On Saturday the senior women & men travelled to Coundon Hall Park in Coventry for the 1st Cross Country fixture of the 2019 – 20 Season. After the very wet start to Autumn the course was always going to be heavy going but with a late change of venue for the mens 1st division race to Coventry the ladies were faced with a churned up course from the start.
Although the day was cold & wet throughout the ladies fielded 9 athletes to complete 2 teams in their 1st team cross country for a number of years.
Selina Topham finished in 77th with next Kaye Fearn just 2 seconds behind. Helen Puplett was next home in 93rd with Emma Stewardson completing the ‘A’ – team in 102nd.
Battling the tough conditions were the ladies ‘B’ – team consisting of Debbie Moran, Jennifer Clee, Mel Annis & Christine Sedman-Smith. Providing backup incase of any mishaps Marie Major completed the course in 217th out of a total of 250 entrants.
The men then took to the course with 2 junior athletes facing a baptism of fire in their 1st senior cross country fixture. Not only were they faced with double the distance to their junior races but conditions were getting worse as the heavy rain persisted. Both came through with flying colours with Dan Kimber leading the team home in an excellent 12th position and Jason Smith completing the ‘A’ – team in 133rd. Paul Hyde had his usual reliable run finishing 84th with Russ Barnes & Brian Currier coming in together in 96th & 97th. Robin Fearn came through the field strongly to finish in 132nd. This put the ‘A’- team in 15th position out of 22 teams in this years’ opening fixture.
Unfortunately the men were not able the match the ladies and were 1 runner short of completing a ‘B’ – team. Steve Smith came 162nd and Paul Ingram 196th. Finally completing the squad were Ian Clough (207th), Martin Willmott (210th) and Terry Bedington (212th).
Photos of the Mens race are available in the Gallery courtesy of Elle Townsend of Northbrook AC (one of the clubs who put on the fixture under such difficult conditions).