Saturday 25th January 2014
Knowsley Safari Park
Mud, gusting winds, and torrential downpours – and that was just around the tents before the race. (*must wear wellies next time) The race was certainly going to be a muddy affair on a good undulating course, and 12k to run, it was a day for the strong runners. The men’s race was 3 laps of every type of mud on the menu : sloppy mud, sticky mud, deep sucking mud, wet puddly mud, uphill mud and downhill mud. (The only good running was a couple of bits of woodchip)
As is usually the case the start was crazy. 600 plus runners toed the 100 meter wide line, among them a tremendous turnout of 10 Horwich RMI Harriers, waiting for the starters gun. On the gun began the mad dash for the 10 meter wide gap only a couple of hundred meters away up a bit of a (did I mention muddy) hill. Everybody goes off too fast, and only a few minutes into the race you are gasping for air and trying to settle down to a more realistic pace.
Chris Farrell and James Kevan made the strongest start for the harriers. Chris had a fantastic run to finish 34th in his first Northern Cross Country. James was next to finish for the harriers in 62nd. Anywhere in the top 100 is an excellent result at this level, so very well done to Chris and James.
In the team race it’s 6 to count for the senior men, and the next 4 for the harriers had a close race, pushing each other along, (not literally) and battling each other throughout. (Non contact) Next in was Alastair Murray, happy to turn the tables on some club mates from previous results (woohoo) and feeling strong. Dave Jackson finished a massive 40 seconds behind Alastair (big grin) adding another great run to recent form. Dave was closely followed by Jonathan Bruton, valiantly running despite a week off nursing a sore achilles, and putting in a fabulous effort for the team. (What a guy) Jonathan just got the better of Dave Milliken in the finally sprint for the line. This completed the 6 that would land Horwich 9th team in the Northern Athletics Cross Country Championship 2014, our best result for many years. (Yeah!)
The first 6 were ably supported by runs from Andy Townsend, Karl Ward, Danny Kevan and Pete Ramsdale, (Well done lads) and from the course side by Aga Kevan, Pete Keven and Pete Bland. (That I noticed)
In the ladies race we sadly only had one counter but non the less Debbie Campbell had a great run finishing 65th. (I’ve got your Helly and hat)
Earlier on in the day in the U17 boys, Nathan Townsend finished 39th in his first year at this age group. Watch this space.
What a great day out for the club (big thanks to Capt. Peter Ramsdale) and another great result in 2014. Next stop, the Witton Park Relays on Sunday 2nd February. See you there.
All results here : http://www.noeaa-athletics.org.uk/Pages/Article.aspx?id=169&articleid=555