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Midland XC 5 and 7 - 23 November 2013

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Although lower-key than the Gloucester and Birmingham Leagues, this offers good competition against runners from across the region and the chance to get in a bit of extra cross-country experience in preparation for the big league races.

With a strong team of 4 taking their place on the start line, the Striders women made their presence felt from the outset.

Leading the way for the Striders was the ever-improving Jo Wilkie who took up a position in the top ten from the outset. Following her and well inside the top-twenty were Amanda Steer and women’s captain Rachel Vines, with Bethan Hopton completing the line-up.

Wilkie ran strongly throughout and claimed 10thplace, a whole minute and a half ahead of 11thplace. Next to finish for Striders was vines who worked her way through to 13thplace, having set and maintained a strong pace from the start. She was followed by Steer who started off relatively conservatively but worked her way through to finish strongly in a fine 16thplace. Meanwhile Bethan Hopton had an excellent run to finish in 35thplace in this 59-strong field. As a team, the Striders women just missed out on a podium finish to take 4thplace out of the 11 teams competing.

In race where the Striders men have traditionally only had a single runner competing, they went one better than that this year, with Andrew Paterson and Chris Driskell lining up to represent the club. Driskell finished in a solid 37thwhilst Paterson ran well to finish in 86thplace in this 103 strong field over a course which measured up at just under 7.5 miles.