This fixture is the first of 6 in what is termed 'The Westward League' and is a combined league for all clubs in both Devon and Cornwall. Unfortunately for those who live in North or East Devon, this means quite a trek for the Redruth fixture: about 200 miles in total for around 20 minutes of running! Nevertheless, the value of cross-country to many athletes as a means of building up strength and stamina over the winter makes the effort worthwhile.
What also made the trip worthwhile was that we had enough ladies, with 3 to count, to have a successful ladies team. Moira Glen led them home with a fine run over the 4'900m 3 lap course to clock a time of 21:31. This gave her 16th place overall in the women's race and 3rd placed FV45 athlete. Crucially she managed to finish ahead of Karen Cook of SWRR and Marilyn Blair of Torrington AC, both very talented athletes who Moira couldn't quite hang onto at her last outing at the Ladies 10k. So her recent decision to up her training regime to incorporate a bit more structured hill and track work is clearly paying off!
Next in, having a fine run in her first outing at cross-country since the days that it was inflicted upon everyone in school, was Carly Audritt. Carly completed the 3 mile course in a time of 23:38 and took 31st place in the women's race, putting her just inside the top 50% of finishers. With the course being the same distance as Parkrun in which she participates on an almost weekly basis, and being just as muddy, Carly was more than adequately prepared for this race.
Also contributing valuable points to the Exmouth ladies team challenge was stalwart cross-country veteran, Dawn Teed. Always a sport and happy to make up a team to encourage other ladies to give XC a try, Dawn is nevertheless highly competitive herself and on this occasion she cantered around the course in 26:02 for 47th place overall and 9th FV45.
There were 62 finishers in the female race and with 3 decent performances by our ladies we now have something to build upon in the following rounds. We are currently lying in 11th in the team standings with 209 points, with the first team on 280 points. We can build on this! It doesn't have to be the same 3 runners who count each time, so if any other ladies fancy giving the XC a try, don't be nervous, you would be helping the club out and it's a fun outing as the women usually run first and then get to relax and cheer on the men! Give the next one a go: it's in Newquay on November 4th.
There was just the one lone representative for the Harriers in the male race and that came in the form of the ever-consistent Adam Miller. Despite having pushed himself hard the previous day to win his 7.7 mile leg of the Parrett Trail, Adam still had plenty of speed left in the legs as he stormed around the 5 lap 8k course in a time of 32:29 to finish in 30th place overall out of a field of 115 male athletes.
If any other Exmouth men fancy supporting Adam at the next fixture, it's not too late for us to field a team, we just need 5 runners at each of the next 5 events to count for a team. Any takers?!
Team spirit! Moira, Dawn and Carly showing that cross-country can be fun!