The men’s and women’s cross country teams had great success at the first Cross Country League fixtures held at Newbold Comyn, Leamington on Saturday 9th November 2013. Highlights included the men finishing top of Birmingham League Division 2 by 20 points and the women finished 16 the out of the 37 teams in the Midlands League. The full results can be found here.
After plenty of rainfall in the days preceding the race the Bournville Harriers cross country runners faced the infamous Leamington ditch with a certain amount of trepidation. However, the sun came out for the day of the race to make ideal conditions for runners and supporters alike and helped to make the course not too heavy and teh ditch not quite as deep as it can be. Many thanks to all spectators who came to support the teams – their help was very much appreciated to get round the course.
The men fielded 21 runners which was particularly pleasing considering a number of runners were missing due to injury and other commitments. Dean Parker was first home for the ‘A’ team on the 10.6km course continuing his good form from the end of last season and finishing in 12th place. The rest of the A finishers (myself, Sam Chatwin, Gareth Cadd, Chris Collins and Sean Rose) were closely bunched behind all finishing in the top 43. Particular mention goes to Sam Chatwin who continues to make impressive progress in his running. Interestingly if we had entered as a 17th team in Division 1 we would have finished in 13th place – a far better result than last year’s 16th place and indicates we are moving in the right direction. The B team finishers (Brad Todd, John McKeon, Stuart Pearson, Oliver Kirkland, Richard Rollins and Matt Slater) were pressing hard on the A runners tails and were rewarded with a second place in the B team standings. The remaining runners Dave Harte, Jonathan Hammond, Ed Hartley, John Enright, Paul Dugmore, Jack Roberts,Terry Doherty, Mark Doudican and Barrie Roberts helped to push rival teams down the positions. Let’s try to keep the momentum going for the next race after this encouraging start!
Twelve Ladies lined up on the start line for Bournville, one of the advantages of being a lady is that you get to go first and churn up the course for the men! From my vantage point I was pleased to see some teal starting to show through on the front row mixing it up with the Birmingham uni girls. Our first three finishers, Linda Howell, Marianne Hensman and Laura Leslie scored the points to put us in an excellent 16th position. This could not be achieved without the rest of the team putting in solid runs. Suz West a recruit from last year had a fantastic run in her new spikes, Lisa Cartright made her cross country debut with a great run and has said she will come back again! One of our strengths is the masters team and they again showed that they are a force to be reckoned starting the season in a solid 10th place with only a few points separating the places above us, Marianne Hensman, Sarah Rock and Julie Delahaye-Slater made up the masters team. My aim last year was to have someone new at each league race, this year I’m going to add to that, to aim to have at least 15 ladies running! Thanks to all the runners for running their hardest and once again showing great team spirit. Thanks to the Pearsons for bringing the tent and the flag. The next race is on the 7th of December in Wolverhampton.