Last weekend, a number of Newport & District Running Club members made the short trip up the A41 to run in the Market Drayton 10k, a popular local road race which starts and finishes at The Grove school. The course winds its way anticlockwise around the town, with both the start and finish lines on the school playing fields. The runners were well supported all along the route by local people, and especially at the hill at the 9km point, where runners ascend into the town centre up Phoenix Bank.

Daniel Miles was the first Novaportan runner to finish, taking 30th place overall, with a time of 39 minutes, 20 seconds. Matthew Walley wasn’t too far behind him in 37th spot, stopping the clock at 39:55, and Darren Hesbrook-Edwards followed, taking 88th position in a time of 42:30. Nick Watts was 112th in 44:17, whilst Simon Yap (156th, 45:33) and Phil Dolding (157th, 45:42) finished very close together. Neil Fairbrother was next, 222nd with a time of 47:42, followed by John Metzger, who was 331st in 51:15.

Amy Hughes was the first female runner from NDRC to finish, and she took 393rd position with a time of 52:53. Selwyn Plant (409th, 53:24) and Mathew Richards (469, 55:00) were next, followed by Ellen Deighton, who was 488th in 54:48. Bernie Holbrook beat the hour mark with his time of 56:45 for 558th place, whilst Julia Passey stopped the clock at 1:01:53 to secure 759th place. Catherine Hawksworth (812th, 1:03:41) and Sarah Higginson (821nd, 1:03:52) finished very close together, and they were followed by Sue Wylie (855th, 1:04:27), Lisa Yap (988th, 1:08:38), Ben Roper (989th, 1:07:37) and Esther Wright (1,146th, 1:19:17).

Ben Roper’s time was just part of his “Virtual London Marathon” which he was running that day, of which he said: “My elongated virtual London Marathon earned me a season’s best time of 10:26:03, having split the run into two legs. 

Not a terrible time considering it includes…

-A lunch stop at the pub for pork pie and liquid refreshment. 

-A children’s party. 

-Going to get my flu jab. 

-And having my Sunday Roast.

A very enjoyable way to approach a tough distance.”

In addition to this, before the Market Drayton 10k started, Ben’s daughter Martha Roper stormed to victory in the 5-6 year olds’ race to take the trophy for the first girl and second place overall. She was over the moon with her win.