Even by the high standards he sets for himself, it has been an excellent week for Mat Huteson, star runner for the Gainsborough and Morton Striders club.
First, Huteson ran his first-ever sub-17 minute 5K race at the Lincoln Wellington series of events.
Next, it was confirmed that his performance in that race was the fifth fastest 5K time produced by a Strider in the club’s history, which dates back 34 years to 1983.
Then, he was confirmed as the top-ranked runner at the club, according to records maintained by British Athletics, finally overtaking long-time leader Jordan Skelly.
And finally, to cap a week to remember, Huteson clocked a time of 36.20 minutes to secure his highest-ever race-finish, fifth, in the gruelling ‘Sting In The Tail’ 10K road race at Caistor in Lincolnshire.
The Caistor race is not the faint-hearted because, as implied by its name, it comprises three short, but steep, climbs for the runners to contend with in the last couple of kilometres. This means it is a course runners would not choose to tackle if they were going for a personal-best (PB) time!
Nobody mentioned that to one of Huteson’s Striders teammates James Croft, though, as he stormed round to finish eighth in a time of 37.34, just one second off his best-ever effort.
Clare Hardwick was the third club member to complete the course, and she was delighted, and exhausted, as she secured her best time for more than eight months when she crossed the line in 56.28.
Meanwhile a grand total of 26 new runners successfully completed the club’s ‘Couch To 5K’ course last week. When the course started in early May, the students were only able to run for short distances. However, under the expert coaching of Lorna Allison and her team of assistants, they improved to the extent that they were all able to run 5K without needing to stop, which was considered a terrific achievement.
Many of the runners will now go on to emulate previous years’ ‘Couch To 5K’ graduates by running in 10K, ten-mile and half-marathon races in the coming years.
The regular weekly club training sessions are continuing, with the juniors meeting on Tuesdays at 5.30 pm at the Gainsborough Academy. The Thursday senior session starts at 6.30 pm from Queen Elizabeth High School, while their next Tuesday evening senior session will begin at the Gainsborough Academy at 7.15 pm. Anyone wishing to join in with them will be more than welcome.