Gloucester League Cross Country Race 2, Charlton Park, 4 November 2017

On a bright and breezy afternoon last weekend, CLC athletes competed in the second fixture of the Gloucestershire Cross Country League. Held for the first time in the beautiful grounds of Charlton Park in the south east of the county, Chippenham Harriers played host to the meeting. The going was good, but muddy in places – perfect conditions for a testing cross country race.

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Left to right: Sandy Benchetrit, Laura Fletcher, Helen Knight, Amy Underdown, Karlien Heyrman, Amanda Steer, Patricia Sturgess, Cerys Jones, Natalie Burfitt, Nicola Weager, Jill Harsent, Emma Abbey

Once again the CLC ladies demonstrated their strength in depth and their aptitude for the tough cross-country discipline. Karlien Heyrman continued her classy form across the country as the first CLC finisher in 15th place overall and as 8th senior lady in 29:46. She was followed home by a gutsy Patricia Sturgess in 28th place overall and as a fantastic 1st in her LV35 category in 30:38. Helen Knight battled for her 4th LV35 position, finishing in 34th place overall in a time of 31:06. Amanda Steer ran well to secure a strong 2nd place in her LV45 category and 47th overall in a time of 32:13. With the first four lady Striders finishing in the top 50, next home to score for the A Team were Natalie Burfitt in 73rd place in a time of 33:41 and Nicola Weager in 88th place in a time of 35:10.

The B Team finishers were Laura Fletcher in 94th place in 35:26, the ever-dependable Emma Abbey in 106th with a time of 36:17, club debutantes Cerys Jones and Sandy Benchetrit in 114th and 116th places and times of 37:00 and 37:05 respectively, Amy Underdown in 143rd in 38:36, and LV55 competitor Jill Harsent in 149th in 39:17.

In the team competition, CLC ladies finished in 8th, 15th, 27th and 33rd places in the open classification, while in the Masters they achieved 6th and 15th places.

Also running over the ladies distance, David James bagged a top three finish in his MV65 category in a time of 35:15.

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Left to right: Stuart Barr, Charles Goodwin, Andrew Gage, Iain Porter, Joel Freeland, Martin Bick

After seeing the ladies do the club proud it was the turn of the men to take on the Charlton Park course. Back from his trail marathon and half marathon achievements, Iain Porter led the men home in a fine 25th place with a time of 38:08. Once again, MV50 Charles Goodwin showed his strength and endurance, finishing in 67th place overall and as the 3rd in his category in a time of 41:12. Club Captain Joel Freeland competed for the first time over the country this season, finishing in 141st place in 47:20, with Stuart Barr just behind him in 144th place in 47:38. Vets Martin Bick and Andrew Gage ran well to secure 171st and 172nd places in times of 51:16 and 51:24 respectively.

On the day, the men registered 16th place in the Open Team competition and 17th in the Masters.