Sat 28 Sept 2019, Ulverston An earlier than usual start for the cross-country season saw dry, warm and sunny conditions at Ulverston last Saturday. The venue, at GSK Ulverston, was used for two visits in 2018; the first one in February was bitterly cold with sleet & hail showers and the October event was very wet, with persistent and heavy rain. This year, although there was some sticky ground, the going was generally good and mostly firm and the courses are undulating.
The senior ladies ran 6.4k, one short lap then two long ones. There were 179 finishers with Emma Essex-Crosby being top placed for Harriers, 40th in 31.43. Kate Lakeland was 44th, and Robyn Anderson, usually seen running on the fells, was 81st. There were runs too, from Olga Wiggins, Sue Wickham, Angela Tranter, Kari Edwards and Adela Nuttall. Emily Japp of Blackpool won in outstanding fashion and was over 40 seconds clear of 2nd place.
The men covered 9.1k, and that race too was won by a Blackpool athlete, Luke Minns, in 31.33. Jon Green had a really fine run for 36th and Will Metcalf had a good start but faded a little in the warmth to finish 73rd. John Rainford and Billy Johnstone were together for much of the race, and finished alongside each other in 93rd and 94th. Kevin Hesketh enjoyed the run, and the feeling of a good return to fitness as he was 2nd vet 60. Neil McDonald, smiling as usual, was 118th & John Griffiths was 121st. Steve Hallas, unfortunately, felt a return to an old injury, and was 140th.
Roger Taylor, Andrew Tranter, Michael Brown and Phil Lakeland ran too. The numbers of seniors competing for the club were down on the latter fixtures of last season, as the day after was planned to be the Preston 10k, but it was postponed because of flooding.
Only a few juniors made the trip to Cumbria, and Olivia Wood ran her first cross country race, competing in the under 11 girls race. Eddie Chandler was a very good 7th in the under 11 boys race. Lucas Cooke ran too. Ava Jones & Natasha Cooke competed in the under 13 girls even, and Matthew & Adam Link ran in the under 13 boys race. Emily Knell finished 15th in the under 15 girls race, whilst Vladimir Wiggins ran the under 15 boys event.