National XC Champs

The Saucony National Cross Country Championships tool place at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham at the weekend. The heavy rains over recent months led to a challenging course and the white and blue vests of Leamington C&AC took a beating, with runners finishing the course covered in mud.

The under 17 girls started the day of racing, lining up on the start line they were faced with not only a gruelling course but some brave ducks who had decided to take a swim in the start area. The ducks soon moved and Leamington C&AC girls put in a fine performance finishing 13th on the day. Ana Lovett was first home in 168 place with Rosie Cale just two places behind. Emily Lovett finished 181 with Lucy Green (220) and Emily Wilson (227) making up the squad. The girls were the only full team from the Leamington based club. 

Harry Bailey came 345th in the U15 boys race with Oliver Wetherall 236th in the U13 category. Eva Fitzpatrick ran solo to finish 347th in the U15 girls race. Mother and daughter duo Carol Blower and Zara Hadfield raced in the senior ladies, Zara finishing in 182nd and Carol in 734th. The senior mens race saw just four LCAC men make the trip to Nottingham with Henry Morton crossing the line in 429th place followed by Craig Bower (906), Steven Roberts (1312) and Paul Caruana (1372). 

Last Race of the Leagues

Women’s Cross Country League

The last race of the Midlands Womens Cross Country league took place on Saturday. Hosted by local club Leamington C&AC, runners were faced with two laps of Newbold Comyn taking in the infamous water crossing in each lap. LCAC ladies team were boosted in number due to the locality, fielding 17 ladies on the day.

Hannah Thorne maintained her run at being first home, crossing the line in 10th place, leading the team across the finish line to place 5th team on the day. Thorne was supported by Nathalie Bhangal (16th) and Megan Rothman (20th) with the ever present Zara Hadfield being the team’s fourth counter in 26th place. Monica Williamson made it 5 ladies home in the top 30, finishing in 30th place and scoring as first counter in the masters team.

The masters team placed an impressive fourth on the day with Jenny Jeeves (48) and Courtney Depala (83) counting for the masters team. The club finished 6th overall in the season with masters team coming in at 8th place. Other runners: Aneta Radaczewka (68); Sara Price (92); Emily Watson (97); Shamira Naidu-Young (103); Laura Gould (122); Carol Blower (134); Louise Marsh (145); kate Hipkin (153) and Tejay DeKrester (157).

Mens Cross Country League

Race day was definitely the calm before the storm (CIARA) BUT Leamington C & A C men’s team “stormed” to their best race performance for many years at their home venue of Newbold Comyn.

Now able to utilise the old golf course but still include the water ditch, which quickly turned to mud, and the Beacon Hill two laps of 5k greeted 236 finishers on a warm sunny day of 11 degrees. This was the final Birmingham League race of the season and the club had been clawing away from the relegation drop zone after the first race back in November and went into the race 190 points from safety to retain their first division status for a fourth year in a row.

The Club rallied with officials and help of marshals and refreshment “ladies” and still managed 27 runners young and old to finish the day in 7th of 16 clubs with a season’s best score of 316, leading to an 11th position for the year.

Callum Hanlon was again the man to lead the Red, White and Blues home with a strong performance throughout in 12th in a time of 34.48, one and half minutes behind the runaway winner Omar Ahmed from Birchfield Harriers. Fielding one of the strongest ever teams LCAC had another 7 runners in the top 100 which is believed to be the best ever in the top division. Callum was joined by Dom Priest in 39th (36.50) just managing to stay ahead of Andy Savery in 41st (37.07) and supported by Greg West, making a welcome return, in 69th (38.31), Paul Andrew 72nd (38.36) and making a final sprint to the line Guy Allen 83rd (39.08).

This meant, for the first time since taking up XC running for Leamington and his previous club, Club Captain, Phil Gould finished outside of the scoring A team, he did on this occasion lead the B team to 3rd place on the day and 3rd for the season. Gould  was just one place and 2 seconds off Allen and the following five runners packed into the next 40 places, again confirming the strength in depth being experienced at the club at this moment. Jack Savage again was in the mix with 92nd (39.22), Dean Mawby 104th (39.52) and new member for this season, Frazer Knowles 113th (40.25). Frazer was also 16th junior for the season. Chris Rawcliffe 119th(40.40) and Dominic Hull 124th (41.01) led to a 636 pts total on the day.

A further 15 runners also finished and even though they didn’t make the two team scorers their strong turn out will have helped the overall positions by knocking other clubs runners down the list. Steve Hundal 137th(41.53), just held off Jeremy Coward who travelled up for the day from Chippenham, 139th (41.59) Pierre Le Marquer 142nd (42.06), Birthday boy Ray Charlton was next in 148th (42.21), Josh Hough 160th (43.12), Jason Hill 171st (44.03), and Mark Curtis 176th (44.40). Also running was Craig Bower 183rd (45.13), Paul Okey 189th(45.49), Simon Perkin 199th (47.31), Steve Roberts, having one of his best seasons for many years, 206th(47.31), Paul Caruana 211th (48.23), Andrew Higgins 213th (48.37) Pete Taylor 224th (50.29) and Mark Marsh 233rd (59.05).

Mens Team