Charity Cup - A soggy slog at Wicksteed Park!

Conditions were almost ideal for this year's Charity Cup Cross-Country races. It was a bright, cold day with very little wind, but underfoot  the runners were presented with a big challenge. Parts of the course were very soggy indeed, with ankle deep mud to negotiate in several sections.

There was the biggest turnout of athletes for more than ten years, with the senior fields boosted by entrants from EVAC (Eastern Veterans Athletics Club) whose championships were incorporated in the event. The oldest competitor was only five years younger than the Charity Cup itself, which was first held in 1929! There was also a much increased entry from local clubs in the NAA Masters Championships.

With four-time winner Ben Sharman opting not to defend his title, there was a new name on the presitigious list of Senior Men's winners. Corby AC's Chris Curtis crossed the line with a substantial lead and fronted his team's victory in the Alexander Cup, by the narrow margin of six points over Kettering Town Harriers.

David Green (5th) was the first Harrier home. Joining him in collecting silver medals were Phil West (7th), Matt Fowler (8th), Stephen Thompson (14th), Neil Tandy (18th) and Steve Green (27th). Phil also took individual bronze in the NAA Masters and with Matt, Stephen and Martyn Winstone, gathered another set of team silvers, again behind Corby AC. Peter Goringe took silver in the EVAC Over-50 category, the first medal he has ever won in his life!

In the Senior Women's race, Kerry Munn, Amanda Marlow and Jill Tierney were second EVAC team and Kerry picked up an individual award. And there was a clean sweep for KTH in the Under 17s, who ran with the women. Kayli Walford, Claudia Kelsall and Lauren Mehmet took home all the medals.

It was a similar story in the Under 15 Boys, where Jack Hope, Edward Cannell and Ethan Mehmet produced a clean sweep. In the Under 15 Girls, good packing by Priscilla Wilson (4th), Hannah Winstone (5th) and Iona Diack (6th) earned the team golds. And Liam Kirk won a silver in the Under 17 Men.

The Harriers were out in force in the two youngest age groups and won three of the four team awards. In the Under 13 Boys, Travis Bowley (3rd) led KTH to a one point victory over Corby, supported by Joe Pendred (5th) and Henri Codling (6th). But perhaps the outstanding performance of the day was from Tabatha Walford, who not only won the Under 13 Girls race, but beat all the boys as well! With Rebecca Hughes (5th) and Sophie Moss (7th), she also won team gold.

Kettering athletes made up almost half of the 28 strong Under 11 Girls field, with Emily Williams (3rd) the best placed. Fay Robinson (4th), Jennifer Robinson (5th) and Ella Rea (8th) were in the winning team. In the Boys' race, Dylan Bowley was just edged out by Rugby & Northampton's Harry Andrew in the battle for gold. With Zack Winstone (11th) and Ethan Nelis (14th), the Harriers won bronze in the team standings.

As usual, thanks are due to all who helped with officiating and marshalling on the day.  

Results can be found HERE.


Photographs can be found here