The rain certainly added to the challenge of the Midlands Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
Held at Wollaton Park in Nottingham, hosts Notts AC put on a challenging course which made the most of the hill on which the picturesque hall sits, curving the course up and down the steep grassy banks a number of times.
While the hills and rain were perhaps expected, the runners also had to deal with logs to hurdle as well as a boggy section that sucked the energy out of even the most hardcore of cross-country runners.
The ladies ran first, taking on an 8k course which featured a medium lap followed by two large laps.
Leamington C&AC had seven ladies on the start line, with Kelly Edwards running a superb race to finish 13th overall in a time of 32min 52sec.
Team-mates Jenny Jeeves (35:47), Zara Blower (37:23) and Elaine Sherwin (37:46) packed nicely in positions 42, 60 and 65 to bring the ladies’ team into eighth overall.
Laura Pettifer (36:32) was first home for Kenilworth Runners in 50th position, with Jane Kidd (39:51), Rachel Kerr (40:46) and Stef Lunn (41:43) helping the ladies’ team to 16th out of the 34 teams.
Selected others (Kenilworth Runners unless stated): 159, Elisse Breuglemans (44:05); 174, Sophie Cookson (45:18); 180, Laura Gould (Leamington C&AC, 45:35); 192, Carol Blower (Leamington C&AC, 46:57), 199, May Donaldson (Leamington C&AC, 47:55); 237, Jenny Richards (53:39); 248, Pauline Dable (60:43).
The men faced four large laps which meant at least 12 hill climbs, eight log hurdles and four energy sapping bog sections.
Kenilworth Runners’ Paddy Roddy had a good run, finishing 14th in the senior men’s race in 43:02.
Roddy, along with Matt Dyer (50:14), Wayne Briggs (52:14), Roger Homes (55:45), Stewart Underhill (57:41) and Richard Cookson (58:24) were the 18th-placed team out of 38.
Phil Gould was first home for Leamington C&AC, crossing the line 37th in 45:29.
Jason Hill was the next club member back, finishing 143rd in 51:45.
Marc Curtis (183rd in 53:16), Craig Bower (198th in 54:03), Simon Perkins (200th in 54:08) and Garrath Schule (239th in 55:59) completed the scoring six.
Selected others (Kenilworth runners unless stated): 291, Paolo Foglini (Leamington C&AC, 58:24 ); 301, Chris Lyons (58:50); 303, Colin Bailey (58:51); 316, Stephen Chalkley (59:29); 326, Barry Elkington (59:57); 329, Andrew Higgins (Leamington C&AC, 60:02); 369, Steve Roberts (Leamington C&AC, 62:30); 445, Roger Fagge (Leamington C&AC, 69:16); 470, Stef Shillington (1:21:06); 472, Tom Dable 1:26:39.
n Kenilworth Runners’ Martin Belcher took part in the Lliswerry 8 mile road race, finishing in a time of 64:43 for 331st place out of 792 runners.
This very popular eight-mile race is organised by Lliswerry Runners and all the marshals are club runners so there is great support and a fantastic spread of cakes at the end.
The course is on quiet roads that are completely flat, hence the excellent winning times for Philip Matthews of Swansea Harriers (40:21) and Clara Evans of Cardiff AAC (46:19).