Booth Decorators Cross Country League Race 2

The second Booth Decorators Cross Country League race took place at Chaddesdon Park in Derby on Saturday, and Long Eaton Running Club maintained their excellent start to the cross country season. Both men's and women's teams finished in third place, resulting in a second place finish in the combined standings.

Conditions were conducive to an enjoyable run and the course around the park was fairly flat, but did include a couple of notorious water features on each of the two laps. Runners were required to stumble down a muddy bank, make splash in a stream and then clamber up the opposite side, before being asked to do exactly the same the other way a few metres later. It made for some interesting racing.

Leading the way for LERC yet again were the Harris's. Both Rod and Sarah had turned out in the North Midlands Cross Country League the day before, but availed of the opportunity to insert some tempo running into the middle of their long Sunday run by racing after putting a few miles in just a couple of hours before the start and then going off for a long 40 minute “cool down” afterwards. Rod took an excellent third place on tired legs, while Sarah finished a superb 8th overall and was first woman. I was second back for the team in 14th, suffering from a bit of a head cold, although some might dismiss it as “man flu”. Either way, it felt like a struggle. Mark Boot was also feeling a cold, too, but managed to finish inside the top 20, closely followed by Ian Chant (22nd), who had placed second at Colwick parkrun the previous day. Rob Fox had ran the North Mids league all out less than 24 hours earlier, but still battled around the course to place 25th and 2nd M50. Completing the scorers were Rich Wilkinson (34th) and Dave Boot (37th, and yet another running his second tough race in two days). Both placed third in their age categories.

Pete Webb produced a customary sprint finish to place 41st in his debut around this course, followed by Alan Maplethorpe (52nd), Mario Rocchelli (64th), Mark Lay (65th) and Paddy Fitzgerald (66th), who all finished within 30 seconds of each other. Alan's run was all the more impressive in light of the night's sleep he'd endured in his garden shed after mislaying his keys. The club showed impressive depth, with a further 9 male finishers crossing the line, in Peter Askew, Rob Jackson, Dave Riley, John Hay, Phil Thompson, Paul Burchell, Captain Shaun Burton, Damian Cowlishaw and Pete Fowles.

The women's team produced an increased turnout when compared to recent cross country races and they were highly unfortunate to miss out on second place on the day, losing out to Ripley by just one position. Behind Sarah Harris were Jackie Mather in 102nd (and third V50), Cath Benson in 131st (2nd V40), Dawn Blatherwick in 155th and Jane Newbold in 178th.

The third place on the day lifted the women to 6th from 8th in the overall standings, while the men consolidated their position in joint second in the 11-team league. Overall the club lies in 4th in the combined standings, but very much within striking distance of second.


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