Louth AC on form at Northern Counties Cross Country Championships

Louth AC trio who competed in the senior ladies' race at the Northern Counties Cross ountry Championships, from left, Trudy Roberts, Jane Cope, Kerry Stainton EMN-180502-123411002
Louth AC trio who competed in the senior ladies' race at the Northern Counties Cross ountry Championships, from left, Trudy Roberts, Jane Cope, Kerry Stainton EMN-180502-123411002

Louth Athletic Club fielded a six-strong team at the Northern Cross Country Championships and they did the club proud.

It was the first time Northern Athletics have used Harewood House, near Leeds, and it provided excellent racing in the landscaped South Park.

Nick Marsh storms through the blizzard to finish 12th at the Folksworth 15-mile race EMN-180502-122831002

Nick Marsh storms through the blizzard to finish 12th at the Folksworth 15-mile race EMN-180502-122831002

The day brought further inclement weather, and after plenty of rain in the week leading up to the race, there were inevitably some tough muddy sections.

But runners also enjoyed some stretches of fast running with plenty of variety including testing hills, while strong winds added to the challenge.

In the senior female competition there were 435 runners, and the first home for Louth AC was Kerry Stainton in the top half in 186th overall, clocking 41min 09secs.

She was followed by clubmates Trudy Roberts (319th in 46.56), and Jane Cope (381st in 51.09).

Shirley Willett dipped under the 1hr 30min mark at Ferriby EMN-180502-123350002

Shirley Willett dipped under the 1hr 30min mark at Ferriby EMN-180502-123350002

In the junior races, starting with the under 13 girls, Evie Brooks crossed the line 66th from 235 finishers to earn the club performance of the day.

Hannah Reid earned another valuable top-half finish when she came 81st from 186 finishers in the under 15s girls’ race.

And in the under 15s boys, Matthew Spendlove was 141st from 197 finishers, a great performance considering he will still be in the same age group for the next cross country season.

* Louth AC member Nick Marsh continued his preparations for April’s Manchester Marathon at the Folksworth 15-mile race, near Peterborough.

Betty Gash won her age group category at the Ferriby 10 EMN-180502-123400002

Betty Gash won her age group category at the Ferriby 10 EMN-180502-123400002

Now in its 29th year, the route takes in some great scenery over two laps of an undulating course, all on country roads, with three steep hills on each lap to fully test entrants.

Despite the snow blizzard which made staying on his feet a problem, Nick had a great run and finished 12th overall from 433 entries.

He was also fifth in the vet 45 age category in a time of 1hr 34min 17secs in the worst conditions he had ever raced in.

Nick is hoping for a time of around 2hr 45min at Manchester.

Ruth Edison finished in the top half at Ferriby EMN-180502-123422002

Ruth Edison finished in the top half at Ferriby EMN-180502-123422002

* Six members of Louth AC took part in the popular Ferriby 10, hosted by the City of Hull Athletic Club.

There were some course changes after the construction of new roads, but remained a hilly test, setting off from Skidby, anti-clockwise around the East Yorkshire villages, back to Skidby Mill via a final 700m steep climb to the finish.

A headwind for the first half of the race added to the challenge.

In a field of 708 runners, Jack Darnell continued his great form by running an excellent race in a time of 1hr 05min 48secs for 63rd overall and 24th in the senior male age category.

Kerry Drewery is another Louth AC member racing very well and she finished 267th and sixth out of 67 in the Vets 45 category in 1.18.58.

Ruth Edison ran a controlled competitive race and was rewarded with a time of 1.21.30 to finish 314th and 11th out of 67 in the Vets 45 age group.

Betty Gash ran a determined race, starting off well, but finding the headwind tough.

However, she raced more fluently in the second half to finish 337th in 1.22.46 to win the Vets 55 age group and take almost three-and-a-half minutes off her previous veteran personal best.

Shirley Willett ran an excellent race to dip under the 1hr 30min mark, finishing in 1.29.24 for 459th and 14th in the Vet 50 age category.

Club newcomer Kate Simons worked hard to complete the distance in 1.31.21 and finish 487th, and 25th Vet 40.

Amanda Young is racing consistently and finished 503rd and 16th in the Vet 50 age group in 1.32.41.