Jane was the winner of her V60 age group in a fiercely competitive national round, returning a time of 37 minutes and seven seconds for the five miles. That was despite being forced to change her planned route at the last minute due to local flooding and having to run a more undulating course.
Nevertheless the England masters marathon star achieved the astonishing age grading of 87.84 per cent… while Mark did even better with 87.96 per cent!
Mark was the fastest Roadrunner in the event with a stunning time of 25:53. It won’t be recognised as a personal best but it eclipsed the 26:03 he ran five years ago when smashing the course record at the Headington 5.
The former club men’s captain is a modest guy who lets his times do the talking for him. So here’s his splits… 5:10, 5:11, 5:10, 5:14, 5:07.
The time-frame for the competition had been extended due to poor weather and Roadrunners saved their best until last, the speedy council planning officer racing just a few hours before the final deadline.
Current club men’s captain, Jamie Smith, hailed his predecessor by saying: “That’s a fine performance by Mark, beating his time in the previous qualifying round by 17 seconds.”
Jamie added: “It was a superb team effort and it was great to see new names taking part and giving it a go.
“A note of thanks to Rob Corney, who went out of his way — having been injured recently — to meet up with one of our youngest club members, Jacob Atwal, and pace him for his five-mile effort round Green Park. What a tremendous show of team spirit!”
Second fastest Roadrunner was Brendan Morris, whose time of 26:34 improved his best — run in the previous round — by over a minute. Tony Page (28:52) and Matthew Davies (29:14) were our other scorers, just ahead of new member Adam Lewis, who ran 30:18 on debut.
Leading our ladies home was Jane Copland (33:26 despite being just back from injury), followed by Sarah Dooley (33:36) and Helen Pool (34:04), with Jane Davies completing the scorers. That’s Jane Copland pictured with son Sam, a potential future Roadrunner.
Proud women’s captain Sam Whalley said: “It was great to see so many different people turn out for this round. Jane Copland managed a great time following some calf issues and Jane Davies proved to be the fastest F60 in the land.
“Sarah Dooley and Helen Pool performed at their usual excellent standard, while Sara Lopez continued her recent run of form with a superb time.
“Thanks to Katie Gumbrell and Alex Bennell for uploading their efforts and well done to Gill Manton, who recorded an unofficial PB.”
Roadrunners were today confirmed as finishing 45th overall, an improvement of two places from the qualifying round. Wirral AC were the overall champions and will represent England in next month’s international final.