Frostbite Friendly League Report – Bourne Woods – February 2nd 2014
BOURNE Woods provided the hilliest and muddiest challenge yet of this season’s Frostbite Friendly cross country league on Sunday (Feb 2nd), with Nene Valley Harriers taking the top spot with several strong performances. The result means the Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire club will go into the final fixture in Huntingdon as the league leaders.
On one of the sunniest days of the year so far, the Harriers were led in by John Pike in the senior race, who narrowly missed out on the top spot to Cambridge & Coleridge’s (C&C) Sullivan Smith by 9 seconds, posting a time of 28:27, closely followed by Adam Birch in 4th place with 29:15. NVH’s third athlete in was Aaron Shepherd, who dramatically fell twice on the rain-soaked trails and did well to finish in 15th in 31:17. Lance Hemmings, Sean Beard, 17-year-old Nathan Tweedie, and 15-year-old Bradley Spurdens closed in the scoring team, all finishing in the top 40 overall.
Ruth Jones was the first senior woman to cross the line for the club in third place overall in 34:40, with C&C’s Carla Brown just snatching the top spot from Ramsey’s Lisa Marriott. All three tackled the Southern Cross Country Championships the week before at Parliament Hill in London, so clearly enjoy tackling muddy terrain.
16-year-old Emily Brand ran impressively well in her first race of this distance to take the second female spot for the club, with Louise Blake just 33 places behind completing the scoring for the Harriers.
There was further success in the junior race, with NVH’s Will Baker winning the 1.5m race outright. Jack Weddup, Dan Lornie, Jonathan Friend and Codey Holland also scored highly for the club, with Paula Naylor taking top honours as first female Harrier home in 48th overall. The youngsters’ steely resolve on a very tough course resulted in a superb score of 124, a huge improvement from the previous league race at March when they posted 329. The junior team finished in third position on the day, putting them fourth overall in the table.