Red Rose travelled by team coach to the latest Mid Lancs Cross Country League event held at Thorncliffe, in Barrow in Furness. The cold but bright conditions provided great views to Blackpool and the Lake District. This season has been the first in which we have had representatives in the Junior sections. Alice Lodge had raced in two previous fixtures and it was Hannah Bosman’s second appearance in the U11 Girls race. Only the most keen runners appeared to have made the long journey to Barrow and both girls acquitted themselves well with times of 10.42 for Alice and 11.12 for Hannah for the 2km course.
In the U17 Boys race over an approximately 5km race, Joe Donoghue took the honours of first home for the club in 20.22 with good support from Ethan Hodgkinson finishing in 21.21.
In spite of a few absences from the ladies team the club still had a great turn out of 3 teams with eleven ladies running. Margaret Lupton showed her enthusiasm and aptitude for the cross country events leading the team home in 24.32 for the 5K distance, placing 7th out of 16 in her age group. The wet conditions began to churn the course up by this time and the two lap course saw the runners having to negotiate the most favourable line. Debbie Porter ran 25.54 and Adela Nuttall finished in 28.59 to complete an ‘A’team, 7th overall. Helen Orson (30.11) and Pita Oates(30.22) acted as encouragement to each other as they contested a close race. Wendy Ward had a good run to finish in 31.25 to complete a ‘B’ team. A third team made up of Carole Williams (32.22) Janet Saynor (33.18) and Kate Bosman (34.17) emphasised the great club effort. Only seconds behind, Ann Donoghue and Joanne Malcolmson both put in good times of 34.34.
In the Mens race we had 12 runners. In spite of struggling with a ‘stitch’ Ben Donoghue was placed first for the club in 37.29 followed quite closely by a victorious V50 trio. Joe Swarbrick (37.47) 6th V50, Ken Addison 38.01 9th V50 and Phil Butler(39.41) 14th V50, finished the day as the top Vet 50 team out of 14 teams. Stuart Cann (40.37) ran strongly to be the final member of our Vet 40 team which finished in 7th place out of 20 teams. Dave Maudseley put in a good performance with a time of 41.37 with Frank Nightingale running a confidence boosting 43.03. Andy Speer didn’t appear on the initial finishing results but put in a good race. New to the cross country scene Jonathan Evans (46.21) and Rob Mather (49.18) completed the 9 K course in steady fashion. Gavin Beetham and Luke Bosman put in great efforts to complete the great team performance in times of 53.33 and 58.13.
Mark Billington has given fair warning to his rivals with two great performances in a week. His first sub 90 minute half marathon came in the Catforth ½ Marathon followed by his first sub 20 minute 5k on Saturday. Another Parkrun PB came from John Wiseman(24.30) on the difficult Cuerden Valley route.
17 club members took on the popular Garstang 10K. Jose Pinon Shaw ran a good sub 40 minute time, 39.21, followed by Kev Reed who ran an encouraging 40.13. Richard Oakley ran an excellent 40.25 to take 2nd V60. Richard Maughan and Andrew Stell covered the challenging course in 42.19 and 43.38. Janine Needham lead the ladies home in a very good time of 44.32 with Jill Jefferson taking the F55 prize in 44.51. Andy Binstead started the new year with a time of 46.32 followed by Carole Douglass who won the FV65 prize in 51.28. Debbie Porter racing for the second time in the weekend was next in 53.32. George Fletcher , ran an impressive 53.48 but was only 4th in his age group, such was the quality of Vet70 entry. David Wikinson was close behind in 54.04 whilst Colin Manning again broke the hour in 59.23. Adela Nuttall and Pita Oates, competing the day after the Barrow Cross Country, finished in 60.19 and 62.59. Bernard Elkington finished in 63.43 as the oldest runner in the field.