Medals and a Cheshire First at the Northern XC Champs


Pictures by Lisa Barcroft-Lee, Helen Bavington Bettley & Sarah Murphy

Some excellent individual and team performances at this years gruelling Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships held at Witton Country Park, Blackburn on Saturday 30th January.
More photos by Rob Brown HERE.
Click HERE for full results.

Report by Andy Carter:
I am running out of superlatives to describe the club performances but Saturday was another brilliant day for Vale Royal - in extremely tough conditions which, after weeks of rain, meant that the going was heavy throughout, and really boggy in some places, particularly at the bottom of the hill.
The course is a killer in the best of conditions with a long climb up the hill and then a steep run down - the tough course and underfoot conditions were exacerbated with strong winds, rain, sleet and snow showers - in fact everyone who competed on Saturday deserves a medal!

We came away with 2 team Gold Medals, 1 team Silver and an individual Bronze.

The U15 Boys took the Gold with one of the biggest wins of the day - they were 104 points ahead of the 2nd team - John Humphreys ran a great race to take Bronze and was never out of the top 3 - but I must mention Alex Doyle who ran with a sore foot but kept going to ensure the team took the winners trophy.

The U17 Men also took Gold and by a comfortable margin - and those who like mathematical sequences will have noted their finishing positions were 5,10,15 and 20!

The final medal went to the Senior Ladies, taking the Silver medal, this is certainly the first time one of our Senior teams has medalled and according to Adrian Thiemicke it is the first time a Cheshire Club has won a Senior Ladies Medal.

We had 17 top 30 finishers which is a fantastic result - in fact almost, but not quite, too many to mention - in the medal winning teams - John 3rd, Ollie 9th, Ben 17th and Alex 23rd in the U15 Boys, Josh 5th, Cameron 10th, Harry 15th and Arun 20th in the U17 Men, Amelia 10th, Sarah 13th and Kate S 17th in the Senior Ladies.
Other top 30 places were achieved by Holly, 14th in the U15 Girls ( team 8th ), Matt 17th in the Junior Men, Clara and Edward both 25th in the Junior Women and U13 Boys ( team 13th ) respectively and finally Holly and Sophie who finished 26th in the U13 girls ( team 11th ) and U17 Women ( team 5th ) respectively.
Our Senior Men came 23rd out of 52 teams with Stuart first home in 44th place.

But everyone ran fantastically well and everyone deserved a medal in those conditions - there is no doubt that the hill work we do every week certainly contributed on Saturday!