European Indoor Veterans’ Championships

Report: Peter Powell -

Great expectations and fine results were the order of the day at the 10th European indoor veterans’ track championships at Torun, Poland.

The Harriers were represented in the middle distance events and star of the show was evergreen Louise Rudd. Having just achieved the big 40 she outkicked many of her peers in the lower age 35 category in the 3,000 metres event.

World ranking number one was her just reward for a gold medal finish (10:04:10) and then she did it all again in her other speciality and stamped her authority in the same manner in the 1,500 metres and breasted the tape in 4:35:80

Mike Toal also made the journey to Poland finishing 5th in the over 40’s 800 metres in 2:00:63 and further up the age scale, former club chairman Barry Swindells, now with Malvern A.C. made his mark in the over 75’s age group to finish the 800 metres event in 2:58:59.

Team silverware came the way of Stockport athletes again in the annual Northern women’s 6 stage relays with only Leeds City A.C. ahead of the pack with Stockport`s lead out by international Elle Vernon who also achieved the fasted long leg of the day.

Further team support was given by Lyndsay Clarke, Elizabeth Apsley, Ellen Downs, Mollie Williams and Sally Ratcliffe to ensure that Stockport retained their second position to the finish line just 13 seconds in front of third placed Rotherham A.C.

An offer has been made to host this event at Woodbank park in Spring 2016 subject to any confirmation, when no doubt battles will be done again against Leeds City and the other Northern clubs.

The Harriers’ sponsored primary schools cross country events concluded at Woodbank Park. Having escaped the rain throughout the winter season, the reverse applied at the final presentation meeting but this did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of well over 200 children throughout the final events.

Individual wins were recorded by Darcy Green (girls years 3/4), Harvey Murphy (boys 3/4), Daisy Keigher (girls 5/6) and Henry Carne (5/6) whilst in the team outcomes, Romiley school stamped their authority on both the male and female lower age groups.

Gee Cross took the team spoils in the girls 5/6 competition whilst Ladybarn school sewed up the championship in the equivalent boys event and many will be back next autumn to contest the ever popular cross country series for the 2015/16 season.

The annual Good Friday running of the Salford 10km road race saw Stockport’s junior women putting the hammer down as usual, comprising Katy Whiteoak (37:44), Mollie Williams (38:07) and Ellen Downs (38:45) whilst in the senior event Sally Ratcliffe (36:50) and Lyndsey Clarke (37:51) continued to impress after their recent Northern relay efforts.

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