Mid Lancs Cross Country, Burnley

Sat 13 Jan 2018, Towneley Park, Burnley The fourth Mid Lancs cross country league fixture of the season took place last Saturday at one of the long-standing venues, Towneley Park in Burnley. The hosts were Trawden AC and the ground was quite firm, which was a surprise considering all the recent wet weather. Harriers senior men had a terrific day and secured the Mid Lancs Division One championship by being the first team home, making it four successive wins. With the positions being decided on the best four races from six, Harriers win was secured early in the season.

There was a fine tussle at the head of the race, with three runners breaking away early and the lead ebbed and flowed between Harriers` Dan Bebbington & Nathan Dunn and James Douglas of Border Harriers. In a fast surging finish, Bebbington won in 31.06 over the 9.8k course, just ahead of Dunn in 31.10 with Douglas third in 31.24. Chris Livesey had a strong run for 4th in 31.38 and Richard Smith was 13th in 33.32. Matt Livingstone paced the course well for 23rd and Simon Collins finished 32nd to complete the first placed team. But there was excellent support and backing from a very good turnout and amongst a number of others, Lee Foley was 41st, Alex Waddelove 52nd, Ben Read 63rd, David Watson 70th, Chris Wales 86th and William Johnstone 104th. 235 finished.

In the senior women’s race over 5.8k, Blackpool’s Emily Japp had a dominant run, winning in 19.23. Victoria Cowling was 31st in 23.44 and Katey Foster just one place behind in 23.45. Emma Essex-Crosby was 41st and 157 finished. The earlier junior races saw a number of the club’s juniors taking part and there were some very strong finishes; Vladimir Wiggins sprinting ahead of team-mate George Denye in the under 13 boys race and in the under 15 girls, Grace Kelly, Cailin Magee and Eva Sturzaker all pushed hard in the final straight.

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