Athletics: Sampson takes honours in Norton 9

Doncaster Athletic Club
Doncaster Athletic Club

Rotherham Athletic Club’s Gareth Sampson proved too strong for the 500-plus field in Sunday’s Ultralift Mechanical Handling Norton 9.

Sampson, who clocked 48 minutes 19 seconds, never looked like challenging the long-standing course record even though he was pushed hard by Ashenafi Erkolo (Sheffield Running Club) who posted a time of 48.36 on his race debut.

Aaron Larkin, a club-mate of the winner, was third in 49.07.

Jennifer Rich (Steel City Striders) won the women’s race after finishing 41st overall in a time of 56.20.

Wayne Martison (Doncaster AC) was the first local runner home in the race, coming home in 39th place in a time of 56.17.

Shaun Hunt, son of former Doncaster Rovers’ footballer Morgan Hunt, now an unattached runner after being a member of promoting club Askern, was the second vet-55 to finish in a time of 57.08.

James Smith (Doncaster) also finished well placed, his time of 58.00 earning him 53rd spot.

Tony Vout (98th in 61.43) flew the flag for Doncaster Triathlon Club, while Mark Eanor (62.04) was the first Danum Harrier home in 102nd place.

Doncaster’s Nichole Devine (139th in 65.10) was the first local female to finish. She just pipped Doncaster’s men’s captain Martin James, who finished two places behind her in a time of 65.26.

Martin ran the race from home and also ran back after it.

Askern’s Brian Watts, 192nd in a time of 69.46, repeated last season’s success in the vet-70 race.

“The race went well and the weather was better than it has been on occasions over the years,” said spokesman Mick Collingwood.

“We had 595 entries, which is about average, with 525 finishers.

“It’s one of the oldest-established road races in South Yorkshire, having been run since the early 1980s, and a lot of people use it as part of their build-up to the London Marathon in April.”