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National Cross Country Championships – Saturday 25th February 2017

The National Cross Country Championships returned to Wollaton Park, Nottingham for the first time since 2014. The venue has been used also for the Inter-Counties Championships, and the courses set out were different across rolling & undulating parkland. There was a full range of age groups races, starting with the under 17 women at 11am and the last race was the senior men at 3pm. Conditions were generally good, overcast with some brief rain in the afternoon. The ground became boggier as the day wore on and there were some interesting water features to run through too. Preston Harriers athletes had a good day. In the under 17 men’s race over 6k, Nathan Dunn had a brilliant run to finish 10th in a field of 302 finishers. He was always in the chasing pack just behind the leaders and he recorded a time of 21.06. The race was won in 20.28 by James Puxty of Tonbridge. The Under 20 men took a team bronze medal behind Aldershot and Tonbridge. Patrick Dever finished 4th over the 10k distance in 32.42, missing third place by just one second. Matthew Wigglesworth was 33rd, Jake Lonsdale 38th, Tiarnan Crorken 77th and Ben Read was 189th. Benjamin Preddy was a fine 38th in the u15 boys race whilst Darcey Lonsdale (67th) and Caitlyn Preddy (275th) were in the u15 girls race. 426 ran. The senior women were led home by a determined Emma Essex-Crosby over the 8k distance and Sue Wickham, Olga Wiggins and Kari Edwards also ran. GB international, Jessica Judd of Chelmsford AC won the race in a sprint finish from Louise Small of Aldershot who was 2nd in 2015. Alex Waddelove and Chris Wales were amongst a huge field in the senior men’s race, Harriers turnout being hit by illness and injury.

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