Young guns find form at Knowsley

Jonathan Wardley in running action in Thailand
Jonathan Wardley in running action in Thailand

Four of Scarborough Athletic Club’s young athletes defied the adverse weather to travel to Liverpool and compete in the Northern Counties Cross-Country Championships at Knowsley Safari Park.

After an overnight five inches of snow had fallen, the runners had to compete over courses that were a mixture of snow that was quickly turning into deep mud after a rapid thaw, and hundreds of runners taking part in one of the major championships of the English Cross Country season.

In the junior women’s Championship race, 17-year- old Becky Mills made a very good debut in the age group after moving up from the under-17 group this season, when finishing 33rd of a top class field.

The under-17 mens race included the ever-present 16-year-old Bobby Scarborough, who ran well to finish up in 34th of the 107 finishers.

In the under-15 girls race, the experienced Leah Herrington finished in the top half of the strong field of 126, with 57th place, and headed Hannah Mainprize, who was competing in the championships for only the second time, who hung on well to complete this testing course to finish in 97th.

Five senior members of Scarborough Athletics Club became the first club members to compete in a road race this year, when they lined up for the annual Ferriby 10 mile road race, after a late decision to permit the race to continue after recent heavy snow had melted.

The race which starts and finishes at the famous windmill in Skidby village near Cottingham, is a very popular East Yorkshire road race, over a scenic undulating course on quiet country roads.

This year despite the weather and some partly flooded sections, there was still 550 finishers which was just nine less than last year.

The first of the Scarborough runners was Dave Fox who finished in 75 minutes 21 seconds and was the third over-60.

Dave was closely followed by the in-form Pete Northedge who clocked 75.29 and was the second over-65 finisher.

There was a good club road race debut by Phillip Markham who finished up in the top half of the field in 171st after finishing in 75.54.

Harry Forkin hung on well to finish ahead of 119 finishers in 90.59

Nikki Hanson who the club’s sole woman runner this year, ran very well to finish 25th woman overall in 76.59 , and was also the sixth over-40.

A former Scarborough AC athlete is currently one of the most successful road runners in Thailand running circuit.

Thirty-seven-year-old Jonathan Wardley left Scarborough in 2004 not long after winning the now defunct Wykeham 10 mile road race, to travel the world, and finally settled in Pattaya, Thailand.

The former member of the Parachute Regiment is now a commercial diver, and after a long period of acclimatisation to the heat and humidity, is a most prolific road racer, with an impressive total of podium finishes.

After a total of 30 road races, he has made the top three on all but three occasions and has never been outside of the top ten places.

His most recent success was a third place in the Bangkok Quarter Marathon last year.

Seven young athletes from the amalgamated Scarborough and Pickering Athletic Clubs, represented North Yorkshire at the Yorkshire and Humberside Sportshall Festival at the North Bridge Leisure Centre Halifax.

The most successful local athlete in the combined squad was Isabel Louth, who was selected for three of the events, and won the Speed Bounce, was the runner-up in the Standing Jump and sixth in the Javelin.

Katie Tomlinson finished third in the Speed Bounce and seventh in the Standing Long Jump.

Abi Smith was fourth in both the Javelin and Standing Triple Jump.

Daisy Willis finished fourth in the Target Throw, and secured points for one of the two North Yorkshire teams that finished as overall runner-up behind a strong West Yorkshire team.

In the boys Team Events, the local clubs top scorer was Joseph Matique who was third in the Vertical Jump, and equal fourth in the Speed Bounce.

Jacob Barbour shared fourth in the Speed Bounce, and was also joint fourth with Jay Elsdon in the Standing Triple Jump.

The local club’s trio North Yorkshire team, was also the runner up team after the victorious West Yorkshire team.