Leamington boys brave the cold to clinch series silver
Leamington C&AC and Kenilworth Runners athletes braved freezing conditions to take part in the fifth and final race of the 2011/12 Gloucester Cross Country League at Tewkesbury School.
Both the men’s and ladies’ races were held in a bitter conditions, with a snowstorm sweeping across a frozen and rutted course consisting of mostly flat farmland.
However, youngsters taking part in the early races were not spared the hardships, with temperatures well below zero keeping the medical team busy as several athletes succumbed to the freezing conditions and accompanying wind chill.
There were still some notable performances, not least from Leamington’s under-13 boys’ who finished first on the day to climb into a silver-medal position for the season.
All five runners finished in the top ten, with Greg West leading them home in third position.
Kieran Chadal (5th), Alex Ibbs (6th), Tim Virr (9th) and Toby Loveday (10th) completed the squad, which still has another year remaining at under-13 level.
In the under-15 girls’ category, Leamington C&AC’s only entrant, Emily Baker, finished second, while in the under-17 boys’ George Loveday was also a runner-up.
Snow had begun to fall by the start of the ladies’ 8k race which was won by Bristol and West’s Amy Chalk.
Further down the field, Susie Tawney led Leamington’s veterans’ team home in 26th.
Helen Howells bounced back from a month of illness to come 38th, with Janet Mee’s 48th helping secure silver for the team in the veterans’ competition and fourth overall in the seniors.
Tawney also claimed overall gold in the W50 category, with Howells picking up bronze.
Sarah Stein was the first Kenilworth Runner home in 37th position. Pauline Dable was 58th and claimed a silver medal as second F60 in the league standings. Joan Mason finished 60th.
By the start of the men’s 10.3k race, conditions resembled a blizzard, but that did not prevent a string of fine performances.
The race was won by CLC Striders’ John Parker in 34:43, which put hm almost two minutes clear of his nearest rival.
The leading Leamington runner was Eoin Flynn, who came home in 28th, just two places and 20 seconds clear of team-mate Nick Tawney.
Will Kirk-Wilson (41st), Steve Roberts (54th), Mike Denney (62nd), Steve Howells (67th) and Graham Roberts (98th) completed the team.
Individually, Richard Harper, who did not compete in the final event, took the series gold medal for the seniors, while Steve Howells picked up a bronze in the M50 category and Graham Roberts matched him in the M60.
Roger Homes led the Kenilworth contingent home in 38th.
Results (Leamington C&AC unless stated): Under-15 girls: 2, Emily Baker (21:16).
Under-13 boys: 3, Greg West (11:29); 5, Kieran Chahal (11:34); 6, Alex Ibbs (11:36); 9, Tim Virr (12:07); 10, Toby Loveday (12:12).
Under-17 boys: 2, George Loveday (16:03).
Ladies: 26, Susie Tawney (33:57); 37, Sarah Stein (Kenilworth, 34:54); 38, Helen Howells (35:08); 48, Janet Mee (37:04); 58, Pauline Dable (Kenilworth, 41:31); 60, Joan Mason (46:03).
Men: 28, Eoin O’Flynn (40:26); 30, Nicholas Tawney (40:46); 38, Roger Homes (Kenilworth, 41:22); 41, William Kirk-Wilson (42:00); 54, Steve Roberts (43:05); 62, Mike Denney (43:49); 67, Steve Howes (44:35); 84, Martin Smith (Kenilworth, 46:32); 98, Graham Roberts (49:31); 111, Tom Dable (Kenilworth, 54:05); 112, Stef Shillington (Kenilworth, 54:29).
Treacherous icy conditions slowed down some of the steep descents at the Long Mynd Valleys Race, an 11.5 mile off-road race starting and finishing in the scenic Cardingmill Valley.
The race takes in the summits of Callow and Yearlet while covering approximately 4,500ft of climbing and a number of competitors opted for a sledging technique which left already weary bodies covered in a number of sore-looking scratches.
The pace at the front, however, remained relentless.
Steve Cale from Mercia Fell Runners once again reigned victorious, some six minutes clear at the front, completing the course in 1hr 38min. Second place went to Welsh international Richard Roberts (Eryri), with Mercia’s Pete Vale finishing third.
Kenilworth Runners’ Connor Carson, who took a slight tumble mid race, found the going tough just two weeks after setting his marathon best at Gloucester, coming home in 20th position in around 2hr 3min.
Pete Matthews was really pleased to cross the line in 28th position in 2hr 8min, some four minutes faster than the time he set in better conditions in 2011.
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Weather for Leamington
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North west