Glos League cross country, Race 1, 14 October, Blackbridge, Gloucester
In the first cross-country fixture of the season, CLC Striders turned out en masse to represent their club. In breezy and balmy conditions, the women and men did well in their first test away from the road and track for some months. Club teams were gathered from all over the region to take part and the fields were sizable and featured some quality athletes.
In the senior ladies race Karlien Heyrman – beginning to return to her best – brought the Striders home with a 25th place finish and a time of 25:19.
Helen Knight was next in 31st in 25:41. Amanda Steer was third finisher in 35th place in a time of 25:54 and was the first lady in her LV40 category.
Recovering from a virus, Amelia Mullins was 62nd in 27:27 (and 6th in the LV45 category). Making a welcome return to racing with the club, Helen Howes was 77th in 28:11 and debutante Natalie Burfitt was the sixth A-Team finisher in 82nd place in a time of 28:46.
The B Team finishers were Nicola Weager in 86th in 29:03, Emma Abbey in 94th in 29:18, Carla Quirighetti in 108th in 30:22, Sarah Wilson in 138th in 32:46, Jill Harsent in 139th (and 8th in the LV55 category) in 32:47, and Amanda Pill 161st in 38:11. Janet Mustoe also ran for the team on the day.
In the Open Team competition, the Striders Ladies A Team finished in 7th place, the B Team finished in 15th, the C Team in 24th and the D Team in 33rd. In the Masters, CLC Striders women finished in 4th, 13th and 22nd positions.
Who’s the Daddy?
Meanwhile, in the men’s race, just one week after becoming a father for the first time, Will Ferguson stormed home to a convincing win in a time of 28:39 across the 5.5-mile course.
He was followed home by Tom Kabala in 56th in 33.18 making a great debut appearance for the club across the country, with Mark Fuller, also making his cross-country Striders debut, close behind in 58th position in a time of 33.21. The ever-reliable Charles Goodwin finished in 62nd place as the fourth MV50 in a time of 33.31, with Tom Vickers and Paul Northup making up the A team scorers finishing virtually neck-and-neck in 72 and 73 place respectively, in 34:11 and 34:12.
Next home was a recovering Will Pearce in 83rd in a time of 34:30 and then Neil Broadbent in 103rd in 35:15 and vet JJ Willson in 111th in 35:35 (as the 5th finisher in the MV55 category). Chris Driskell posted a steady season opener, finishing in 113th place in 35:36 and Paul Lockyer was 114th in 35:39. The sixth finisher for the B Team, in 130th place, was Alex Monro in a time of 36:28.
The other racers and finishers for CLC men on the day were Gareth Harries, 134th in 36:43, James Gibbs, 146th in 37:43, Andrew Paterson, 149th in 38:03, Stuart Barr, 152nd in 38:15, Bradley Coates, 171st in 39:54, Martin Bick 187th in 42:33, Christopher Thomas in 197th in 43:56, and Robert Gladwin, 198th in 44:03.
In the Open Team competition, Striders men finished 4th with their A Team, 14th with their B Team and 19th with their C Team. It was particularly encouraging to note the strong showing of cross country debutants Tom Kabala and Mark Fuller as this, coupled with other runners yet to return who were unavailable on the day, augers well for a good season to come. In the Masters competition, Striders men finished in 7th and 11th positions.
Running separately, David James bagged a strong second place in his MV65 age category in a time of 29:17 over the shorter course.