Midland Counties Cross Country Championship

There were some terrific performances at the Midland Counties Cross Country Championships for the Harriers, on a tough course still very wet in places despite almost a week without significant rainfall, to make a challenging course. Held at the now traditional location within the grounds of Prestwold Hall, this year the course has been set up very different from previous years without the daunting large climb.

First off were the U13 Girls with Jemima Davey making her Midland Counties XC debut getting a great start alongside club colleague Maggie Gancheva. Davey worked hard throughout the course, and managed to stay in a prominent position finishing the slightly short 3k course in a fantastic 22nd place in 10:53. Gancheva also enjoyed a great race and finished very strongly, improving by 26 places from the previous year to finish just seconds behind Davey in 24th place in 10:56, there were 114 athletes competing.

There was just a single U13 Boy competing, and James Clutton ran well to finish in 113th out of the large field of 133.

Alice Bates went into the race in terrific form, but a poor start saw her pegged well back in the field at the tricky start which had a series of 180 degree U turns. Bates worked hard to catch the front runners, but the top 5 had gained over 100m after the opening km and there was little hope of her getting back into contention. She did make a huge number of gains right throughout the race to finish in a brilliant 6th place over the 4km course in 13:57 so can take some satisfaction that she ran a strong race after her unfortunate start.

U15 Alice Bates top position of the day in a brilliant 6th place

The U15 Boys race saw a fine battle between Harriers Luke Cole & Rio Carr, who both got off to a great start, with Cole taking the initiative over the opening 2km of the 4km course. Carr grew stronger as the race progress and worked his way past his club colleague to finish in a superb 13th place in 12:32, with Cole securing a top 20 slot in 20th in 12:49 out of the 118 strong field, with both making significant gains from the previous year. There were good supporting performances from Ben Brooker in 50th (13:39) & Lucas Rogers (13:49) to help the team to a fine 6th place overall. Jake Nickerson & George Separovic also ran well for 60th & 88th place respectively.

U15 Rio Carr strong run for a fine 13th place

The U17 Men’s team finished in the highest place on the day with a terrific performance to finish in 4th place, just a single point ahead of local rival Northampton AC. Top scoring for the U17 Men was Josh Geddes who enjoyed one of his best races this season to finish in 37th place over the tough 5km course in 23:11, with Josh Clutton running a strong race in 45th (23:50) along with Ryan Raulia who finish just behind in 48th (24:03), with Siddarth Zumkhawala running well in 65th place (25:30), out of the 71 strong field.

U17 Men's team finished in a fine 4th place, from left to right Ryan Raulia, Josh Geddes, Josh Clutton, Siddarth Zumkhwwala

The Senior women team was headed with a strong performance from Elana Albery who finished the 8km course in 66th place in 36:16, Elaine Fairbrother also ran well for 105th place (40:07), with good support from Millie Caffull in 113th (41:06) & Karen Albery in 137th (42:29), with the team finishing in a very credible 18th place. There were 235 athletes competing.

There was just a single competitor for the Harriers in the Senior men’s race with Luke Myers completing the gruelling 12km championship course in 44:41 for a fine 83rd place out of the 366 athletes competing.

Well done to everyone.

With the school age athletes taking precedent in the next race, an Inter-Counties match in Boston, the 21 Harriers competing in the Anglian trophy will be battling for English schools places for the National championship in Liverpool in March.