In a totally unplanned action a number of the faster runners from the Stainland Lions running club turned out at the Geoff Doggett 5k with no fewer than five Lions running under 19 minutes and achieving top 20 places.
Richard Hand led the way with one of his obligatory fast starts. Tristan Sheard tried to stay with him but wisely followed in his wake.
That was until the course levelled off a little and Hand found himself boosted by Sheard in a calculated move.
Sheard applied the power to finish first Lion with an impressive 9th place and 18:14 in his first competitive 5K while Hand hung on to finish 11th in 18:23.
Slightly further back, Phil Tucker stalked promising new Lion Josh Whiteley in a similar manner. Tuck made use of his well seasoned racecraft to dispatch the faster Whiteley at a point of his choosing and finished in 14th place in 18:39.
Whiteley didn’t give up and finished 16th place only 3 seconds behind Tucker in 18:42.
John Collins completed the quintet of Lions under the 19 minutes in 18th place in 18:53.
Gavin Dodd just missed out on a sub 20 with 20:02.
Some time ago a runner under 20 minutes in a challenging 5k was worthy of comment at Stainland Lions.
Now it seems slightly blasé for the Lions to rock up to an event and 5 runners achieve less than 19 minutes in the top 20 of a competitive 5K event.
The club may not have the very fastest runners but there are a relatively high number of fast runners and that does make a difference in team events.
A minute or so adrift at the Geoff Doggett from the five faster runners in 19:32, David Hutchings felt he needed another crack at the whip the following evening.
Despite the previous night’s endeavours he achieved a personal best by one second at the second John Carr 5K race in 18:32.
Not to be outdone Mark Preston produced a significant comeback with a 19:32, having shaken off last week’s cold to go a minute faster.
At the other end of the running spectrum Sandy Gee completed the Fellman consisting of 61 miles over the tough moorland of the Yorkshire Dales with a total of 11,000 ft of climbing. His time was a very impressive 20 hours 8 minutes.
Geoff Doggett 5K Littleborough: 9 Tristan Sheard 18.16, 11 Richard Hand 18.23, 14 Phil Tucker 18.39, 16 Josh Whiteley 18.42, 18 Johnathan Collins 18.53, 30 David Hutchings 19.32, 41 Gavin Dodd 20.02. 125 Finishers
John Carr 5K Esholt: 52 David Hutchings 18.32, 78 Mark Preston 19.32, 127 David Cooper 21.08, 220 Lindsey Sykes 26.55. 252 Finishers