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MARSHFIELD MUDLARK: Chalk that one up
12:00pm Friday 18th October 2013 in Sport
RUMOURS OF Amy Chalk’s retirement from competitive racing were well and truly scotched when she raced to an impressive victory in the Marshfield Mudlark 11k multi-terrain race, writes Kevin Fahey.
In torrential rain the 38-year-old from the village of Stanley, near Calne, beat Bradford on Avon marathon international Holly Rush to win the women’s prize in the popular race organised by Corsham Running Club.
“It was nice to be back in that environment and racing again even if it was an awful day,” said Chalk.
“I was surprised and pleased at how strong I felt although my legs felt far from zippy. Now I will be looking to do a few more cross country races and see what the body will hold up to.”
Chalk also explained why she has raced infrequently over the past year or so.
“I had a foot problem which kept breaking down so I had to change a few things,” she said.
“First I dusted down my bike and started using that and raced a couple of duathlons (run-bike-run). That proved to be a godsend and really helped to keep the foot problems at bay.
“For the past three weeks I have been doing a bit more running without too many problems so now I’ll be looking for more local races.”
Chalk, who ran 2hr 39mins 37secs for the marathon eight years ago, also has to juggle the demands of being a mother of two young children – Amelia and Isaac – plus a part-time job.
Her run on Sunday earned her tenth overall from a field of 176 runners in a time of 48min 24secs with Rush four places and 52 seconds behind.
Overall victory went to Swindon Harriers’ Heath Bampton with Stuart Henderson, of host club Corsham, the runner-up.
Chippenham Harriers’ Sam Hull was third with clubmates Chris Maxwell (eighth) and Richard Schofield (20th) also making the top 20.
The leading runner from Avon Valley Runners was Thomas Coney in ninth while Nigel Lumber, of Devizes Running Club, was 19th.
In the women’s race Diane Hier, of Avon Valley Runners, won the over-50s prize.
The Mudlark was the first race in the Wiltshire Off-Road League promoted by the Wiltshire Athletic Association.
One of two new initiatives launched to complement the Wiltshire Road Race League, it will be sponsored by Push Active of Devizes and includes the Corsham Court Challenge, Highworth's Wickstead Wander, Salisbury Drovers Trail Half, the Wiltshire Scramble at Calne and the Tri-County Cross Country Championships at the University of Bath.
The second initiative is the Wiltshire and Swindon Activity and Sports Partnership (WASP)-sponsored Wiltshire Junior Race League which will start on Sunday, February 9, at Longleat with a run over two miles of the course used by the Longleat 10k.
Further races targeted at athletes aged 11-16 include the Swindon Park Run, St Georges 2k at Corsham, Trowbridge ‘Sci-Fi’ 5k, Frome 5k and concludes with the Castle Combe 4k. See wiltshire-athletics.org.uk.
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