Red Rose travelled to Sefton Park Liverpool for the second Mid Lancs cross country of the season which joins the annual McCain’s UK Cross Challenge. In a large field of 480 men and 170 senior women the competition was of the highest quality. The three lap course undertaken by the men saw John Shepherd leading the club out with Ken Addison and Joe Swarbrick tussling for position not far behind. Addison opened up a significant gap in the second lap and began to chase Shepherd. He overtook John and battled on to the finish, staying ahead by 6 seconds, in a time of 40.26. The course tested all the runners and by the third lap the muddy stretches began to tell on tiring legs. Fourth home was Phil Butler in 42.13, with Shane Cliffe running comfortably to finish in 42.53. Phil Darwin, enjoyed his latest cross country event coming in 40 seconds ahead of the experienced Stuart Cann with a time of 43.46. Fred Lynch made another welcome appearance with a steady performance to suggest a full return to fitness isn’t far off. Phil Davidson (45.29) held off a challenge from John Allen with only 4 seconds separating them. Phil Dean put in a solid performance with a time of 46.23 followed by John Hyde (50.34), Gavin Beetham (56.08) and Allan Howard in 45.33.
In the women’s race Paula Plowman lead the team with a strong and confident run finishing the race in 40.50. Ann Wallworth refused to allow the gap to open up throughout the race and came within 5 seconds of catching her. Debbie Kirkman seemed to be running on tired legs but stuck to the task and kept her team mates in sight, finishing in 41.55. Joan Gouldthorpe finished well in her age group with a time of 43.05 with Sal Cape fighting hard for a time of 46.16 and Karen Clark completing the team in a time of 50.19.
In the Best 5K in aid of Baby Beat Shane Cliffe came home first- on the lead bike and Sal Cape helped race organisers by running as a back marker. V55 Richard Oakley won his age group in a time of 21.02. Mark Billington followed 8 seconds later in a time of 21,10. Jamie Jardine added another encouraging time to his recent performances with a time of 22.37. Bernard and Evelyn Elkington supported this worthy cause running and finishing together in 33.24 with Evelyn being first in her age group.
At the Wesham 10k Mike Hall came close to his best time with 40.53, Simon Houghton ran well in 44.12 and Carol Douglass finished first in her age group in 50.21 but the Red Rose performance of the day came from Debbie Bevitt who took 6 minutes off last year’s time and 2 minutes off her PB. She finished in 52.19. Roger Johnson ran 55.30 and Jacqui Eastwood and Alan Kelly came in almost together in 62.57 and 62.59.