Kenilworth Runners’ men produced a strong performance at the Midland Cross-Country Championships at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough last Saturday.
There was some trepidation from runners about the state of the course given the rain in previous weeks and it proved well founded as the venue’s notorious glutinous mud was in abundance.
The course was a new one for this year, which avoided the normal large hill but instead went through a nasty piece of woodland and up a severe incline.
Ladies and over-65 men were to complete 8k over two laps with the men doing 12k over three laps.
Kenilworth Runners finished tenth of the 31 completed teams in the men’s race.
Luke Morgan was first scorer, finishing 66th in 43min 45sec, ahead of Dewi Williams (108th in 46:25) and George Crawford (115th in 46:56).
Harry Purewal (48:47), Neil Cressy (49:12) and Wayne Briggs (49:34) all finished under 50 minutes to round out the team scorers.
Leamington C&AC were 17th overall with second claim athlete John Muddeman finishing 53rd in 42:30, with Phil Gould (44:36) in 80th. Ray Charlton (48:45) and Josh Hough (49:06) enjoyed a fierce inter-club battle, with Craig Bower (50:25) and Marc Curtis (51:09) completing the scorers for the club.
Omar Ahmed from Birchfield Harriers took the win in 36:44 and there were 366 finishers.
Leamington C&AC’s Monica Rothman finished in a spectacular 20th position in the ladies’ race, crossing the line in a time of 32:52.
Leamington fielded eight runners on the day, with Megan McDonald having to pull out after a fall in the wooded section caused her to suffer an injury to her ankle.
Zara Hadfield finished in 40th place in 34:20 with Monica Williamson 19 seconds and three positions further back and Jenny Jeeves (53rd in 35:14) completing the sixth-placed team.
Kenilworth Runners Ladies fielded a depleted team of just five members and were 26th of the 32 complete teams.
Emma Garnett ran strongly to come home 70th in 36:49, with Sally Hicks 130th in 42:11 and Kerrie Flippance 143rd in 42:53.
Gemma Steela from Charnwood AC won the race in 29:50 and there were 235 finishers.
In the youth races, Kenilworth Runners were represented by Ollie Flippance and Ryan Baker at under-20 level.
Flippance was 17th in 31:32 and Baker 20th in 32:50 against a tough field.
Leamington C&AC’s Dom Priest was a superb eighth in 28:19.
In the under-17 girls’ race, Ana Lovett was first over the line for Leamington and 40th overall, with sister Emily only three places behind.
Oliver Wetherall finished 56th in the under-13 boys’ race with James Gould in 100th, while in the under-15 girls’ event, Mel Gould was first home for the club in 73rd.