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Race No 1 - Little Rissington

An impressive 11 members turned out for the first race in the club's Winter Off-Road Series - double the normal turn-out of previous years!

It was hardly winter weather however as the sun shone warmly on the entrants as they gathered on the fields around the tiny Cotswold village of Little Rissington, near Bourton-on-the-Water.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Glos XC League it’s a 4 race championship that takes place at a variety of locations across the county. This was the first, the second is at Gloucester next month, then it moves on to Wotton-under-Edge before finishing at Pittville Park in February.

But first there was the little matter of a hilly course to contend with in the quirky Cotswolds location. Throughout the day competitors looked on as the juniors took to the various routes and tried to gage what delights lay for them ahead.

First up our ladies team of Rachel Brownett, Cath Dudfield, Jane Sauer & Liz Spiers lined up with 140 plus of the counties' finest female athletes to take on the tricky 6km course.

After a jam packed start our quick quartet battled their way around the hilly terrain to record some impressive times. First home for the club was Jane Sauer.

It was clear that Jane had her "game face" on as she made a mockery of the tough course to finish brilliantly in 26:50. Shortly afterwards a still smiling Liz Spiers cruised home in 31:35 followed closely by Rachel Brownett in 32:54.

The tougher it gets the more these girls seem to like it! Completing the set, Tewkesbury RC legend Cath Dudfield literally bust a gut to arrive back in 33:57.

Onto the boys then and it was the turn of the super seven to fight their way through the field of 240 mean runners. Leading the charge for Tewkesbury was Ed Hardy who admitted he was looking for a challenge to keep him sharp throughout the winter months. Fortunately Ed was up to that challenge making short work of the 9km race to finish in a brilliant 36:21.

Next up TRC new boy Mark Parker followed up his impressive performance at Highnam 10k by coming home in 39:22. Clearly a runner to look out for, Mark is another one who enjoys it the tougher it gets!

Nigel Tillott is an old hand at all this and was not in the slightest bit perturbed by the hilly course as he ran round effortlessly in 40:21. An incredible performance considering he left his daughter's swimming gala in Worcester to make the starting line - but fear not he was able to return to poolside to witness her making a splash of her own shortly afterwards.

Having earlier seen Cath doggedly tackling the terrain Stu Dudfield set about ensuring "Team Dudfield" didn't do things by half and gleefully hot footed round in 41:37. Making a welcome return to the world of cross country, Paul Mason was in a world of pain but in true Tewkesbury spirit "Mase the Ace" gritted his teeth and ground out a satisfying 45:37.

Dashing around in the hot summer-like sun Kev Emmerson could be forgiven for stopping a while to top up his tan but this was no time for fun and games however as Kev donned his familiar ray-bans and recorded a steady 55:00.

Finally, first reserve and team captain Wes Reid plodded round in 64:52. Initially thinking of retiring after the first lap, Captain Reid decided to persevere just in case someone else dropped out - thus ensuring Tewkesbury RC were represented in the team stakes.

For the first time in many years Tewkesbury were able to field a men’s team (6 runners), a ladies team (3 runners) and both a men’s and ladies masters team (4 & 3 respectively). Together with the individual performances it marked a welcome return to form for Tewkesbury RC in the cross country season and I'd like to thank all those who competed for making this possible.

Throughout the day I was approached by members of other clubs who said it was great to see so many Tewkesbury shirts at a XC event again - a fitting end to a great day! See you at Gloucester!


Mens (9.33km)

52 Ed Hardy 36:21 117 Mark Parker 39:22 133 Nigel Tillott 40:21 160 Stu Dudfield 41:27 201 Paul Mason 45:37 237 Kev Emmerson 55:00 240 Wes Reid 64:52

Mens Team (Out of 25)

19 Tewkesbury RC

Mens Team Masters (Out of 23)

17 Tewkesbury RC

Ladies (6.1km)

29 Jane Sauer 26:50 85 Liz Spiers 31:35 101 Rachel Brownett 32:54 108 Cathy Dudfield 33:57

Ladies Team (Out of 37)

21 Tewkesbury RC

Ladies Team Masters (Out of 26)

12 Tewkesbury RC

Beating the likes of Bourton, Clevedon, Angels, Chelt Harriers B, Gloucester AC B, FODAC B, CLC Striders B, etc... Well done ladies!!!!!

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