Midlands Cross Country League
Leamington C&AC Masters Ladies maintained their first position spot at the weekend taking the gold medal in the Midlands Ladies Cross Country League, with Kelly Edwards also taking the medal for first master and Monica Williamson taking bronze.
The final race of the league was held at Aldersley Stadium in Wolverhampton and, with the men joining them for their final in the Birmingham Cross Country League, the day saw the club out in full support. 18 ladies from LCAC ran the muddy and slightly confusing course which snaked round the fields and a disused railway around the sports facility.
Edwards ran a strong race and finished 13th overall (22:54) with Williamson not far behind in 16th (24:04). Jenny Jeeves was next home in 20th position (24:25) meaning that, as has been usual this season, Leamington’s top three runners also counted for the masters’ team points. With Zara Blower next home in 26th place (24:50) the ladies team finished an impressive 3rd on the day.
The team finished 5th overall in the league just 3 points behind 4th position. Wendy Daniels made up the masters’ team finishing in 34th position (25:23). An excess of traffic on the motorway saw Saffia del Torre arrive after the gun had been fired which led to her having to race down to the start only to turn around and race back up the hill chasing the tail runner.
With official’s commenting at the honesty of the athlete, del Torre managed to fight her way through the pack to finish in a respectable time of 27:13 just behind team mate Courtney Thornberry (27:09) Shortly afterwards teammates Eve Walpole and Faye Barr fought each other to the finish line both crossing the line in 28:04.
Other runners: Elaine Sherwin (25:27), Shamira Naidu-Young (26:51), Charlie Mitchell (29:04); Judith Hanlon (30:34); Carol Blower (31:19); Laura Gould (31:26), Tara Fagge (31:40), Mary Donaldson (32:57), Louise Marsh (34:11).
The action-packed women’s race seemed to be mirrored in the men’s race with Steve Roberts again arriving late and having to run downhill to the start to turn around to begin the race. Starting the race after the main pack had left the field it was a challenge for Roberts to make up the lost time, but the runner managed to pick off several runners to finish in a time of 44:05.
The club was led out by solid cross-country runner Callum Hanlon who eventually finished 14th in a time of 29:42. Phil Gould was next home in a time of 32:23 with the rising star Kieran Chahal hot on his heels finishing in 32:45. Tom Foulterton was, in turn, chasing Chahal and finished just 3 seconds behind him in 31:48 making for some closely placed scoring for the A team (51,59 and 62). Paul Andrew, back from injury finished in 85th place (32:24) with Richard Merrell making up the A team in 91st position (32:38).
The A team has scored consistently this season and remain in 7th place in the league at the end of the final race. The B team also ran well and secured their 5th place position with Greg West being their first scorer. West, battling through a cramp during the race, finished in a time of 33:31, crossing the line at the same time as clubmate Vassilis Andreoulakis. Jack Savage (34:02); Gavin Fowler (34:52) and Dean Mawby (35:15) had been closely packed throughout the race with Marc Curtis also running well to finish in 35:59 to make up the B team.
Close packing seemed the order of the day and the number of runners now in red shorts seemed to dominate certain parts of the pack. Ben Rajaan (36:35) was next in with Steve Hundal and Alex Ibbs, having chased each other around the course, both finishing in 36:40. James Joyce finished just 4 seconds later. Christian Ibbs made his debut for the club and, despite being out if his comfort zone, was seen to be smiling most of the way round finishing in a time of 48:54.
Others runners: Craig Bower (36:54); Peter Stockbridge (37:24); Simon Perkins (37:36); Nick Tawney (38:18); Rob Wilson (38:23); Andrew Higgins (38:29); Paolo Foglino (39:17); Brain Miller (39:27); Paul Caruana (40:09); Philip Pavey (40:53) Alex Montgomery (43:33); Sagar Depala (43:39); Rupe Chahal (44:53)