Cross Country Galore

The vagaries of the 2012-13 cross country race calendar meant that the weekend of December 1st and 2nd saw yet another double header take place, with two of the leagues of which LERC are members having fixtures on consecutive days.

Wollaton Park hosted the prestigious North Midlands cross country league on Saturday, while LERC hosted the excellent Booth Decorators League on the Sunday at Trent Meadows and credit must go to Cath Benson, Cheryl Brown, Carrie Chan, Ladies Captain Rachel Argent, Rob Fox, Rich Wilkinson, Richard Howe, Dave Riley, John Hay and Phil Walters, who bravely laced up their cross country spikes for both races, doing themselves and the club proud.

The North Midlands league saw the men cover a gruelling 6.7 mile course and it was Andy Peat (who else?) who led the team home with a great 11th place, narrowly missing out on a place in the top 10 in a race that featured a number of the regionís top runners. Paul Lewis, who is steadily returning to form, was next to finish, recording 43rd place and a well-deserved place in the top 50, while Rob Fox, Andy Dickenson and Rich Wilkinson all managed top 100 finishes in what is a very high standard league. The fact that the race was local meant that a larger than usual number of club members turned out, and it was great to see a further 11 LERC vests complete the race.

The women, too, were well represented, and all performed admirably. Jodie Smith continued her recent form to take 38th overall and first LERCer, closely followed by Cath Benson, just 4 places further back. Cheryl Brown, Rachel Argent and Carrie Chan completed the LERC line-up.

On Sunday, 14 LERC men and 7 women were able to run the Booth Decorators race, thanks to the sterling efforts of race organisers Rob Jackson and Chris Robson and their band of marshals. Rod Harris rolled back the years to take 4th place (and first V40), while Mar Boot, a BDCCL regular, was second home for LERC in 17th. Rich Wilkinson showed his durability by competing on consecutive days and taking 2nd V50, beating erstwhile rival Rob Fox in the process, while Dave Boot also had a good run, finishing as 3rd V45.

For the women, Sarah Harris, so dominant whenever she runs in these fixtures, was first woman in 16th overall, followed by four cross country masochists in Cath Benson, Cheryl Brown, Rachel Argent and Carrie Chan, all of whom competed the previous day, as well as Cath Rowe and Pat Allen, who was first V65 in the race.

The next cross country action for LERC is now in the new year, with first the County Championships, followed by another North Mids/Booths double header later in the month. Meanwhile, for many in the club attention now turns to the half marathon distance and the popular Keyworth Turkey Trot.

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