Buxton AC duo given perfect confidence boost for London Marathon

Rob White, of Buxton AC, on his way to victory in the Pavilion Gardens 5k.
Rob White, of Buxton AC, on his way to victory in the Pavilion Gardens 5k.

Two Buxton Athletic Club runners gave themselves a confidence-boosting tonic ahead of their challenge in the London Marathon at the end of this month.

Rob White and Nat Winfield travel down to London next week to take part in the iconic race, and couldn’t have wished for better preparatory runs when tackling the latest monthly Pavilion Gardens 5k on Saturday.

In near-perfect conditions, ideal for fast times and personal-bests (PBs), White stormed to victory in a season’s best time of 16.58 minutes, followed only 15 seconds later by Winfield in 17.13.

The ladies’ race also heaped credit on the club because Joanne Cudahy set a new PB to take second place in 22.25, with 12-year-old Katie Irvings outsprinting Elizabeth Nocton in the final couple of metres to finish third in 23.03.

The following day, a large contingent of Buxton AC runners turned out for the annual Thomas Theyer Fell Race, which started and finished at the White Hall Outdoor Education Centre in the town.

The 6.5-mile contest included several challenging climbs and more than 1,300 feet of ascent, but the club’s men filled four of the top five places, with Alasdair Campbell finishing first, Jake Fearn second, Jason Brunnock third and Rob White fifth and also the first veteran over-40 home. The first three Buxton women to cross the line were Janet Taylor, who was seventh lady and first female veteran over-50, Elizabeth Nocton, who was eighth lady, and Clare Holdcroft, who was tenth lady.

The first race of the club’s 2017 Championships, the Dream On Mile, was staged around Pavilion Gardens last midweek, with the runners completing two laps of a looping route that covered Broadwalk, Serpentine Walk and Burlington Road. Several club records were broken in the race, which was won by Jake Fearn in 4.50 minutes, ahead of Bryan McKenna (4.59) in second and Nat Winfield (5.05) in third.

Winners of the various categories were Lucy Bednall (U17 female), Amy Clark (senior lady), Joanne Bednall (female veteran over-50), Sam Soles (U17 male), Steve Watson (male veteran over-50) and Pete Bailey (male veteran over-55).

Meanwhile Kevin Mottram marked his full-marathon debut at Manchester with an impressive time of three hours, 40.38 minutes. He was followed by Buxton teammates James Talbot in 3.47.32 and Emma Tan, who completed the second half six minutes faster than the first, in 4.04.38.

Local GP Kate Phillips was also a marathon first-timer at Brighton, defying warm weather to clock 4.23.26 behind Jason Bennett (3.01.09) and Stefan Ledin (3.42.10).