Mud; it is alleged to have rejuvenating and youth enhancing benefits, we can’t speak with authority on this, but it might go some way to explaining the mud fever evident in anticipation of PECO XC Race 1. While the day brought sunshine, no mud hunter could be disappointed out on the course!
Mick Higgins – Cross Country runner and mud lover
Onto the race… and the big talking point was the chasm of doom; or as proper straight talking Yorkshireman and club chairman Christopher Gill describes it ‘a bit of a stride across the beck’.
We certainly had some fun with it though. The men set of ahead of the ladies for the first time in PECO XC history* and this meant one thing; pressure to clear that jump. Speedy man Richard Herrington leading the way showed exactly how it should be done, quick, efficient, and barely breaking stride. Meanwhile Jude Jackson, never a man of half measures, showed er… how to jump REALLY high.
The ladies clearly had a lot to live up to and did not disappoint; Katherine Judge even pausing to take a bow following her performance while Donna Lenaghan used the invisible rope swing to cross (a few runners found this hidden device!). All got there one way or another though and didn’t run away as one Hide Park Harrier was spotted doing.
Jude in action
Despite starting some eight minutes after the men it didn’t take long for the fastest ladies to catch up; while some men did all they could to avoid being over taken by a lady, Others, such as Graham Healey embraced the situation, noting later that the views improved once he was overtaken by some of the fairer sex.
It was reassuring though to see STAC lady Alison Varley pushing well and finishing right up in the midst of the men, finishing an impressive 13th lady overall and first in her age category. Second lady across the line for STAC was Judy Tao(32), Rhianna Rose(85) narrowly pipping Mags Booth(89) to claim third, final points scorer for the ladies was Caryn Burke(112), special mention though to Julie James(105), who would have taken points but due to an administrative error was a guest at this first race – sorry Julie!
All told the ladies finished 6th in the first division, with the ladies vets finishing 6th in the premier league (Judy Tao, Alison Varley & Lynne Fallon(209)).
Meanwhile Richard Herrington(23) was first STAC man home, John Robson(35) was second placed gent and resident mud expert Ross Phelan(43) took third by a small margin over the first of the male vets Paul Newsome(46) in fourth; a good day for the men’s vets with Graham Shooter(76) taking fifth, Alan Schofield(94) sixth, Wayne Pacevitch(104) and then (not a vet just yet!) George Schofield(134) in final points scoring position.
Overall after race one the men’s team are 5th in the premier division and an impressive 3rd in the vets premier division (Paul Newsome, Graham Shooter, Peter Anderson(140), Alan Schofield, Wayne Pacevitch & Chris Gill(180)).
In all, 38 men and 29 ladies lined up to race for STAC – an impressive field no doubt, brilliant to see both old hands returning as well as newer members taking part in their first cross country race (including several of this year’s beginners group graduates). It wasn’t any easy course; well done!
Thanks to all from both St. Theresa’s, especially the supporters and volunteers who gave up their Sunday morning to show the league a fantastic season opening event, with a final mention to Kippax Harriers whose support was hugely appreciated.
*May or may not be factually correct