Gloucestershire XC League 2021/22, Race 2 - Pittville
Results & Report.
I think it’s fair to say last Sunday saw some of the most atrocious conditions ever seen at a cross country fixture but Tewkesbury RC members proved yet again that a little wind & rain isn’t going to stop them from competing!
Once again, our ladies led the way as an 8 strong contingent battled their way around a two lap 6.5 km course at a windswept Pittville Park in Cheltenham.
The route at Pittville included the famous water crossing through the narrow stream that runs along from the lake but even this wasn’t enough to sink our runners who dealt with the harsh conditions admirably.
Leading our ladies home was William Holyoak who once again donned the familiar black & amber vest of TRC to run a fine race in the U17s category.
Finishing in 8th place in a time of 31.15, the youngster demonstrated yet again that he will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with when he eventually steps up to the senior ranks.
Talking of which, they don’t come more senior than Mungo Park. Appearing at a XC event for the first time in a long while, the Tartan Terror looked at home in the wild weather finishing 4th in his age category.
The first of our ladies to finish was Sue Baldwin. Sue had been something of a hobbyist when it came to running but these days she has become the woman to beat in the ladies division, recording some pretty mean times in the process.
Sunday proved to be no exception as she romped home in 38.35 to finish 6th in her category.
What was particularly pleasing to see was that most of the Tewkesbury contingent were bunched together, no doubt all eager to push each other on in very demanding conditions.
No sooner had Sue finished than that old warhorse Carol Cowley followed in her tracks just a few seconds later to claim yet another gold medal in her category to add to her ever growing trophy haul.
The Tewkesbury runners then started to come in thick and fast as Jane Sauer, making a steady return after injury, completed the “A Team” with some of the most colourful leggings ever seen since the days of Mr Motivator...
Talking of fitness legends, Mungo Park followed Jane over the finish line, the mighty Scotsman towering over his fellow competitors like Gandalf surrounded by a load of hobbits.
There was nothing small about the efforts of Sarah Dennis though, as this recent addition to TRC’s Cross Country ranks ran another good race to lead home our “B Team”.
Shortly behind her was the ever present Sheena Druggan Moseley. Recently, Sheena shattered her 10k PB and on this showing it’s not hard to see why.
With every race the Irish whizz visibly improves. Gone are the sunglasses and the woolly hat, these days Sheena is here to compete and compete she did!
Shortly behind her, Emily Meadows - another recent cross country convert - kept up a dogged pace to bring home the points for our second ladies team.
Talking of teamwork, Samantha Robinson & Laura Kent once again aided one another over a difficult course to round off the Tewkesbury contingent. It’s that never-say-die attitude that sums up every single one of our cross country runners & in such terrible conditions I tip my hat to all of them!
Onto the men then...
Alec Vincent & Nigel Tillott were our only representatives at Pittville, although I must also mention Dave Aguirre who sadly pulled a hamstring at the start line & had to reluctantly withdraw.
Bad luck Dave, I hope you’ll be back soon!
It could’ve been a similar bad luck story for Alec Vincent who very nearly joined the starting line up without either his running top or race number!
Thankfully though, yours truly was on hand to make sure Alec didn’t end up running the 9.3km course for nothing!
Making a big splash, Alec took to the awful conditions like a duck to water. In fact, he seemed to enjoy it so much that due to a late slip in the mud, he returned to the river crossing a 4th time to wash himself off!
Just like his team mate, Nigel Tillot is another guy who seems to like it the tougher it gets as the veteran runner completed another XC race, both he and Alec making the water crossing look ridiculously easy in the process.
Understandably, the weather probably played a part in keeping a few people indoors but it was disappointing that we couldn’t get a men’s team out for what is essentially our “home” fixture.
Come on guys... the girls are making us look bad!
I must also thank all those who came out in such appalling weather to support our runners, believe me, it really makes a difference!
Also to all the ladies who, despite being wet through and shivering cold after your race, stayed on to cheer Alec & Nigel during theirs.
On days like that it really is a team effort that gets you through. You are all a credit to the club!!!
The final fixture in the XC League is at Old Down Country Park near Thornbury on Saturday March 5th. Details to come.
Apologies for a lack of photos but my laptop is playing up but I will have them & some video clips once the issue is resolved.
Senior Ladies/U17s/Veteran Men (6.4km)
25 Will Hollyoak (8th MU17) 31.15 86 Sue Baldwin (6th LV55) 38.35 88 Carol Cowley (1st LV70) 38.42 92 Jane Sauer (8th LV45) 39.16 93 Mungo Park (4th MV70) 39.40 95 Sarah Dennis (9th LV45) 40.36 101 Sheena Moseley (6th LV50) 42.38 105 Emily Meadows (12th LV45) 44.52 107 Laura Kent (11th LV35) 48.46 108 Samantha Robinson (8th LV55) 48.46
Senior Men’s (9.3km)
73 Alec Vincent (9th MV50) 45.44 104 Nigel Tillot (13th MV55) 51.08
18 Tewkesbury Ladies A 19 Tewkesbury Ladies B
11 Tewkesbury Masters Ladies A 12 Tewkesbury Masters Ladies B
Report by: Wes - Tewkesbury RC Cross Country Secretary