Three Gainsborough Striders runners in the top 100 UK national rankings

FAST BOWLER -- Gainsborough Striders veteran Nigel Bowler, who knocked 34 seconds off his previous personal-best time when tackling the revived Newark Half-Marathon.
FAST BOWLER -- Gainsborough Striders veteran Nigel Bowler, who knocked 34 seconds off his previous personal-best time when tackling the revived Newark Half-Marathon.

Three runners from the Gainsborough Striders club have learned that they figure among the top 100 for the entire country in their age categories.

The latest UK national rankings show that in the U11 boys’ lists, Jasper Humphries has risen to as high as 34th, while clubmate Thomas Sweeting is only six places further back and still has two more years in the category to improve on that. At the other end of the age spectrum, Cliff Middleton is ranked 72nd in the country for the veterans’ 70 class.

Striders also had plenty to celebrate at the Newark Half-Marathon, which has been revived after a break of several years. Eight runners were among the 900 competitors who braved warm weather to tackle a decent course, and two clocked personal-best (PB) times, while a third missed one by only 23 seconds.

Pride of place was reserved for newcomer James Croft, whose time of one hours, 29.20 minutes was an improvement of almost three minutes, while veteran Nigel Bowler’s time of 1.34.51 was 34 seconds better than anything he had achieved before.

The runner not far off a PB was Wayne Greenfield, but he had the consolation of knowing that his 1.22.33 time made him the first Strider home.

Finishing in the same time as Croft was Will Lansdall, who said his first attempt at a half-marathon had left him “buzzing”! Of the other runners in action, Craig Ward clocked a comfortable sub-1.35 run, with Phil Marsland, who has just broken into the top 250 nationally in his V60 age group, a further four minutes back.

Hanna Bennett was the only lady Strider in the race, managing a respectable 1.50.40, while Simon Smith secured a season’s best of 2.9.11.

Meanwhile five Striders recorded PB times in Saturday’s Parkruns. Young Archie Proctor posted 29.37 at Sewerby, while Samantha Garrison clocked 26.34 at Scunthorpe. The Gainsborough event yielded times of 23.33 for Lee Creed, 29.20 for Kirsty Smithson and 38.56 for David Allen, which was his sixth improvement of the year.

In the latest ‘Super Mile’ race series, Shaun Boyle and Norman Hindley tackled the distance for the first time for many years, but registered respectable times of 6.27 and 7.09 respectively.