• News from Jonathon

Continuing our running

.....in the current climate has been at the forefront of the club’s thinking. For the past half a year (really is!), ERC has been holding monthly committee meetings via ‘Zoom’, dominated naturally by the virus pandemic.

As we’ve mentioned in previous articles here in the Advertiser and on our own website, along with other clubs, ERC has kept its members fully up to date with the ongoing ‘dos and don’ts’. During the early months of lockdown, we ran individually, as part of our hour of exercise. Slowly, as new information was updated by England Athletics (guided by the Government), we were allowed to meet and run with a few people, then groups of 6 and groups of 10.

Our ‘Lockdown Challenges’ were hugely popular during the sunny, hot days between April and June, and I know that all our members were grateful to the ‘Committee’ and Competition Secretary Colin Fletcher for organising what became a staple part of the ‘Lockdown’ period.

Since then, our runners have been able to meet up again in small groups on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Tuesday ‘Tapas’ group, although fewer in numbers, is once again getting the benefit from that particular training. Likewise the 7 p.m. group is also back up and enjoying a variety of social runs.

The one word though we all seem to be missing is…. “Races”. For obvious reasons these have all been either cancelled or postponed. However, last month the club was in a position in which we could hold our own ‘Intra-club’ competition, the ‘George Becton 5k handicap’.

Members and some readers will know that this race is an annual event in our club’s schedule and also now part of the Club Championship (CC). The ‘George Becton Trophy’ is given to the winner in memory of George, an active and enthusiastic member who sadly passed away in 2003.

This year’s race was slightly different because of…. well, you know…Rather than the mass start, groups of three were set off at intervals with the fastest runners away first. This system meant that there would be no overtaking, thus adhering to distancing. Also, rather than the usual finish sprinting down Tanpit Lane, all runners turned left from the Thirsk Road, past the Church and continued down Church Hill to turn left again and finish in Millfield Lane.

This idea also allowed for the park as an ideal spot for post race stretching and a chat in small groups. It was a lovely Sunday morning with 28 of us arriving at our allotted times for the start. The organisation was spot on with marshalls along the course, distanced from the runners, and we all really appreciated the effort the club made to hold the event.

Results. Female: Sam Davies - 20.06, Georgina Robinson - 24.14 and Olivia Pearce - 25.38.

Male: Craig Gath - 18.14, Neil King - 18.36 and Julian Ollive - 19.35.

Another change to the norm was the holding of the ‘Sessay Swift 6k’ as a virtual race this year. Usually, the anti-clockwise route, starting and finishing at Sessay cricket and bowls club is a well attended local event in the balmy early evenings of mid August. Again, the race wasn’t allowed to go ahead as per normal so ERC and Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers put their collective running heads together and decided to hold the event in a new format.

Both clubs were given three days each during the week of the original race last month to post a time. Members of ERC and Thirsk were able to turn up and run the course, recorded by GPS and uploaded to ‘Strava’ of course. Well done to all from both clubs who chose their day, put in the effort for their team and many congratulations to Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers for coming out on top by 37 points overall.

ERC’s top three were as follows: Sam Davies 23.35, 10th overall and first female; Georgina Robinson and Laura Tuley equal in 27.47 and 41st overall. Our top three men were also the overall top three: Neil King 22.01, Cameron Choules 22.10 and Shaun Lawson 22,15.

The two clubs would also like to say how much they appreciated the village of Sessay for allowing the runners, albeit in small groups, to use the course. Money was raised from this endeavour also and handed over from both running clubs to Sessay Cricket and Bowls clubs.

That’s it for now re our races, and indeed our CC.

The usual twenty events has become ten and so the CC for 2019/20 has concluded with every runner who has completed a minimum of five races being eligible for the ‘Gold/Silver/Bronze’ awards and, of course, the title of CC Female and Male Winners.

These are as follows - Female: Club Champion and Gold category, Sam Davies 250 points.

Second place and Gold to Claire Longbottom 232; Sarah Dixon in third and Gold 226 and in fourth and Gold Stephanie Cooper 224. Silver placings were: Jaki Jarvis 212; Pam Johnson 184; Sam Kelly 178 and Lindsey walker 164. Bronzes went to: Catherine Lumb 140; Linda Carruthers 130; Louise Gregg 132; Catherine Skinner 128 and Rachel Farrand 86.

Male results: Gold category and Club Champion Colin Fletcher 248, Mark Whiteman, second place and Gold 242, Third and Gold to Neil King 240 and in fourth and Gold Richard Knott 224. In Silver were: Craig Gath 220; Steve Loseby 218; Doug Pearce 192 and Al Lunn 160.

The Bronze standings were: Rob Cooper 158; Steve Daniel 158 and Rico Acklam 136.

Congratulations to all our runners who took part in any, some or all of this somewhat shortened CC.

None of us know how our 20/21 CC will be affected at the moment but we’re monitoring England Athletics’ guidelines and hoping we can get back to normal sometime. For now, it’s ‘Zoom’ committee meetings, smaller groups running under club colours and individual training.

One of the many positives our sport gives us is the time to enjoy social banter with friends and/or the hours running solo. Being able to reflect, think, take time out.

Whichever you’re doing, keep safe and let’s hope the ‘new normal’ is only temporary, however long that ‘temporary’ is.

Jonathon Harris-Douglas, Publicity Secretary

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