Girls lead the way as Harborough put in a strong show at Newbold

Harboroughs under-17s celebrate a strong run
Harboroughs under-17s celebrate a strong run

Twenty six Harborough AC runners took part in the Midlands Counties Cross Country Championships, held over the hilly Newbold Comyn course in Leamington, Warwickshire.

The men’s team comprised one senior (Tom Ward) and 10 veterans, led home by Jamie McAllister, who finished the three-lap, 12-kilometre course in a time of 50 minutes 58 seconds for 172nd overall.

The Harborough ladies are all smiles ahead of the race

The Harborough ladies are all smiles ahead of the race

The first six finishers counted in the men’s team competition, with McAllister and Ward followed by David Maclean, Garry Hodgkins, Nick Turner-Henke and Peter Attenborough to leave the club 27th.

Non-scoring support was provided by Graeme Rolfe, Will Clapp, Iain Barber, Ian Southwell and Gary Wallis.

Lianne Brooks was first back for the women over 8k, followed by Marise Taylor, Tracy Southwell and Louise McAllister, giving the team 31st place.

Best team result of the day was delivered by the under-17 women who finished an impressive fifth – doing their individual chances of selection for the County team no harm – with Eilidh Maclean securing a top-20 finish over the 5k distance, supported by Beth Wallis in 21st and Lizzie Clapp 44th.

Other juniors competing were Zoe Morgan-Williams and Aisha Redhead (under-13 girls), Thomas Hayes and Isaac Turner-Henke (under-13 boys), Adam Barber (under-15 boys), Amy Turner-Henke (under-15 girls) and Tom Fortnum (under-20 men).

Club chairman John Thompson said: “It’s good to see a small club like ours competing against some of the ‘big guns’ of midlands athletics at a major championship event.

“Our under-17 women showed what can be done with consistent training and getting the top runners out for these races.

“All three of the teams will be eligible to compete at next year’s event so it will be interesting to see whether they can progress further and perhaps get among the medals in 2020.

“Everyone ran with great spirit in difficult conditions and they should all be proud of their efforts and achievements.

“The next big cross country event for the club will be the English National Championships in a month’s time in Leeds – always a great spectacle, with international standard runners as well as those with more modest ambitions for their running.”