Hardy athletes from Nene Valley Harriers more accustomed to competing in freezing rain, wind and thick mud enjoyed far more favourable conditions when they took part in the regional cross country championships in Brighton and Nottingham last Saturday.
James McCrae produced the performance of the day at the Midland Cross Country championships for the Harriers, when he stormed to an impressive 12th place in the U20 men’s race, covering the 8km undulating course at Wollaton Park in a very swift 26:43mins.
McCrae’s training partner, Alex Hampson, also ran well when he travelled to Brighton’s Stanmer Park to compete in the Southern Cross Country championships’ U17 men’s race, placing 24th in an impressive time of 21:51 on very hilly, challenging terrain.
Cat Foley had one of her strongest cross country races for some time when the 4:39 1500m runner sped to a time of 33:01 for the 8km distance, placing her 41st out of 352 finishers.
She was less than half a minute down on a top 25 placing, proving the quality and tightness of the field.
Team-mate Sam Hunt had an equally satisfying performance when he completed his first-ever 15km senior cross country race, finishing a creditable 350th in a time of 64:06.
Stamford resident and regular local racer, Aaron Scott, also competed in the Midlands championships, finishing second in the senior men’s 12km race in an incredible 37:07, just six seconds off the winner.
The Harriers’ next big off-road challenge will be the National Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill, London, next month.