Midland League Race Day 1 (11.11.17) – Coventry and Telford
Armistice Day saw CLC Striders venturing further afield to compete in the first fixtures of their Midlands League Cross Country competitions. The ladies team travelled to Counden Park in Coventry for a race organised by Northbrook, Massey and Sphinx running clubs, and the men journeyed to the National Sports Centre at Lilleshaw as guests of Telford AC.
Left to right: Cerys Jones, Patricia Sturgess, Laura Fletcher, Jill Hooper, Nicola Weager, Amanda Steer, Helen Knight, Karlien Heyrman
In the ladies race Karlien Heyrman continued her run of fine form, finishing as first Strider, 16th overall and as 8th senior lady in a time of 28:21. She was followed home by Patricia Sturgess in 22nd place overall and as 12th lady masters finisher in 29:05. Hot on Patricia’s heels was the ever-reliable Helen Knight, 23rd overall and 13th masters finisher in 29:14. Amanda Steer was 37th overall and 22nd masters finisher in a time of 30:23.
Nicola Weager was 58th overall in a time of 32:28 as the 22nd senior finisher. Laura Fletcher was 68th in 32:58 as the 23rd senior lady. In 102nd place, Jill Hooper finished as 35th senior lady in 35:37 and Cerys Jones was 115th overall in 36:44 as the 71st finisher in the masters category.
Once again, the CLC ladies signalled a clear mark of intent for the season in the Midland League, achieving 3rd position in the masters team competition and 4th place in the overall team standings – a very strong first performance in this highly competitive league.
Back row, left to right: Gareth Harries, Jon Howes, Tom Kabala, Javid Norat, Greg Chilton, Will Ferguson, Iain Porter, Mark Fuller, John Willson, Paul Lockyer. Front row, left to right: Andrew Gage, Thomas Fletcher, Chris Thomas, coach Brendon Ward, Martin Bick, Kyle Sollars
Meanwhile, in the men’s race over in Telford, a near-record turnout for the club for a Midland League event saw some strong performances and a solid team start. Most notably, club talisman Will Fergusson earned a hard-fought 4th place in a time of 30:19. And he was followed home with a top-twenty finish from Iain Porter in 13th place and a time of 31:50.
Next came a duo of top-100 finishers: Tom Kabala in 78th in a time of 34:02 and Sam Baylis, coming back from injury, finishing in 81st in a time of 34:08. Fifth finisher for CLC was Jon Howes in 107th place and a time of 35:11. And sixth scorer for the A-Team was Greg Chilton, competing for the first time after persistent shin problems and earning 126th place in a time of 35:47.
The B-Team finishers grouped well, coming in thick and fast within the next 50 places. Mark Fuller was 135th in 36:01, debutant Thomas Fletcher was 147th in 36:17, Tom Vickers was 161th in 36:39, Gareth Harries was 165th in 37:06, Paul Lockyer was 171th in 37:22, and John Willson was 178th in 37:39.
The C-Team finishers on the day were Javid Norat, 211th in 39:17, Andrew Gage, 258th in 43:15, Martin Bick, 262nd in 43:42, Kyle Sollars, 263rd in 43:50, and Chris Thomas, 268th in 44:42.
In the overall team standings, the CLC A-Team registered a strong 9th place, with the B-Team earning 8th position. All in all, a really strong start in the highly competitive Midland League for the Striders men.