Roddy relishes the hills to lead Warwickshire's XC team home
Paddy Roddy produced the best performance of the five Kenilworth Runners athletes who were representing Warwickshire in the CAU Inter-Counties Cross-Country at Cofton Park, Birmingham.
The surface of the gruelling course, described by Phil Gould as “equivalent to a hill training session”, had started to churn up by the time the senior men tackled the 12k race.
But despite the conditions, Roddy produced a strong run to lead the county home in 44th position in a time of 41:00.
Gould (42:41) was Warwickshire’s third counter and 108th overall, with Stephen Page, in his first county cross-country call-up, 173rd in 44:26.
The Warwickshire team were placed a very creditable 15th.
There were over 200 finishers and the race was won by Dewi Griffiths (Swansea) in 37:13.
Earlier in the day, Stanley Doxey (30:48) ran a well-paced race in the under-20s, coming through the field from near the rear of the 164 competitors to finish 71st and second Warwickshire counter behind Leamingotn C&AC’s Dean Mawby (60th in 30:30).
C&AC’s Johnathon Brown was 142nd in 33:49 for the 8k race to help Warwickshire finish 16 out 24 teams.
Kenilworth’s Cameron Williams-Stein showed the benefits of a full winter cross-country season to finish 100th in the under-13 boys’ race in 12:42, while Leamington’s Dan Wilkinson was also 100th in the under-17 men’s race in 20:56.
Clubmate Issy Davis was 229th in the ladies’ under-17 race in 25:41.
Meanwhile, Leamington C&AC’s Mel Gould was part of the Central Warwickshire Schools cross-country team which won the team prize at the Warwickshire Championships at Rugby Town FC on Saturday.
Gould was second across the line, with county team-mate Elspeth Unitt in third.
Kenilworth Runners’ Matthew Kingston-Lee finished second at the Newton’s Fraction Half Marathon after a thrilling battle where the top four were covered by less than 20 seconds at the finish.
Kingston-Lee began the 13.1-mile race, held in his home town of Grantham, in bullish manner, briefly leading the field of more than 400 runners.
He spent much of the race in fourth position, keeping a close watch on the leaders before making an attack on the second of two tough climbs at Casthorpe, 11 miles into the race.
He came agonisingly close to catching the eventual race winner, Notfast’s Adam Holland (1:15:14), but looked as though he would have to settle for third place as they ente red the Meres Stadium for the finish.
Spurred on by vociferous local support, he summoned a determined sprint finish to take second place on the line, clocking an impressive 1:15:30.
“I’m thrilled to have finished second at my home event,” said Kingston-Lee. “It was an exciting, tactical race that could have been won by any one of the top five finishers.”
Kenilworth Runners’ Pavan Ayyalasomayajula clocked a new personal best by almost eight minutes at the Gloucester 20 mile road race, finishing 333rd in 3:08:23.