It was all about Cross Country for the Poly last weekend.
Saturday the 23rd saw Claire McManus, Suzanne Thew and Stephanie Dann putting in a vintage performance in Derby, becoming the British Masters Cross Country V35 Champions. All three had cracking races, and did the Poly proud.
Sunday saw a return to North East Harrier League action for the club. A fairly wet week had runners anticipating muddy conditions; they were not to be disappointed. While not a quagmire, there certainly was plenty of squelch around the course. Luckily, if you didn’t like the weather, you had only to wait five minutes for something else to come along; rain, bracing breezes and even sunshine, which gave us a spectacular rainbow during the earlier races. Neither mud nor weather could put off Poly participants though, with 68 runners pulling on the vest (and base layers, thermals, woolly hats, wellies etc) and turning out for the club.
Along with mud, the course featured a ‘new’ hill feature, with a slightly precarious ridge along the top; single file running was definitely recommended!
The U11s race featured fine performances by a brace of Joshes (Messrs Blevins and Collinson, both coming in at under five minutes). Molly Luke, Kirsty Nash, Harry Robson and Archie Pennington all did well in challenging conditions too.
Jake Hill put in a spectacular performance, coming in 3rd in the U13 boys race.Will Robinson and Mark Nash also put in creditable runs. In the U13 girls, meanwhile, Elise Downs also claimed third place, and was only a gnat’s whisker away from winning the race, with Elen Carter also running well. William Robson and Ross Butcher both ran well in the U17 boys event.
23 Poly women turned out for the senior event, including, remarkably, Suzanne Thew; as if winning at Derby the day before wasn’t enough of a contribution! Natalie Thorburn was first Poly woman home in 19th place, with Alison Dixon, the aforementioned Suzanne Thew, Lisa Henderson, Katherine Davis and Clare Twaddle all well up the field.
32 men set out on the final race of the day, with much appreciated and noisy support from the earlier runners. John Baty came in 12th, with Michael Moore, Philip Herbert and Steve Attwell all running notably well. Poly globetrotter Jim Richardson, recently returned from New York, made his XC debut in a Poly vest too.
Back at the tent, there was consternation when it appeared that the cake had run out early; however, more was quickly found, and very good it was too. A great effort from all who turned out, whether to run or support the team; thanks to every one of you for contributing to a great day out. The season rolls on relentlessly, with a trip to Wallington Hall, Northumberland, lined up for Saturday November the 30th.
Hope to see you there. Up the Poly!
Photos courtesy of Suzanne Thew and Daniel Thorburn