Cross Country: Brown takes commanding victory on a tough course
THE brilliant autumnal colours of Louth's Hubbards Hills formed the superb backdrop for the third match in the Lincolnshire Cross Country League series.
The fields around the edges of the popular Wolds beauty spot came alive as runners from around the county jostled for position.
The superb course had everything – steep climbs, long gradual uphill drags, lightning fast down-hills – plus a healthy dose of mud.
In the senior/veteran men's showdown, the usual suspects from Lincoln Wellington and Nene Valley Harriers were among the frontrunners.
Former Louth AC man Richard Brown – who now runs in the white and red of the Lincoln club – dominated the race and won by over a minute-and-a-half.
Brown was the winner of the 2012 Cleethorpes New Year's Day 10k Road Race and went on to clock 31.06 at the Dewsbury 10K in March. Since that breakthrough run he has struggled with injury, but looks to be back with a bang.
Powerful Nene Valley athlete Nick Grimer was second, ahead of Boston AC's Jose Ferreira.
Andrew Ely was the first runner home from a local club. The Clee AC man, who excels in cross country events, finished a good tenth.
Wolds Veteran Runners Club's Chris Bromfield was 20th overall, and eighth veteran.
In the senior/veteran womens' race, Louth's Helen Cladingbowl achieved a good second place behind winner Sophie Cowper, of Lincoln Wellington. Wolds Vet Tracey Gibson was in solid form, finishing 15th.
A handful of Grimsby-area runners in the younger age group races managed to force top-three individual positions.
Cleethorpes AC's Olivia Evans grabbed third spot in the Under-13 girls' contest, while Louth AC's Elizabeth Hardcastle was third in the Under-15 girls' showdown.
Grimsby Harrier Lauren Bell was also third, in the Under-17 women's event.
Cleethorpes AC's Luke Nuttall was third in the Under-15 boys' race, while fellow blue and gold Archie Woods was third in the Under-11 boys' battle.
The fourth and final Lincs League match takes place on December 9 at Caythorpe Court, near Grantham. Full details at www.granthamac.com/xc/xcprogramme.htm