It was a sterling start to the cross county season for runners from Bourne Town Harriers and Nene Valley Harriers who entered the North Midlands league event in Derby on Saturday.
Bourne Town Harrier’s Cameron Everist continued his great form when finishing 8th in the U17 boys race.
This league has a history of developing athletes who have become Olympians and world record holders and the series of races over four events throughout the winter provides a challenge to athletes of all standards.
In a significant step up in class, Cameron finished the gruelling 6k race, his first race in this age group in a time of 23:58.
In the same event, Adam Turner choosing to make his Harrier debut in one of the toughest events finished in satisfying 32nd place.
Not to be outdone, Beth Howells finished the U17 girl’s race in 10th in a time of 20:33. This also was Beth’s debut in the U17 age group and she can look ahead with confidence to the season as it progresses.
In the younger age groups, Roman Everist, running the event for the first time, finished the 55 strong U11’s mixed race in 26th place and a time of 4:48. Elin James finished 16th in the U13 girls race over a distance just shy of 3K in a time of 11:22, beating her time of last year by over a minute. In the U15 girls race Molly Bennett was 32nd in a time of 15:32.
In the senior ladies event, Karen Clark was the sole Harrier representative. She finished her race in 54th place and a time of 30:42.
The men’s senior race, a field of 246 runners started the 9km course.
Bourne Town Harriers were well represented and Joe Howell can be very pleased with his time of 39:56, finishing the race in 113th place. Joe was followed by Phil Galpin in 117th and a time of 40:02. Shaun Hill finished in 131st place in a time of 41:07.
The next North Midlands league event will take place at Wicksteed Park, Kettering on November 8.
New blood at Nene Valley Harriers helped the club to one of its most successful cross country season openers in years when athletes from all age groups travelled to Derby.
Sam Oakley and Joe Garner both placed in the top ten in the U11 race, which measured 2km on very wet, hilly terrain, while their respective siblings, Oliver and Sam, also ran well in their events, Oliver placing in the top 20 in the U15 race and Sam 21st in the U13s.
Bourne athlete Alex Hampson gained the highest position of the day for the Harriers, though, when he finished a comfortable second in a competitive U17 race, leading club mates Ollie Bowling, Jevan Robertson and Will Baker in to take the maximum team points.
Grace Mullins was again top finisher in the senior women’s race, with Cat Foley and Emma Penniston also running well to ensure they were the third team on the day, while Rosie Marshall and Abbi Gray held onto 12th and 13th positions in the U17 event.
Megan Ellison had an excellent race to take fourth place in the U15 girls, and Amber Park also claimed a top ten position when she finished seventh in the U13s.
Finally, the senior men were led in by top track athlete Lloyd Kempson in 39th, with Aaron Shepherd, Sam Hunt and new recruit Rhys Goddard finishing strongly to take the ninth team position on an excellent day for the club.