Last Saturday was Leeds University Cross Country Club’s latest expedition, this time to Durham, which provided a challenging course that had both road and muddy track sections, and a tough hill at about 2km. It was one 4.5km lap for the ladies and a lap and a bit (including a double ascent of the hill) for the boys, at a total of about 6km.
The girls race was underway at 2pm, and after a very fast start it became clear that no one would challenge the almighty Jennifer Walsh of Durham University, the BUCS 2012 1500m champion, who was already 50m ahead after the first 500m. She broke the course record in 15 minutes 31 seconds. Lucy Crookes remained in 2nd place for the entire race and finished in a time of 17.20. Next home for Leeds with a very solid run was Lorena Christie in 15th place (19.57) followed by Tabitha Bryant (21.21) who got the Leeds A team into a very respectable 6th placed team. There were more good performances from the Leeds team with Catherine Garbutt (21.37) in 29th place and Ellie Salvidge (22.58) in 36th.
For the spectators however the race was made by a man who streaked onto the course at the end of the first lap, dressed in a Borat style mankini, only to get tackled to the ground by a group of Edinburgh girls. At 2.30pm the boys set off. Chris Smith had a cracking run and managed to echo Lucy’s 2nd place, coming second to Durham’s Ben Douglas (21.31) in an impressive 21.55 over the hilly, muddy six kilometres. He said he felt really good all the way round and was very pleased with the performance. Next in for Leeds was Glenn Phair in 15th place (23.10) who also ran very well.
Shortly behind him came Finn Affleck-Brodie (23. 33) in 20th and Chris Brown (24.33) in 34th, bringing the Leeds A team to a solid overall team result of 5th. Also to be credited for some great running on the day are Richard Jarram and Johnny Wells who battled it out to the line in a time of 25.05, an exciting sprint finish for 40th and 41st place. Dan Whittle brought the team home in a time of 25.21 getting him 43rd place. A good day of running for all and a great start to the cross country season for many of the LUUCCC runners.
Author: Lucy Crookes