The highpoint of the Cross Country season was held this year at Trent Park, and for the first time in conjunction with Herts, an innovation that makes for a bigger field whilst maintaining the very special relaxed camaraderie of this race. It was unusually also held on a Sunday due to calendar clashes.
Simon Maddison reports:
It was bright but overcast, and the going was firm to soft in a few places, and quite a lot of climbing and descents throughout the race. Despite the forecast though the warmth and sun did not materialise but it was mostly sheltered and more than warm enough slogging up all the climbs.
The first race to go was the M40-59, with two age groups running together over an 8km course. Steve Norris remained well up throughout finishing 9th overall and 7th in the V40. The team was made up by stalwart Jason Sewards at 41, and Riz Rauf at 52 in his first ever race for the club. Collectively this was good enough for the team to win a well-deserved Bronze team medal to the delight and surprise of all.
With only two runners in the M50 there was unfortunately no chance of a team medal, but Richard Hooley ran strongly throughout to finish in 33rd overall and 18th in category, and Tony Smith putting in a welcome late season appearance battling it out with Riz to come in just ahead of him at 51.
The second race over 6.5km combined the M60 and the Ladies together. In the ladies race there are individual age categories, but making a team is much easier with all counting towards the team irrespective of age. We had an excellent turnout making up two complete teams, with Vicky Carter storming around and finishing in an excellent 2nd place to come in with W35 Silver. British Triathlete Kate Nunn was 10th, followed closely by yesteryear team mate Diana Kennedy at 12th and taking a second individual silver for the W45! Kate O’Donoghue making her debut XC for the club worked solidly around to finish at 42nd, with first seasoner Barbara Maddison at 46, and Christine Munden rounding the teams off at 52.
Vicky, Kate Nunn and Diana deservedly won the Women’s Gold, well ahead of Serpentine and Heathside, pulling in an excellent haul for the Valley!
In the parallel M60, Nick Michael made a welcome appearance on the trail for the club, working around to finish 11th, with Simon Maddison coming in at 13th. As fate would have it (ok then, the age classification system) this meant husband and wife Simon and Barbara running in the same race, with Barbara stretching Simon hard all the way around until he managed to break in the last 200 yards.
With many thanks to Barrie as ever who not only marshalled but helped with the numbers and to Dave and Marion Huffer also out marshalling on the course.
M40 & team Bronze
9 Steve Norris 31:47; 41 Jason Sewards 39:36; 52 Rizwan Rauf 46:51;
33 Richard Hooley 37:16; 51 Tony Smith 46:24;
11 Nick Michael 36:34; 13 Simon Maddison 39:42;
Women team Gold, Vicky, Kate and Diana
2 Victoria Carter 27:27; 10 Kate Nunn 30:08; 52 Christine Munden 43:27;
12 Diana Kennedy 30:48; 42 Kate O’Donoghue 38:39; 46 Barbara Maddison 39:49;
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