Marathon veteran Paula Downing has enjoyed an excellent start to the winter season as she turns attentions to the cross country scene.
The Mablethorpe Running Club member has conquered 100 marathons, but is leading the way over the shorter distances on the Lincolnshire Runner Cross Country League.
The league draws hundreds of runners from the Lincolnshire and Humber regions to take on some challenging and picturesque routes around the county, beginning with the opening match at Ostler’s Plantation, near Woodhall Spa.
The event took place in woodland owned by the Forestry Commission and attracted 234 runners from 22 clubs.
Paula ran in the senior/veteran women category and finished third overall in her race, but was first vet female, running the 5.76km in 24min 00secs.
The league then moved on to Castledyke Equestrian Centre, where 205 runners from 22 clubs raced among acres of grassland, woodland and farmland at Gipsey Bridge, near Boston.
Paula improved to second overall, but was again first vet female after completing the 5.82km course in a time of 26min 34secs.
Before this, she took part in the Beach Terrain XC, organised by Cleethorpes Athletics Club.
The event took place on the south side of Cleethorpes Leisure Centre on a course of firm sand, grass and dunes.
It attracted around 200 participants across all age groups, and the Mablethorpe runner was again first vet female, and third overall, after getting round the tough 5.5km route in 19min 58secs.
* Sharon Margarson and Elaine Wilson attended last Saturday’s Cleethorpes Parkrun at the town’s country park.
Of the 179 finishers, Sharon crossed the line in 25min 25secs for 57th place, and her Mablethorpe RC clubmate Elaine covered the 5km distance in 27.26 for 79th place.
* Mablethorpe Runnign Club is open to new members of all abilities.
They meet on Mondays at 6.30pm at Sutton-on-Sea Social Club, and also on Wednesdays, but they have still to confirm a regular meeting venue.
To find out more, visit their website at www.mablethorperunningclub.org.uk