NAC athletes shone in a very damp and foggy Witton Park, Blackburn last Saturday. This is an excellent, but testing cross country course and conditions were very heavy underfoot. Nikki and me had the pleasure of being at the event and the following is our summary of the day.
Samuel Perry got the racing off to a fantastic start in his first ever run in the UK, coming a very impressive 6th place in a 55 strong U11 boys field. It’s unfortunate that this age group don’t have county selection available as Samuel would have gained an automatic place.
This was followed by Ella Crowe and Catherine Perry in the U13 girls race. Both started confidently in the large field of 55 runners and Ella worked hard to make her way up the field coming off the hill section and, following a sprint finish, fought her way in to that magical 6th place for automatic Inter County selection. Catherine finished well in 31st place.
We were able to enter an NAC team of Phoebe Coates, Lorna Spiers, Lydia Morris, Alice Cashin and Kate Cashin in the U15 girls race. Lorna set off in the lead group , with the other NAC girls making a steady start close together, their confidence was noticeably growing as they went off on the tough “saucer” section of the course. As the athletes came back in to view over the top of the hill, there was an impressive stream of NAC athletes, with Lorna leading the team in 4th, Phoebe close behind, then Kate and Alice Cashin descending quickly with only the final stages left to run. The girls all showed true grit and determination in the run in finishing Lorna, 4th, Phoebe 5th, Kate, 7th & Alice 8th, with only 18 seconds dividing them. Despite Lydia being unwell, she battled on to finish a very creditable 19th. The girls were delighted with their team gold convincingly won with a total of 24 points, with Chorley in silver with 67.
Becky Storrie was also running in her UK cross country debut in the U20’s age group, this race was run with all of the ladies age groups in a field of 69 runners and was 3 large laps of the course, Becky took the course on from the start and showed her class by winning her age group by 17 seconds, Inter counties selection and 8th overall, in what is her 2nd sport to triathlon.
Paul Kinnin represented NAC in the biggest field of the day, in the gruelling mens race of 4 large x laps and needed every bit of his ironman endurance to finish a solid 16th V40, 118 overall.
So the day finished with an individual Gold, team Gold, four definite Lancashire County places and two possible further places at the Inter-Counties championships in Loughborough in March.
Many congratulations to all of the NAC runners, who firmly put our club on the map.
Club Coaches – Gordon Crowe & Nikki Boyde