Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Louth athletes put their strength to the test in Lincolnshire Cross Country League at RAF Cranwell
THE first match in the new Lincolnshire Cross Country League series thundered into action at RAF Cranwell.
The lure of the mud and hills brought together the usual eclectic mix of middle distance track runners, long distance competitors and road racers – all eager to boost their strength and endurance.
Clubs from across the county were represented at the event, which took place on a good, tough course south of Lincoln.
Athletes from Cleethorpes AC, Grimsby Harriers, Louth AC and Wolds Vets all gave a good account of themselves in the face of strong competition.
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Runners from Lincoln Wellington and Nene Valley Harriers were among those pushing the pace in the senior men's and ladies' events. In fact the first five in the men's race were all from the Lincoln club. Shane Robinson was the winner, while club-mate Sophie Cowper won the ladies' contest.
Louth AC's Nick Marsh (11th) was in the mix, while Clee AC's Les Thompson (45th) and Wolds Vet Maurice Foxon (70th) battled gamely.
Clee AC's under-11 boys got the club off to a good start thanks to Bray Davies (fourth) and Archie Woods (fifth). Then came the run of the day from a Clee athlete as Katie Hodgson, in the under-13 girls' event, finished well ahead of the field to claim a fine win. This was only her second run for the blue and golds.
The under-13 boys' team followed this up with a decent effort to take the second team place.
Bradley Mortlock led them in with an eighth-place finish and close behind were Ben Plumpton and James Hodgson.
Jamie Kirkham, up against strong opposition in the under-15 boys' event, was a creditable fourth.
The Clee under-15 girls' team won the second-placed team prize thanks to Beth Barley (fourth) Chelsey Ammari and Rebecca Jex. Louth's Elizabeth Hardcastle took second place in the 3,750m race.
Grimsby Harriers had four members in action. Lauren Bell had a superb race in the under-17 ladies' event. She was not frightened to take the lead at the start, and maintained top spot for a good part of the race. She ran solidly throughout and ultimately finished second.
Molly-Anne Welton came home second behind the in-form Hannah Reid, of Louth AC, in the under-11 girls' event.
Jake O'Sullivan finished sixth in the under-13 boys' race and Lucy Gash took on the 3,300m under-13 girls' course and finished an encouraging seventh.
Cross Country fixtures
Dust off those cross country spikes or trail shoes and get dirty this winter. Most races allow entry on the day and have a full programme of races for all age categories
November 4: Lincs XC League race two, Skegness beach
November 11: Scunthorpe Open XC, Quibell Park, Scunthorpe (www.scunthorpeathletics.co.uk)
November 18: Lincs XC League race three, London Road fields, Louth
December 9: Lincs XC League race four, PGL, Caythorpe Court
February 24: Barton Open, Baysgarth Park (www.barton-district-ac.co.uk)
For further details about Lincs League races, see www.granthamac.com/xc/xcprogramme.htm