Booths' Cross Country League Race 1

The Booth Decorators’ Cross Country season started on Sunday 16th October with the first race of the series, hosted by Ripley Running Club at Shipley Park. In many ways the conditions were almost ideal, as the ground was reasonably firm (although that didn’t prevent Rob Fox taking a tumble inside the first mile) and the weather cool but not particularly cold. A brisk headwind near the end of the first lap of the 4.3 mile course (the organisers put it at closer to 4.5miles as the course has been remodelled since the initial measurement) and a couple of “undulations” were perhaps the only hindrances facing the runners. The start was a scrappy affair, with the mass of runners being funnelled around a tight bend amidst some long grass and bumpy terrain which made overtaking almost impossible, but once out in the fields everything settled down.

The Long Eaton men turned out in force and many were rewarded with course best performances, while the team finished an excellent 2nd to local club, Heanor. Indeed, 8 of the finishers made it onto the club’s top 10 fastest for the course. Rod Harris, anxiously waiting for news of Sarah’s run in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, led the team with a superb victory. He was followed home by Andy Peat, Dean Hardman, Rob Fox, Andy Dickenson, Mark Boot and Ian Chant, who all ensured that the team’s 7 scorers were inside the top 35. Pushing the scorers close were Paddy Fitzgerald, Dave Boot, Alan Mapelthorpe (running just a day after his last leg in the British Fell Relays) and Rob Jackson, while only a little further back John Hay, David Riley and Martin Matthews all ran PBs. James Ablewhite, Stephane Catelain and Mark Hudson were next to finish, all three running the course for the first time. Captain Shaun Burton, Dave Harper, Peter Fowles, Richard Ferguson, Nathan Barnett, Damian Cowlishaw (also with the fells still in his legs), Ian Wallis and John Adams completed the Long Eaton team on the day.

The women’s team, for one reason or another , were unable to match the turnout from the men, but those that did run were certainly able to match the effort. Vreni Verhoeven led the team home, followed by Rachel Argent (still recovering from her recent marathon pb), Carol Prokopyszyn and Jane Newbold and, with all but Carol running the course for the first time, there is plenty to aim at for next year.

So, after the first race, the men lie in second place in the standings, the women eighth and the club a promising 5th overall with 4 races still to go in the 5 race series.

This report was brought to you by deano

chrisity wrote; nice report deano.

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