Edwards a muddy marvel at Midlands Championships

Phil Gould prepares to tackle one of the boggy sections at Wollaton Park. Pictures submitted
Phil Gould prepares to tackle one of the boggy sections at Wollaton Park. Pictures submitted

The rain certainly added to the challenge of the Midlands Cross Country Championships on Saturday.

Held at Wollaton Park in Nottingham, hosts Notts AC put on a challenging course which made the most of the hill on which the picturesque hall sits, curving the course up and down the steep grassy banks a number of times.

Laura Pettifer runs down two rivals.

Laura Pettifer runs down two rivals.

While the hills and rain were perhaps expected, the runners also had to deal with logs to hurdle as well as a boggy section that sucked the energy out of even the most hardcore of cross-country runners.

The ladies ran first, taking on an 8k course which featured a medium lap followed by two large laps.

Leamington C&AC had seven ladies on the start line, with Kelly Edwards running a superb race to finish 13th overall in a time of 32min 52sec.

Team-mates Jenny Jeeves (35:47), Zara Blower (37:23) and Elaine Sherwin (37:46) packed nicely in positions 42, 60 and 65 to bring the ladies’ team into eighth overall.

Kenilworth Runners' men.

Kenilworth Runners' men.

Laura Pettifer (36:32) was first home for Kenilworth Runners in 50th position, with Jane Kidd (39:51), Rachel Kerr (40:46) and Stef Lunn (41:43) helping the ladies’ team to 16th out of the 34 teams.

Selected others (Kenilworth Runners unless stated): 159, Elisse Breuglemans (44:05); 174, Sophie Cookson (45:18); 180, Laura Gould (Leamington C&AC, 45:35); 192, Carol Blower (Leamington C&AC, 46:57), 199, May Donaldson (Leamington C&AC, 47:55); 237, Jenny Richards (53:39); 248, Pauline Dable (60:43).

The men faced four large laps which meant at least 12 hill climbs, eight log hurdles and four energy sapping bog sections.

Kenilworth Runners’ Paddy Roddy had a good run, finishing 14th in the senior men’s race in 43:02.

Four of Leamington's C&AC's women's team.

Four of Leamington's C&AC's women's team.

Roddy, along with Matt Dyer (50:14), Wayne Briggs (52:14), Roger Homes (55:45), Stewart Underhill (57:41) and Richard Cookson (58:24) were the 18th-placed team out of 38.

Phil Gould was first home for Leamington C&AC, crossing the line 37th in 45:29.

Jason Hill was the next club member back, finishing 143rd in 51:45.

Marc Curtis (183rd in 53:16), Craig Bower (198th in 54:03), Simon Perkins (200th in 54:08) and Garrath Schule (239th in 55:59) completed the scoring six.

Selected others (Kenilworth runners unless stated): 291, Paolo Foglini (Leamington C&AC, 58:24 ); 301, Chris Lyons (58:50); 303, Colin Bailey (58:51); 316, Stephen Chalkley (59:29); 326, Barry Elkington (59:57); 329, Andrew Higgins (Leamington C&AC, 60:02); 369, Steve Roberts (Leamington C&AC, 62:30); 445, Roger Fagge (Leamington C&AC, 69:16); 470, Stef Shillington (1:21:06); 472, Tom Dable 1:26:39.

n Kenilworth Runners’ Martin Belcher took part in the Lliswerry 8 mile road race, finishing in a time of 64:43 for 331st place out of 792 runners.

This very popular eight-mile race is organised by Lliswerry Runners and all the marshals are club runners so there is great support and a fantastic spread of cakes at the end.

The course is on quiet roads that are completely flat, hence the excellent winning times for Philip Matthews of Swansea Harriers (40:21) and Clara Evans of Cardiff AAC (46:19).