Leamington C&AC’s women sit an impressive fifth in Division One after the opening race of the Midland Women’s Cross-Country League at Burton Dassett Hills Country Park.
An already saturated course was made even more treacherous by steady rain, with the combination of hills, mud and camber making for a true test of runners’ cross-country abilities.
Thirteen C&AC ladies lined up on the start line and they were again led home by Kelly Edwards.
Despite taking time to warm up on the two-lap 6.4k course, she finished just inside the top ten and second master in 28min 28sec.
Newcomer to cross-country Hannah Thorne was not put off by the harsh conditions, finishing 19th in 29:35 with Natalie Bhangal 24th in 30:07.
Zara Hadfield (31:05) completed the scoring team in 37th position.
Fiona Ferguson (30:34) produced a fine run for host club Spa Striders to come home in 29th.
Claire Davidson (45th in 31:35), Laura Peake (47th in 31:36) and Alice Bourne (56th in 32:14) completed the scorers for Spa who finished in eighth.
Charlotte Everard (32:37), Melissa Venables (33:08), Kate Gadsby (33:50) provided good back-up.
Emma Ford ran well to lead Kenilworth Runners home in 29:33 for 17th place.
She was joined in the scoring four by Laura Pettifer (71st in 32:46), Kelly Burnett-Nicholl (79th in 33:30) and Jenny Vaughan (80th in 33:32) as Kenilworth finished 11th of the 17 teams.
Division Two of the Birmingham & District Cross-Country League followed, with the men taking on three laps of the already churned-up course.
Kenilworth Runners had a few runners absent but managed to secure fourth team out of 14, with Ben Taylor (17th in 40:01), George Crawford (32nd in 40:55), Kev Hope(33rd in 41:07), Dewi Williams (38th in 41:44), Oliver Flippance (41st in 42:13) and Matt Dyer (60th in 43:45) scoring and gaining good support from Felix Lunn (65 in 43:59) and Ryan Baker (89 in 45:13).
The Kenilworth B team finished second out of 11 teams.
The results were marred, by an injury to Richard Clarke, however, who fell during the race and broke an ankle.
Taking a break from his organisational duties, Chris Mckeown led Spa Striders home in 39:59 (16th).
He was followed by Neil Smith (39th in 41:49), Steven Taylor (42nd in 42:13 ), Simon Ludford (49th in 42:54), Richard Spear (62nd in 43:49) and Tim Beresford (90th in 45:16) as Striders finished in eighth.
Pete Teevan (46:25), John-Paul Hunt (46:33), Chris Wilson (49:42), Ben Parkinson (49:50), Richard Sykes (50:32), Jason Hemming (50:59) made up the tenth-placed B team.
Despite a late venue change, Leamington C&AC managed to field 19 men at a very cold, wet and muddy Coundon Hall Park in Coventry for the first race of the Birmingham League Division One campaign.
Injuries and unavailability led to a weakened team finishing 14th of the 16 teams, with the B team eighth of 13.
Callum Hanlon was the first man back for the red, white and blues, completing the three-and-a-bit lap, 9k course in 34th (32:27).
A welcome return to the club saw Guy Allen finish 95th in 34:51, with club captain Phil Gould 106th in 35:18.
The in-form Charlie Staveley was 114th in 35:38, with Dean Mawby (117th in 35:41) and 18-year-old debutant Frazer Knowles (124th in 35:50) completing the scoring six.
The B team were made up of Pierre Le Marquer (143rd in 36:61), Jack Savage (148th in 36:38), Iain McLaughlin, who was just a place and a second back, Ray Charlton (181st in 38:30), Steve Hundal (193rd in 39:14) and Brian Miller (199th in 40:03).