. Ryan Talley (1:56:51) currently sits on top spot, Luke Prest (1:41:43), Mark Warriner (01:45:20) and Dawn Short (1:51:59) shouldn’t be counted out either:
Dave Rooney continues to assert his hold on top spot on Division 10, again picking up 20 points in a time of 1:59:44. Lucky Cowell (2:00:04) continues to chase him hard only 6 points behind and there were also good runs by Andrea Snowden (2:03:58), Emma Fitzgerald (2:06:22) and Tracey Davies (2:06:31):
As ever the last word goes to Divison 11, with Helen Smith (2:06:56) showing she’s the epitome of consistency to take 19 points for the 4th race running leaving on top of the division. Honours on the day went to Sharon Renshaw (01:59:07) showing why she was the preseason favourite, but concerns linger over her commitment to the competition following the announcement that she’s focusing on the launch of her own range of gin:
Full standings as ever are here.