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Round up – 29th & 30th January 2022

Northern Cross Country Championships Saturday 29th January 2022

For the fourth occasion in the last ten years, the prestigious Northern Athletics cross country championships took place at Pontefract Racecourse. Apart from running into the very strong winds, underfoot conditions for all the races were clear of mud with good grass and courses that didn`t cut up. This was most welcome after everyone had endured a mud bath course three years previously.

The individual performance of the day belonged to Matthew Drummond-Clark in the under 15 boys race. Running an astute and strong race, Matthew finished 3rd over the 4k course in 14.30. There was, though, a very good team performance from the ladies team, who finished 4th and therefore just missed out on a team medal. The field of 262 runners soon spread out over 8.12k and the two long laps, but the team packed in well together. Emma McColm was 24th in 35.00 with Sophie Rotheram and Carla Davies matching each other all through the race, finishing 30th & 31st respectively. Chloe Lam-Moores was 69th and the final team counter although there were runs too from Marian Hesketh and Sue Wickham.The ladies team winners were Vale Royal AC, 2nd were Hallamshire Harriers and 3rd place went to Sale Harriers. The ladies’ race winner was Eleanor Bolton of Ribble Valley Harriers in 31.13.

The senior men had to cope with three long laps and 12.2k. Will Metcalf was the highest placed club finisher in 151st and Jack Smith was 225th. Other placings were Steve Hallas (313th) Mark Lee (336th) Paul Jeffries (380th) Dougie Potter (403rd) and Kevin Hesketh (429th) with 517 finishers. The race winner was Hugo Milner of Derby AC.

St Annes 10 mile road race, Sunday 30th January 2022

This popular event, which was the second counting race in Preston Harriers’ road race championship, had calmer weather than the gales which had battered competitors in the northern cross country championships on the previous day, although some runners commented that it felt as if they had a headwind for the whole course. Sam Evans of Preston Harriers was a convincing winner in 54:33, nearly a minute ahead of second place. Next Harrier to finish was Mariusz Kovacs, who was 30th in 64:25 and other Harriers men to complete the course were Russell Codd (69:57) and Steve Boardman (71:59). First female Harrier was Victoria Osten, who was 8th lady in 71:53, and she was follwed by Emma Essex-Crosby (80:37), Dorothy Parkes (90:51) and Julie Tyrer (98:59).

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