Force runners take part in national cross country event
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Two runners from Leicestershire Police are celebrating success after taking part in the Police Sport UK (PSUK) Cross Country event.
Detective Constable (DC) Joe Parker and Detective Sergeant (DS) Mark King were selected to represent the force at the annual cross country fixture held at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. Detective Sergeant (DS) Dan Robberts was also selected, however due to ill health was unable to complete the race.
The pair were joined by around 100 other athletes from across the police, RAF and fire service in what is a significant event in the cross country calendar. This year’s event was also the first time three Leicestershire Police staff were selected at the same time to take part.
DC Parker completed the six mile race in just over 41 minutes and DS King finished in 45 minutes.
Mark took up running as a hobby in 1997 and has since taken part in two Iron Men competitions and was placed first in his age group at the 2016 PSUK 10 mile race (on the hottest day on record for September). He also took part in the London Marathon in 2015, achieving a time of 2.52 hours, which put him in the top 1,000 runners in the country.
He said: “At almost 49 years of age, I am extremely grateful to still be able to represent the police at a national level in a sport I love doing.
“Our athletics section at Leicestershire Police hasn’t looked this strong for many years, so it’s a fantastic achievement to have all participated in such a prestigious sporting event.”
Having only recently started running in 2016, DC Joe Parker was honoured to be selected and to represent the force to such a high standard.
He said: “It came as a nice surprise when I received the news that I had been invited to attend my first ever PSUK race.
“The standard is very high, so it was a real privilege to compete against experienced runners from other forces and agencies.”
DS Dan Robberts started running at the age of 10 after his dad ran the London Marathon. He joined various athletics clubs throughout his teenage years and enjoyed success after representing Dorset at a number of national events. One of his biggest achievements was finishing second in the Midlands Services Cross Country League.
Leicestershire Police athletics section takes part in a number of local events, including a series of ten cross country fixtures across the Midlands, as well as a national XC event, 10 mile road race, marathon, orienteering, fell running, triathlon and track and field. The league runs from October to the end of March, with the national XC fixture on 26 February 2020 being held by Norfolk Police.