Heanor Running Club was formed on the 28th September 1982. The 1st meeting of runners at the Market Hotel, Heanor was the idea of David Levens, he was also the co-organiser of the 1st Heanor ½ Marathon that had been held 16 days earlier and had attracted over 500 runners
From the very beginning the club was very competitive and success soon followed, the 1st team victory came in 1983 at the Codnor 1/2 marathon with Andy May winning the race, Les Rumsey 3rd, Andy Nelson 4th and Terry Bull 5th. Andy May was the star runner for Heanor he dominated the local races at all distances, regularly running around 70 minutes for the ½ marathon distance during the 1980s.
During the running boom of the 80s the club was competing with the likes of Derby and County A.C. and Notts A.C. and had some top quality runners; Rob Webster, Andy May, Ashley Deeming, Steve Carlin, Dave Jordan, Pete Orme, Andy Nelson, Jon Wainwright and Hillary Johnson. Hillary Johnson was the Ladies winner of the Derby ½ marathon in 1988 and is still the most successful lady runner for Heanor Running Club to date. A superb distance runner was Pete Orme who went sub 2.30 marathon, and also won the Burton 10 miler. Steve Carlin won the Heanor ½ marathon in 69 minutes, Rob Webster and Dave Jordan were always front-runner’s in most events, both often winning local races. Ashley Deeming was at this time a promising young runner challenging for prizes.
Andy Nelson has on his CV victories in the Long Eaton 5 miler and the Ashbourne Hill race, Andy still runs for Heanor and is a very reliable runner and dedicated club member. Jon Wainwright was Heanor Running Clubs most successful runner, as I write this brief introduction to our 25 year history Jon has won more races than any other member, most recently winning 4 out of 5 league races to help Heanor reach the final of the 2001 cross country season.
There are some notable team results the pick of them being, National Mcvities Challenge 25×1 mile 1987, 3rd. Ripley ½ Marathon 1992, 1st. Belper 5 miler 1990,91,92 – 1st. Heanor ½ Marathon 1988, 1st. There are many other team victories but records are incomplete and memories fade over the years, hopefully one day this will be rectified. On recent success, the Blackpool 10k in 2000 Heanor won the team event and saw Jon Wainwright getting the runners up position out of over 3000 runners. We also took the men’s team trophy in the 2004 Long Eaton 5 mile road race and in the Merrill 10k road race.
The saddest occasion in our existence was the untimely death of the then secretary Alex Shain whilst on a training run in Shipley Park in 1986.
In the 1990s some of Heanor Running Clubs star runners drifted away to pastures new (bigger clubs). But the grass is not always greener and Heanor’s remaining members were left to keep the club alive, in retrospect the club was probably a victim of its own success. So during the early to mid nineties results were not so good and morale was fairly low, there was even talk of an amalgamation with Ilkeston Running Club.
Although good results were few during this period Judith Wooley started a young athletes section within Heanor Running Club with about 15-20 children under 13. This idea was ahead of its time and managed to keep the club together in this difficult time.
In the mid 90s new enthusiasm came to the club, new members and a new committee led by Rob Rainsford as chairman, Stuart Wainwright as secretary brought with them new ideas and a club now more close knit than ever before. In 2006/7 Rob is still carrying out the Chairman’s duties along with coach and club captain responsibilities. He is now ably supported by Lee Perkins and Peter Edwards who are the Secretary and Treasurer.
We still have our 10k Christmas Pudding Run, the 2004 run, held on the 15th November, was a very special event, beating the then record entry at 401. The members now enjoy regular coach trips to races, subsidised running kit, a more vibrant social scene, which now includes an annual trip abroad, and with all the new enthusiasm, race results have improved and morale couldn’t be higher.
2004 saw the first club trip abroad; Prague was the choice and over 30 members made the trip. The ½ marathon was run around the historic capital over the cobblestones (calf killer) not surprisingly the Kenyon’s shaded it, but our own Glenda Alton was the 1st British woman and 1st in her age category V40.
For the past 5 years we have made an annual club trip to Tywyn in Wales for the ‘Race The Train’ weekend in mid August. We have enjoyed considerable success with Individuals breaking course records, Adam Grice for the 10k and Chris Rainsford for the under 15 and under 17 age category’s and also as teams who regularly come home with an array of prizes packed in their cars.
2006 saw Heanor senior men claim the County Championship title at the Pride Park Relays over 2 miles per leg, with able support from the ladies team who were narrowly pipped into runners up spot in a tense finish.
Another first was the Derbyshire Cross Country County Championships when U17 Chris Rainsford stormed home to take the title in January 2006.
Adam Grice was also crowned Derbyshire Cross Country County Champion in the U20 age group, and followed this up with the 5k title on the track.
Adam had a fantastic year and was justifiably recognised by being selected for the England squad for the World Mountain running championship in Slovakia in October 2006.
The latest inclusion comes in 2005 with the Matthew Walkers 10k race now breaking all records with 625 entrants, sold out signs put up for the 2nd consecutive year and leaves the club exploring the idea of increasing the limit.
A measure of how much the club has grown is that we geared up to host our 3rd North Midlands Cross Country League match on 14/10/06.
We also now regularly compete in the Northern Championships on road and Cross Country, likewise on the National circuit. The last 2-3 years has certainly helped put Heanor Running Club on the map!
The latest inclusion in the history of our great club is that this year’s (2007) pudding run had reached its limit over two weeks before race day, entries will stop around the 680 mark to hopefully ensure we get 600 finishers on the day. The Matthew Walker sponsorship of this race will also reach a milestone in 2007 with it being the 21st running of this ever-popular race.
We introduced the Heanor 5 miler four years ago and while this race is still establishing itself, it is regularly attracting 170-190 runners. 2006 saw the 2.1-mile fun run included and this brought in 30 runners and looks as though it will be on again next year!