Ben makes it a hat-trick at the Charity Cup

Ben Sharman completed a hat-trick of victories in the Senior Men's Charity Cup at Wicksteed Park on an extremely mild day by recent standards, but with muddy conditions underfoot.

Ben, a former Kettering Town Harriers athlete who now runs for top Birmingham club Birchfield Harriers, was pushed all the way by Mark Greenwood, an Army officer who competes for Nene Valley Harriers. Only on the final lap did he establish a lead, eventually winning by 11 seconds.

Stuart Nelson took the bronze medal and with Rory Grant in 4th led Rugby & Northampton AC to team victory. They took the historic Alexander Cup, also for the third successive year.

KTH were third in the team stakes with Phil West first finisher in 17th. Also picking up bronze medals were Steve Giles, Ron Searle, Paul Young, Alan Rain and Andrew Clawson.

In the NAA Masters Championships held in conjunction with the main event, Corby's Danny Keating struck gold, with R & N again team champions. Phil, Steve, Paul and Alan got another bronze team medal for Kettering.

Fresh from fourth place in Oxford's victory over Cambridge in the Varsity match, Hayley Munn strode to a comfortable victory in the Senior Women's race. With Kelly Barnett and Deb Galletta they also took the team bronze medals.

NAA Masters champion was R&N's remarkable 63-year old Angela Copson.

Other highlights for Kettering were a double in the Under 13 races with Jack Hope and Maisie Green both winning comfortably. Gemma Vaughan was second and with Maisie and Hannah Winstone took the team gold medals.

Ed Cherry was a close second in the Under 15 race behind Josh Coles from Latimer College and Imogen Stokes took bronze in the Under 17s. The Under 15 girls had a fine battle in which Corby's Ellie Welch triumphed with KTH's Kayli Walford and Fran Ashworth 2nd and 3rd. Along with Kerry Green, they won the team golds.

In the Under 11 Girls race, Tabatha Walford was 2nd for Kettering behind R & N's Georgia Willix and Rebecca Hughes ran well for 4th. Together with Dannielle Gaskell they won team silvers.

Other winners were Cameron Roberts (R & N) in the Under 11 Boys and Rory Bowe who was first to cross the line in the Under 17 Men's race.

With great help from the Harriers team of marshals, the event proceeded slickly, despite disappointingly small fields in some races. Almost 50 athletes who entered did not actually compete, perhaps due to the poor weather in the preceding weeks, or the sickness bug that appears to be sweeping through the county!