Soles brothers lead Buxton AC juniors’ raid on tough parkrun

Liam Jones and Billy Aldred in action at the Whaley Bridge parkrun. (PHOTO BY: Frank Golden)
Liam Jones and Billy Aldred in action at the Whaley Bridge parkrun. (PHOTO BY: Frank Golden)
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The Soles brothers flew the flag for Buxton Athletics Club with superb performances in a tough parkrun event on Saturday.

In a rare break from cross-country competition, Buxton’s junior runners decided to spend their weekend by contesting parkruns at both Lyme Park and then, 24 hours later, at Whaley Bridge.

The Lyme Park event, which draws in more than 100 athletes every week, takes place on a demanding, off-road 5k course, open to all ages and abilities.

But the Buxton contingent performed amazingly well, despite very muddy and slippery underfoot conditions on a chilly day. And in a field of 140 runners, the Soles duo, Sam and Dan, led the way.

Sam came in second overall and first in his age category, while brother Dan, making his debut on the Lyme Park course, also topped his age group as he finished fourth overall. Not to be outdone, Buxton AC teammate Harrison Turner was second in his age category after finishing an impressive 18th overall.

For the girls, Heather Wilshaw was 33rd overall, second female and first in her age group after clocking a new personal-best time. Not far behind her was teammate Amy Whelan, who came 40th overall, fourth female and second in her age category.

Katie Ivings also enjoyed a terrific run to register a personal-best time. She was 51st overall, sixth female and third in her age group, while her sister, Isobel, tackling Lyme Park for the first time, was hot on her heels, coming home in 54th position overall, which made her the eighth female runner and put her fourth in her age category.

On the Sunday, Buxton took their team to Whaley Bridge for a parkrun that is specifically aimed at juniors, aged 14 and under.

The girls again filled the top-three places, with Amy Whelan recording a personal-best time to lead them home by finishing fourth overall. Second and third girls were the Ivings sisters, Katie and Isobel, in their first appearances at Whaley Bridge. Katie was seventh overall and Isobel ninth.

Buxton’s junior boys were led in by Thomas Gilliver, who finished in 20th position in his first-ever parkrun. Liam Jones and Billy Aldred battled it out for 29th and 30th places, finishing 14th and 15th respectively in their age categories, and Eddie Aldred came home 50th overall and 23rd in his age category.

The club, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is back in action this coming Saturday when the monthly Pavilion Gardens 5k, which had to be cancelled in January because of dangerous snow and ice, returns. It’s a free event and follows the usual format of three laps of the gardens. The race is open to juniors and seniors.