The main title for the race was the ‘McCain UK Cross Challenge’ with international athletes up front vying for a place in the GB team for the European Cross Country Championships, plus it is also the UK Club Championship Trial. This gives the race a real buzz with club athletes mixing it with the best in the country – needless to say not for long – as the muddy conditions made the longer than usual courses that bit tougher, but at least the weather was kind with unusually bright and sunny conditions!
In the ladies race we were well represented with Lindsey Brindle (31.06) up front running great for our first counter in 59th place overall – and I think 4th in the Mid Lancs reckonings. Not too far behind was Dionne Allen (31.31) up from University for the weekend and strengthening the team with a super run in 62nd. Emma Perrin (32.40) paced the race well with little fade over the longer than usual 8.1k course to finish in 76th place. Michelle Devine (35.35) was next – and full of a cold, but came to support the club and did really well to finish in 100th place. We also had the luxury of a fifth runner in Christine Boardman (39.37) who gave us strong team support and worked really hard over the long course for her 120th place.
In the men’s race of 350 starters, Gary Priestley (31.28) was our only runner to have entered the Mc Cain challenge race as well as representing the club in the Mid Lancs race. His excellent current form put him well amongst the elite performers as he finished as our first counter in 82nd place and 31st place in the under 23 category. Gareth Booth (34.10) was our next runner in and was flying for two of the three laps, then his lack of racing through his recent injury just took the edge off his performance on the last lap which allowed Alastair Murray (34.14) to close him down but not enough to get past him finishing just 4 seconds behind, both ran an excellent race. Steve Nolan (36.34) – slowly getting back into form ran well for his 211th position. Denis Mason (36.45) had a mini mix up with his race number – hence the gesture in the picture – but it didn’t stop him from having a good race finishing 217th. Doug Fleming (39.21) was next in, admitting to not being a great fan of flat cross country races but he worked hard in achieving his 287th place and did well as our 6th team counter. Gary Chaddertons (39.38) arrival at Liverpool took the pressure off our Chairman, as Pete (45.37) thought he may have to be a team counter, but Gary’s appearance and fine run in 296th place, gave us a strong team back up place in the league. This left Pete to enjoy himself!! With no pressure from his usual club challengers who were competing in the SEL race.