Gutsy and generous: Race 4, Midland League, Division 2 X-Country
With temperatures having lifted, but with wind and squally showers to contend with, CLC Striders Ladies and Men’s teams turned out for the fourth and final races in their respective 2107/18 Midland League Division Two campaigns on Saturday 10th February.
The ladies journeyed north to compete in Wolverhampton, while the men welcomed clubs from all over the region to a race they devised and hosted themselves in the picturesque grounds of the National Star College at Ullenwood, just outside Cheltenham.
Outstanding team achievement of the day and season belonged to the women, earning promotion from Division Two to One with yet another stellar performance across testing terrain around Aldersley Stadium in Wolverhampton.
CLC Ladies. Pictured, left to right: Amelia Mullins, Nicola Weager, Cerys Jones, Laura Fletcher, Jill Hooper, Amanda Steer, Helen Knight and Karlien Heyrman.
Completing her best season in the Midland League to date, the CLC Ladies were once again led home by Karlien Heyrman in 17th place as the 10th senior in a time of 25:14. 24th overall, Helen Knight finished 8th in the masters in a time of 25:59. She was followed closely by Amanda Steer and Amelia Mullins, 31st and 34th overall respectively, finishing 13th and 14th in the masters category in times of 26:56 and 27:16.
Nicola Weager bagged her best finish of the season with 47th overall as 19th senior in 28:12 and Laura Fletcher was 67th overall in 29:30 as 26th senior finisher. In her fist season with the club Cerys Jones completed her Midland series in 87th place overall as the 51st masters finisher and in 97th place overall Jill Hooper was the 37th senior finisher in 30:59.
On the day, the ladies teams finished 2nd in the masters and 5th in the seniors. But all importantly, in both the seniors and masters, CLC Ladies finished the series of four races in second place overall, earning a richly deserved promotion to compete at the highest level next season (an achievement which demonstrates the club’s strength in depth, given two of their most experienced performers missed the season).
Meanwhile, closer to home, the men battled it out in their own race, held at Ullenwood. Once again, the men turned out in force, with three full teams competing on the day.
CLC Men. Back row left to right: Ton Fletcher, Jon Howes, Kyle Sollars, Chris Thomas, Eoin McQuone, Neil Broadbent, Mike Crossley, Will Ferguson, Andrew Gage, John Willson, Andrew Paterson, Tom Vickers. Front row, left to right: Tom Kabala, Ben Akif, coach Brendan Ward, Martin Bick, Gareth Harries and Joel Freeland
The A Team finishers were as follows: in 7th place Will Ferguson in 37:18; in 70th Tom Kabala with 41:11; in 91st Jon Howes in 42:13; in 102nd Thomas Fletcher with a time of 42:55; in 142nd Mark Fuller in 44:43; and in 152nd Paul Lockyer with 45:28.
The B Team finishers were: in 162nd Ben Akif in 46:04; in 169th Gareth Harries with 46:23; in 179th Tom Vickers in 47:06; in 181st Andrew Paterson with 47:13; in 182nd Joel Freeland in 47:23; and in 186th Neil Broadbent with 47:38.
The C Team finishers were: in 195th John Willson in 48:40; in 204th Stuart Barr in 49:29; in 208th Kyle Sollars in 50:45; in 216th Andrew Gage in 51:46; in 235th Eoin McQuone in 54:34; in 237th Martin Bick in 54:47; in 242nd Mike Crossley in 55:34; and in 244th Chris Thomas in 56:05.
The A team were 15th on the day and the B Team were 12th on the day. Overall, across the four-race series, the A Team was 10th and the B Team was 9th. In the individual standings, Will Ferguson achieved a fabulous 6th position overall and Iain Porter registered 12th place for the series.
In other news, following their own road race at the end of January – The Staverton 10 – the club have been able to make a donation of £300 to LINC (The Leukaemia & Intensive Chemotherapy Fund) from the proceeds.