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Gloucestershire Cross Country League Race Day 2 - Sunday 10 December 2023

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Gloucestershire Cross Country League Race Day 2 incorporating the County Championships, hosted at Bath University - Sunday 10 December 2023

With races being cancelled the length and breadth of the country due to waterlogging, it was a relief that the second fixture of the Gloucestershire Cross Country League Season (23/24) went ahead – in what turned out to be sunny conditions with only moderate mud. The fixture also saw the incorporation of the County Championships for the season, so the stakes were high.

First up, the ladies took to the course, which circled around one large open field expanse high above Bath city. Once again, the indomitable Helen Knight was first home as 15th overall, 3rd LV40, and gold medallist in the County V40 competition. Kate Telford was next, in 27th place overall, 1st in her LV35 category, winning the Championship Gold Medal as well. Captain Rachel Vines finished 50th overall as the 6th LV40 finisher, winning the Bronze Medal for her category in the County Champs. These three finishers also ensured that CLC Striders were the Gold Medal winners of the Masters Team competition – a brilliant result.

The remaining ladies to finish for CLC Striders on the day were Steph Parker in 73rd place overall, Fiona Brady-Miller in 83rd, Amelia Mullins, returning from injury, in 99th (and 4th LV50 but as Bronze Medallist in her County Champs category), Laura Leaver in 104th, Emma Abbey in109th, Rebecca Reynolds in 122nd (5th in her LV50 category) and Niola Weager in 141st.

Running over the same distance with the ladies, club V70 super-vet David James turned in an excellent performance as the 2nd finisher in his category, but as Gold Medal winner in the County Championships.

With the course well and truly churned up after all the age category races, it was finally the turn of the men. They were brought home by a virus-ridden Rob Green in 33rd place overall, 2nd in his V40 category, but as the Gold Medal Winner in his category in the County Champs. In his first cross country season with the club, Mike Thompson was next to finish in 114th place. Captain Will Pearce was 115th, Richard Aarons was 137th, Liam Richardson, making his club cross country debut, was 138th, and Gary Farquharson was the 6th team scorer in 140th. The remaining finishers were Joel Freeland in 149th, Aled Leaver in 151th, Robert Hyams in 164th and Jack Wilde in 169th.

The medal winners

Pictured, the medal winners, from left to right: Helen Knight, Rachel Vines, Kate Telford, David James and Amelia Mullins

Mens XC team

The men’s team from left to right: back row – Robert Hyams, Aled Leaver, Liam Richardson, Jack Wilde, Richard Aarons, Mike Thompson, Rob Green; front row – Gary Farquharson, Will Pearce, Joel Freeland

Also on Sunday 10 December 2023

Elsewhere, on a gradual return from longterm injury, Jon Howes completed the Westonbirt 10km in 43:11 and James Endicott registered 1hr 27mins over the half marathon distance in the 2023 Keyworth Turkey Trot.