Buxton AC quartet make top 20 of Dovedale Dash

TREADING CAREFULLY -- the famous stepping-stone crossing over the River Dove, which is part of the Dovedale Dash route.
TREADING CAREFULLY -- the famous stepping-stone crossing over the River Dove, which is part of the Dovedale Dash route.

There might have been a massive entry of 1,590 competitors -- but Buxton Athletics Club still managed to field four of the top 20 in the annual Dovedale Dash cross-country race.

Pride of place went to junior runner Alex Ediker, who finished sixth overall and second in the U18 category with a time of 28.10 minutes, less than a minute behind the winner, Stuart Bond. But hot on Ediker’s heels in 13th overall was Jake Fearn, who clocked 29.07, swiftly followed by two more juniors, Will Tighe and Elliot Meylan.

Tighe finished 15th overall and was third in the U18 category with a time of 29.23, while Meylan was 20th overall and sixth U18 home in 29.59

The popular event, first staged in 1953, has grown spectacularly from its inaugural year when there were just 15 runners. Run in and around the picturesque village of Thorpe, near Ashbourne, it comprises a near-five mile route mainly along field paths and open ground in the valleys of the Rivers Dove and Manifold. One of its famous attractions is the crossing of the Dove on well-known stepping-stones, although many runners ran straight through the river!

Another Buxton junior to excel was Helen Thornhill, who was second U18 girl in 34.09, while two other seniors made the top 30 -- Bryan McKenna, who was 24th in 30.26, and Rob White, who was 26th in 30.59.

On the same day, six Buxton AC athletes competed in the first running of the Derby Ten-Mile race, which attracted a high-quality field on a fast and flat course. Of 776 finishers, Sheila Bradley was first home for the club in 254th, courtesy of a time of one hour, 19.41 minutes. She was closely followed by Andrew Wearden, who was 257th in 1.19.47, and Katrina Martin, who was 323rd in 1.23.58.

Buxton’s other three runners were all tackling their first ten-mile races. Louise Hallows clocked 1.34.57 to finish 526th, Caroline Newton-Phillips 1.35.01 to finish 528th and Gemma Whelpton 1.46.16 to finish 675th.

In the Flying Fox 10 in Staffordshire, also over ten miles, Kevin Mottram came 59th of 241 in 1.10.43, taking nearly 30 seconds off his previous best.