Over The Hills......... (North Mids XC Report)
The final race of the 2009-10 North Midlands Cross Country League took place on Saturday 16th January, to the picturesque backdrop of Wollaton Hall and Gardens, and saw four athletes from Harborough AC take to Wollaton Park – home of the annual Inter-Counties Cross Country race – to round off another successful series for the club. Taking the majority of the plaudits – and in line with her continued vein of triumph following return from injury – was Karen Brooks, who took first place in the Female Vet50 category on the day (in a time of 26mins 19s), and first place in that section for the overall series.
In the Men’s race, club cross country captain Will Clapp registered his best finish of the series with 30th position, taking him to joint 3rd in the final series standings for the Male Vet40 category. He was followed home, in 136th, by Graeme Rolfe, who has performed stoically in completing all four League races giving himself a strong base for a good road season ahead. Rick Brown came home in 146th, to be classified 4th Male Vet55 on the day in his debut outing in the series this season.
Reflecting on the Series as a whole, Clapp paid homage to those who’d braved the harsh winter weather to take part: “As well as Karen’s excellent results in the FV50 age-group, it’s good to have seen a number of young athletes making their debuts in this high class league – which involves such nationally recognised clubs as City of Stoke, Notts AC, Derby AC, Charnwood AC and Leicester Coritanians. Emile Gardner made his debut in the Under 15 boys at Corby [race 2], and Niamh, Molly and Jake Watson all competed in the first three fixtures and performed really well! I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on next year, when they’ll be among the older runners in their respective age groups.”