Gloucestershire Cross Country League Race Day 2 - Saturday 6 January 2024
Gloucestershire Cross Country League Race Day 3, Saturday 6 January 2024 - Cotswold Farm Park
On the first bright, still and cold winter’s day for weeks and after storm after storm with high winds and torrential rain, it was time to welcome the New Year in by returning to cross country for the third fixture in this season’s Gloucestershire Cross Country League, once again held at the Cotswold Farm Park.
Thankfully, given its elevated location, the course was relatively dry with only a few sections of really muddy ground to navigate. But the terrain was still as challenging as ever, especially after Christmas viruses and over-indulgence.
In the ladies event, Helen Knight began the year as she finished the last, bringing home the team in 20th place overall and as 2nd in her LV40 category. Liza Bradshaw was next to score, finishing in 29th overall and 3rd in the LV40 category. Deep into Tokyo marathon training, Kate Telford was next home, in 38th overall and 3rd in her LV35 category, and ladies’ captain Rachel Vines was only just behind her in 40th place overall and 6th in her LV40 category.
Next to finish, in the LV45 category, Fiona Brady-Miller and Steph Parker both ran really strongly, with Amelia Mullins getting back to full strength after injury finishing next, 4th in her LV50 category. The remaining brave Striders ladies to finish for the club on the day were Laura Leaver, Nicola Weager, Rebecca Reynolds and, making her cross country debut, Julia Rose.
The CLC Ladies were third team on the day and sit in third place in the league behind Team Bath A and B, while the ladies Masters team were joint second on the day and remain in second place in the league overall.
Also running in the ladies event, club super-vet David James finished well inside the first 100 as 2nd in his MV70 category, guaranteeing himself a season medal with just one more race to go in the league in February.
The final race of the day saw the men take to the course to complete a gruelling three laps of the undulating grassland. The ever-faithful Rob Green was first to finish for the club in 10th place overall and as 1st in his MV40 category. The next three home all crossed the line within 30 seconds – Aled Leaver in 77th, Richard Aarons in 79th and Liam Richardson in 81st – and Gary Farquharson finished 6th in his MV55 category.
The remaining CLC Striders athletes to compete in the day were, in order of finishing, Nick Ledwold, Eoin McQuone and Colin Upton. The CLC Striders men finished as ninth team on the day, moving up one place in the league to ninth overall, while the men’s Masters were eighth on the day but remain sixth in the league.
The next and final race in this season’s Gloucestershire Cross Country League will be hosted at Pittville Park in Cheltenham on 17th February.
Pictured, back row from left to right: Rebecca Reynolds, Liza Bradshaw, Amelia Mullins, Laura Leaver, Helen Knight, Julia Rose – and David James (VM70) Pictured, front row from left to right: Steph Parker, Nicola Weager,