With their ages ranging from under ten to over 70, several members of Gainsborough Striders tackled mud, rain and wind to take part in the third round of the Lincolnshire Cross-Country League at Trent Valley Academy.
By the time the senior men’s race over 9,160 metres got under way, after earlier races for various age groups, conditions underfoot had deteriorated markedly. But that didn’t hold back Mat Huteson, whose time of 34.02 minutes secured a fine 11th place. Phil Marsland finished in 38.04, Simon Hall in 38.44 and Phil Kitchen in 39.44. The club’s most senior runner, Cliff Middleton, clocked 42.11, while debutant Jon Jarman came home in 50.14.
Earlier, Jasper Humphries lived up to his place in the top 70 national rankings by completing the U11s’ race over 1,750 metres in six minutes, 57 seconds to take an excellent second place. Only 48 seconds behind him in 11th was Joshua Cutts, with his brother, Thomas, one place and 22 seconds further back. The Striders’ sextet was completed by Lewis Shillito (8.08), Max Creed (8.32) and Luca Jarman (9.17).
In the U11 girls’ race, Ella Porter’s time of 7.38 just edged out Lucy Allen for fourth place, while Tilly Warren (8.07) was eighth and Kate Smith (8.24) was 12th, ahead of Abigail Hackney (9.13) and Lilly Whittingham (9.17) in 21st and 22nd.
The sole Strider in the U13s’ race over 2,687 metres was Harry Bishop, who completed the course in 12.44. At U15 level, Ben Ambrose finished the 4,437-metre route in 21.42, while Audra Morris was fifth in the girls’ event in 22.11, with Kaylee Bower and Charlotte Gregory also making the top ten. At U17 level, Lauren Staves was fourth in 23.37, ahead of Vikki Hearn (27.11) in 29th and Donna Cook (31.12) in 44th.
Meanwhile Hearn achieved a season’s best time of 52.11 minutes in the Christmas 10k at Edwinstowe. Mick Wood emulated her feat with 52.09, while Hanna Bennett clocked 51.07 and Norman Hindley 53.25. The fastest result, though, came from Craig Williamson, who equalled his personal-best (PB) time with 49.12. Another PB was equalled by Chris Inman in the Nene Valley 10-Mile race at Peterborough.