Good XC action at Wicksteed Park

Kettering Town Harriers successfully staged the second round of the North Midlands Cross Country League at Wicksteed Park. Around 600 athletes took part and enjoyed good conditions on the deceptively challenging course. Harriers stalwarts, led by Martyn Winstone, ensured that, apart from a few senior ladies inexplicably deciding to go a little off course, the meeting ran without a hitch.

First off were the Under 13 Boys. Jack Hope made a slightly sluggish start and had to settle for a creditable 5th place. Gabrial Smith showed great promise with a 12th place finish. With Ben Tierney in 16th and Ethan Mehmet 17th, the Kettering team clinched an excellent third spot.

The Under 15 girls ran the same course and were 5th in the team stakes. Leading them home was Kayli Walford in 8th. Fran Ashworth was feeling unwell and ran bravely for 16th (and went straight back to bed!), whilst Lauren Mehmet was 30th.

In the Under 15 Boys, cross-country regular Liam Kirk (12th) was joined by 800m specialist Edward Cherry (16th) who is rarely seen ploughing through the mud! As for the Under 13 Girls, Anya Galletta (23rd) and Hannah Winstone (27th) battled hard for the Harriers.

The Under 11 mixed race saw good performances from Tabatha Walford (3rd girl) and Danielle Gaskell (4th) who were separated by just 3 seconds. Rebecca Hughes (9th), Emily Manson (13th), and Mary Hughes (26th) all ran for Kettering, along with Joe Pendred who was 15th in the boys race.

It was good to see several KTH representatives in the Senior Ladies race. Sian Edwards was briefly in the lead after the leaders' unexpected diversion (she knew the right way!) and eventually finished 5th. Kelly Barnett ran well for 34th with Sophie Munn 54th. Jill Tierney (62nd), Deb Galletta (70th) and Amanda Marlow (74th) made a rare excursion onto the country, as Kettering finished 7th team.

The Senior Men matched the ladies' position, fielding 13 runners, the highest figure for a league fixture for some time. Leading finishers Jonny Goringe (33rd) and Terry Toseland (44th) were perhaps both a little below their expectations. Phil West was next home in 62nd. Dave Edwards (81st) and Steve Giles (82nd) had a race-long battle that was only resolved in the final sprint. Dan Thompson had a fine debut at this level with a 96th place finish, whilst at the other end of the age scale, Ron Searle was 103rd. Martyn Winstone took a break from his duties to claim 114th place, followed by Andrew Clawson (127th), Alan Rain (146th) and Paul Marlow (149th). And it was good to see two first-timers, Messrs Ruegg and Sonn, clearly enjoying their run, which ended with creditable finishes in 161st and 163rd respectively.

The next meeting (December 4th) is at the new venue of RAF Cranwell in Sleaford, Lincs, which we hope may encourage some of the Harriers to join with the regulars in representing the club.