With the exception of the English Schools the domestic cross-country season drew to its traditional close with the Inter-Counties cross-country which incorporated the last ever McCain Cross Challenge and the 2013 World Cross trials for the GB team. As ever club athletes represented a number of counties – so apologies if I have missed anyone. In the Under-13 girls race Eloise Browne finished 142nd of 302 finishers in 12.51. Hugh Sadler and Kyle Haynes ran the under-13 boy’s event with Hugh 42nd in 11.07 and Kyle 174th in 11.50 among the 311 finishers. The club had no under-15s running and Miles Chandler was the club’s sole under-17 representative – finishing 119th of 276 in 20:12 with an incredible burst down the finishing straight. Kieran Young ran a very solid race for 36th in the under-20 Men’s race in 26.30.
As ever our senior ladies were out with Annabel Gummow first home in 25th for Cornwall in 28.48. Next came Helen Sharpe in 46th place running for the East of Scotland in 29.33. Kate Goodhead finished 80th in 30.20 running for Gloucestershire before Charlotte Green finished 156th in 32.03 for Avon & Somerset. There are never very large gaps between our ladies when they race and Julia Belyavin (169th in 32.23), Clare Stevinson (172nd in 32.28 for Leicestershire), Marie Kirton (187th in 32.44) and Viv McConnell (194th in 32.52) were all in the finishing straight at the same time. Lucy O’Gorman a regular member of the club training group ran well to finish 37th in 29.07.
The final race of the day, the Senior Men, saw Phil Wylie finish 18th in 35.22 for the tough 12 kilometres: Phil is often noted for pulling through the field but as strong as he was in the second half of the race he just couldn’t really move forward once he hit the top 20. Charlie MacLean worked hard throughout to stay in the top 50 with 45th position in 36.18 and he was never too far in front of Owain Jones who finished 55th in 36.33. Also in the field with his Devon vest on was Shaun Antell who finished 153rd in 38.46 in a field of 290.
As ever with this winter’s cross-country championship races the course was very muddy and the course was a real test of endurance and stamina. I know there are several people who can’t wait for it to be firmer under foot and that includes the spectators.