Gallery: Robinson out on his own at Framlingham cross country

DEFENDING champions Saint Edmund Pacers kick-started the new cross country season, in the Suffolk Winter League, with a team victory and an individual win at the first meeting, held at Framlingham Castle.

Steve Robinson continued his impressive set of results from last year by powering around the traditionally tough three laps, featuring energy-sapping climbs out of the dry castle moat, to record an emphatic victory.

RAF man Robinson, who has recently returned to the west Suffolk area, clocked 25mins 17secs to win by 48 seconds from Waveney Valley’s Adam Thomas.

In the process, he helped the Pacers to a narrow 19-point advantage in the combined team stakes, after the first of five events.

But it promises to be a very competitive season, with the composite Newmarket Joggers and Sudbury Joggers also looking strong contenders. Waveney Valley finished third.

The teenage duo of Ross Fawcett (Ipswich Harriers) and Simon Dawson (West Suffolk AC) were third and fourth respectively in the individual standings, while fifth-placed Paul Holley, of Newmarket Joggers, was the leading veteran.

Laura O’Dell was first home in the ladies’ race. The experienced Ipswich Harrier finished 29 seconds ahead of Waveney Valley AC veteran Tracey Curl, with Bungay Black Dog’s Lynn Emmett in third position. The Harriers topped the ladies’ team charts.

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A bumper field of 241 runners enjoyed good running conditions, especially when compared to all the mud and rain of recent years.

The second race will be hosted by Woodbridge Shufflers at Sutton on Sunday, December 4.

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