A weekend of Cross Country

Long Eaton Running Club members were spoilt for choice this weekend (14/15th January), as the fourth and final round of the North Midlands and the third round of the Booth Decorators Cross League took place. While there was little to fight for in the North Mids League, with team honours an impossibility for 2011-12, the fact that the race was taking place close to home, at Wollaton Park, meant that it was an attractive option for LERCers.

Unfortunately, Sarah Harris, who had been leading the individual women’s standings prior to the race, was still suffering from the after effects of a sore throat, so was unable to run. Despite this, she still finished the season as first lady. In Sarah's absence, Jackie Mather produced a very strong performance to take 32nd place. Her 25:30 was her best run around the course, which was just under 4 miles. She was joined by Cath Rowe, who was 56th, Rachael Hemsley and Sarah Kuehne, who were all sampling the course for the first time.

For the men, Rod Harris was also missing after performing well in the first three races. Rod finished as the 3rd placed senior overall but on this occasion it was Andy Peat who showed excellent form to run 38:28 for the 6.7 miles and finish inside the top 50 in what is a very high standard competition. Tim Doyle (100th), Dave Boot (104th), Mark Lay (114th), Peter Webb (124th) and Richard Howe (125th) were all making their debuts in this event, and performed strongly. Dave Clough (144th) and John Hay (159th) ran course bests and managed to finish well inside 50 minutes, while Martin Matthews and Phil Walters just missed out, finishing in 169th and 171st respectively. Damian Cowlishaw and Bill Shepherd completed the team in what was an excellent turnout for the club.

After a hard run on the Saturday, it wasn’t surprising that only four hardy souls completed the double by running the Booths race on the Sunday at Shipley Park. Dave Boot (41st), Mark Lay (52nd), Pete Webb (60th) and Martin Matthews (103rd) managed to do so, demonstrating madness and endurance in equal measure. Mark Boot was first home for LERC, continuing his good form in this league, finishing in 15th, while Rob Fox, unable to make the North Mids race, made amends by finishing 23rd and 3rd M50. Paddy Fitgerald was 3rd M45 and 32nd overall, while the rest of the scoring 7 comprised Dave Boot, Alan Maplethorpe (49th), Pete Webb and Mark Lay. Paul Burchell (75th), Mario Rochelli (79th), Shaun Burton (118th), Steph Catelain (133rd), Pete Fowles (134th), Kevin Barry (153rd) and Ian Wallis (155th)completed the men’s contingent.

The women’s team was somewhat depleted after Saturday’s race, but Cath Benson flew the LERC flag and managed 109th place overall and an excellent 18th in the women’s event. Carrie Chan also turned out, coming 159th, 39th woman.

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