The ladies at Hyndburn, before the mud.

The ladies at Hyndburn, before the mud.

Red Rose got their race year underway at a very, very, muddy Hyndburn Cross Country. This race was the fourth of the Mid Lancs Cross Country series, and the first on the clubs Grand Prix competition. A large turnout included many new faces to cross country, and none were expecting the conditions to be as tough as they were.

Paula Plowman continued to get the better of Debbie Kirkman, and was first lady back, finishing in 35:46.  Anne Wallworth followed in 36:50, just ahead of Jill Jefferson, 37:00, who was attempting her first cross country having been persuaded after a few glasses of wine at the Christmas party.  Debbie was next in 37:17, with Joan Gouldthorpe, 38:10, and Sally Cape, 38:48, completing the ‘B’ team. Karen Clark completed the course in 42:20 and Wendy Ward, 51:44, made a rare cross country appearance.

The good turnout for the ladies puts the Vet 45 team in third place, only 2 points of second.

Andrew Pendergast, competing in his first cross country event, lead the men home in 46:52, ahead of Ken Addison 47:30, Philip Butler 48:10, John Shepherd 49:10, Phil Darwen 51:04. Stu Cann took advantage of a slip by Fred Lynch, but Fred finished stronger in 52:10, ahead of Stu 53:16. Phil Davidson completed the course in 55:38, but was delighted to be quickest off the mark and claim the last piece of post-race cream cake.  Barry Wheeler, 1:02:13, continued his comeback from injury and had a steady run in preparation for the London Marathon.

John Wiseman, 1:04:03, finished the race in odd trainers as one fell apart mid race, though he kept running until a replacement was found. Ian Wharton, 1:06:03, suffered a similar problem as he lost a shoe in the mud and spent a few minutes trying to get it back on.

Other results: Shane Cliffe 52:57, Geoff Howarth 54:04, Ben Donoghue 55:26, Anthony Murphy 58:20, John Allen 58:59, Steven Gore 1:01:25, Roger Johnson 1:15:22 and Alan Howard 1:19:03

Strong performances have left the men’s teams in good positions with only 2 races of the season remaining. The ‘A’ team are currently sit 2nd in the third division and will be promoted if they can remain there.  The ‘B’ are only 3 points off the promotion positions and will climb the table if they can maintain their form in the remaining races.

At the Garstang 10k ten club members joined a large field for this traditional New Year challenge. Jose Pinon Shaw matched his time from last year to be first home in 40.59, followed by Simon Houghton in 44.21. Julie Coupe improved on last year’s time by 6 seconds  and Matt Ashton almost broke 50 minutes with 50.09. Joan Gouldthorpe was the first FV60 in 51.10 in spite of taking part in the cross country the previous day, whilst David Wilkinson took more than three minutes off last year’s time in this race, with a time of 54.16. George Fletcher narrowly beat James Robinson with a time of 56.10, 22 seconds ahead of his club mate. Bernard Elkington finished in 61.10 with Evelyn Elkington being the sole FV75 with a time of 62.14.