S.E.L. X/C Race 1 – Sat 22nd Nov Clayton Vale

Even though Horwich are not targeting this league, 17 runners turned out on this cold but very pleasant afternoon. The league has struggled in the last couple of years to find 4 venues, but this quickly organised race, hosted by East Cheshire Harriers, was extremely well organised, marked and marshalled – thanks to the organisers for that.

Cameron Critchley and Tom Hughes were first off in the boys Under 11 race where they came 4th and 9th respectively in 8.43 and 9.55. Well done lads good start to the afternoon.

Sam Boardman was off next in the under 13’s and he had a great start, right up at the front of the lead pack. He worked hard for one big lap of the course and came in a very respectable 5th place in a time of 11.59 – a well deserved performance.

The next duo off in the under 17’s ladies race was Bethan Faulkner getting back to racing after a summer of exams and coming back from injury, and April Stevenson who has decided to put a couple of cross country races in to build her stamina for the track next summer. April ran really strongly and showed that she is a real talent on the grass as well as the track. She came back in 22.06 in a fantastic 2nd place. Bethan also worked hard and completed the route in 25.28 in 6th place. Another great performance from both ladies after the mud of Bolton last weekend. (With the winner being from Leigh, and Leigh not affiliating that puts April currently in 1st place, and with a Rossendale runner in 4th with Rossendale also not affiliated it makes Bethan’s position 4th in the overall standings – keep it up ladies!)

In the ladies race it was left to Lisa Heyes to fly the flag which she did with a great 3rd place in 30.45. The race was won by in Carly Needham in 28.39

Twelve seniors (some quite senior) completed in the men’s race over 4 laps of a very fast, not very hilly, course that actually resulted in my fell shoes being cleaner at the end of the race than they were at the start. Ten of the 12 runners were vets and two of the vets led the Horwich pack back. Steve Nolan 16th 3rd V40 (39.33) and Rob Haworth 22nd 3V50 (40.38) were just ahead of Simon Parkinson 23rd (40.23) and Chris Leigh 40th (42.55). This was Chris’s first race for quite a while and his first cross country for 2 years. The chasing pack of vets included Gary Chadderton 47th (43.36), Tony Hesketh 48th 1stV60 (43.47), Peter Kevan 62nd (44.45), Colin Wood 71st (45.38), Colin Waterworth 77th (46.58), Peter Ramsdale 85th (48.03), Barry Allman 89 (48.46) and Gordon Stone 100th in 51.22 The race was won by L Dunn from Manchester YMCA in 35.37.

Thanks for all the support at Clayton and if anyone has a spare half an hour, I am helping mark the Leigh course out next weekend (6th Dec) and a bit of help to mark out or marshal the first couple of junior races from 1pm would be excellent. Without a course and a couple of marshals we have no cross country?


Peter Ramsdale
Cross Country Captain