Chris Elson reports:
With a posse (Jack Millar 11th, Will Christofi 17th & Owain Jones 18th) starring at the British Cross-Country Challenge and many of those performing heroics at last weekend’s National X-Country Relays or in various marathon races round the country engaged elsewhere, it looked as if it might be tough for those men competing at the Gwent League X-Country. The results however dispelled anxiety and were most gratifying with the A, B, C, D & E teams all holding on to their overall top spots!
Andy Watt, showed that he is rapidly getting back to where he was, headed the men home in 12th place. Miles Chandler (21st) arguably produced his best run in the league, while Joe Ballard was Saturday’s revelation finishing over 50 places higher than at Cardiff in 25th. Alberto Beltran made his debut for the club in 37th position, and Josh Habgood-Coote (65th) completed the A team, which was 2nd team on the day just 32 points behind Micky Morris Racing team, but with a healthy 73 point lead overall. Pete Bains making a welcome return to the League led the B team home in 86th place while Darren Garmen 90th (8th M45) and Brad Pontin 98th were close behind. Matt Burden (106th) notably improving 47 places over his Cardiff run and Kieran Batty, improving nicely, completed the B team in 112th. Leion Grogan (115th) was first for the C team followed by Neil Turney (119th), Andy Dunn (138th), Dan Titheradge (141) and Mark Taylor (142 & 18th M45), an ever reliable posse packing in together.
Jon Bennett (148) led the D team home with Tom Newman back from injury in 167th, Michael Chandler (170th) and our two star M60’s Jon Goodland & Dave Bedwell finishing 2 seconds apart (tooth & nail?) in 175th (5th M60) & 176th place completed the team. Dave Bedwell (6th M60) deserves a special mention as this was his last 10K race in the Gwent League as he ascends to the M65 ranks in time for the third race in the series (watch out M65’s). Doug Webb, making his debut for the club led the E team home in 185th place, with Bill Hull still battling Achilles tendonitis 192nd and Jack Longstaff, perhaps not running as well as he would like in 212th, providing the E team back up. 405 men finished.