Dynamic dozen run in big national event

Louth AC runner Christine Giles competes in The Saucony English National Cross Country Championships EMN-160703-142217002
Louth AC runner Christine Giles competes in The Saucony English National Cross Country Championships EMN-160703-142217002

A squad of 12 athletes represented Louth Athletic Club at the gruelling ‘Grand National’ of cross country running at Donington Park on Saturday.

The Saucony English National Cross Country Championships is a prestigious event with previous winners of the classic 140-year-old race, which pre-dates the modern Olympic Games, including Mo Farah, Steve Ovett, Gemma Steel and Paula Radcliffe.

This year’s event attracted more than 5,000 athletes from 538 clubs, ranging from elite athletes to weekend joggers.

The Donington Park course was a tough slog with runners trudging through boggy mud and energy-sapping hills.

First up for Louth were under 13 boys Lucas George Jones and Caleb Stevenson, who finished 143rd and 223rd respectively out of 420 finishers.

Josh Tarrant and Jevon George Jones who, unfortunately, picked up a calf strain, ran in the under 13 boys’ race and finished 187th and 322nd respectively, out of a 367-strong field.

Adam Dalton and Jason Stainton ran in the senior men’s race and came 304th and 1,014th out of 1,730 finishers.

Louth AC’s veteran women were the only age group from the club with enough runners to field a team at the Donington event.

This is because at least four runners are needed for scores to count.

There were some great performances from the squad to place them in an excellent 71st position overall.

Kerry Stainton was first home in 321st place.

She was followed by Trudy Roberts in 513th, Fiona Lawrie in 565th and Christine Giles in 602nd.

Also finishing were Lynda Dalton (623rd) and Jane Cope (662nd). This was out of 739 finishers in the race.