RIPLEY Running Club had 35 members attend the Queens Head 5km road race on December 27.
There were 164 competitors, nearly double the total from the previous year when there was a good scattering of snow on the ground and minus temperatures.
This year, it was almost tropical in comparison, a beautiful day, almost spring-like.
The course was out and back with a vigorous uphill start and undulated all the way to the cross roads near Heage were runners turned and headed home to the finish line.
Matt Bickerstaff, the club’s number one runner, came back first for Ripley in fifth place in a super time of 17.23 while Matt Jones was hot on his heels in 11th place in great time of 17.53.
The rest of Ripley times were as follows: 14th Dean Taylor (18.18); 22nd Paul Timmons (19.20); 26th I Duffin (19.35); 29th M Perry (19.39); 35th L Holmes (19.46); 37th R Ball (19.51); 40th M Tomlinson (20.00); 50th V Hall (20.17); 53rd R Phillis (20.26); 66th W Yearwood (21.32); 69th C Moss (21.45); 70th K Tietz (21.45); 82nd C Cresswell (22.14); 83rd C Hopkinson (22.17); 86th B Powis (22.26); 98th J Howett(23.11); 99th P Shaw (23.12); 101st L (TB) Palfreyman (23.16); 105th A Cook (23.27); 108th P Brudenell (23.35); 111th G Beardsley (23.42); 117th Jay Bird (24.22); 21st C Duffin (24.33); 123rd E Robinson (24.38); 124th E Broughton (24.39); 133rd R Swift (25.16); 139th R Smith (25.57); 142nd J Timmons (26.15); 147th C Webster (27.11); 150th H Bailey (28.04); 153rd T Shepherd (28.29); 160th L Walton (31.39) 162nd R Birks(32.43).
And keeping with the festive spirit, there was the New Year’s Day Holly Bush two-mile hill race starting at the Holly Bush Inn in Milford.
The race went up Dark Lane, a stoney trail which led up to Shaw Lane a very hilly first mile. Then, what goes up, must come down, and the second mile was all downhill. I came through three hilly fields which were wet and slippy making it difficult to stay on your feet.
The finish came down a set of stone steps and at the bottom was the Holly Bush which appeared yet again with the spectators cheering them on.
Fifteen Ripley Runners competed with Dean Taylor first back for the club in second place overall in a great time of 12.06.
Lucy Holmes was first lady back (13.05), Caroline was second lady back (14.31) and Vin Harlin was first veteran back(13.08), each getting ale prizes for their great efforts.
The rest of the Ripley places were: 10th Johnny Bryan (13.26); 12th Mark Tomlinson (13.58); 16th Paul Manning(14.21); 24th Karl Tietz (15.12); 29th Jerry Bateman (15.41); 30th Dennis Holmes(15.42); 31st Anne Cook (15.43); 37th Paula Brudenell (16.10); 38th Lee Palfreyman (16.13); 42nd Pete Shaw (16.17); 54th Colin Webster (18.26); 73rd James Franco (21.45).
There were 84 runners.
Ripley Running Club meet at the Ripley Leisure Centre every Tuesday evening at 6.45pm.
Runners of all abilities are always welcome, for more information go to our website ripleyrunningclub.co.uk