Will Gardner of Rugby & Northampton AC secured his third successive win in the East Midlands Grand Prix Series when he recorded 32 mins 17 secs for 10k in the seventh race of the series at Milton Keynes. The host club were out in force, but after victories at Weedon and Harborough, Gardner held off the challenge of Paul Mizon of Marshall Milton Keynes who was 10 seconds adrift with Mizon’s clubmate James Tuttle a further 10 seconds behind. Although the Silverstone 10k will be held later in the year the series prizes were awarded at Milton Keynes with the best 5 scores to count. The next R&N man across the line was Alistair McDonnell in 9th spot with 34:11 and in doing so he clinched second place in the overall series with one race victory coming at Corby. Harvey Speed of Coventry Godiva Harriers had the unusual distinction of being the series champion without actually winning a race.
Stephen Marks of R&N made it five wins in the M40 category in exactly 35 minutes for 15th place to make him champion in the age group. This helped the Veteran Men’s team to also win the overall title after victory on the night gave them four wins to regain the title from Kettering Town Harriers. The Senior Men had already been crowned overall champions and finished second at Milton Keynes behind the host club. Completing the team was Dave Ball who ran a personal best of 35:16 to finish in 19th position. Just nine seconds and one place behind was Daniel Mould, which put him third in the overall Senior Men’s competition. The Veteran squad was completed by Daniel Williams in 35:51 ( 25th and M40 2nd ), Paul Birch on 36:47 ( 35th and M45 2nd ) and Matt Carroll in 37:11 ( 45th and M40 6th ). Pete Thomas recorded 41:01 to give him third place for the series in the M55 category.
The Junior men’s competition was decided on the best of 4 races and R&N’s Adam Bebbington finished 3rd on the night with 41:27, but had already sealed the under 20 title in the previous race.
In the ladies section Charlie Arnell repeated her victory from last year at Milton Keynes in 36:30 with Alice Ritchie in second on 37:10 helping the host club to victory in the Senior Women’s team competition. Johanna Sharples of Leighton Buzzard finished third ( 38:57 ). Overall champion Kelly Barnett came home in 4th on 40:43 and helped Wellingborough & District to win their first ever title in the EMGP. Rugby & Northampton’s Helen Jones recorded 52:42 to place 4th F50 in the race, but it was enough to clinch 3rd spot overall in the age category in which, Alison Cobb was already champion. The veteran women overall winners Wootton Road Runners claimed a fourth victory, while R&N finished fourth in the series with their Senior women seventh.