Superb finishes for top WSAC runners

Cross CountryHOLKHAM Hall on the North Norfolk coast was the venue for the 2007 South of England cross country championships.A bright sunny but cold day greeted the competitors.

Cross Country

HOLKHAM Hall on the North Norfolk coast was the venue for the 2007 South of England cross country championships.

A bright sunny but cold day greeted the competitors.

The course was over undulating parkland with several deceptively long climbs.

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Underfoot conditions were excellent with no muddy areas and firm going on short grass. Race distances ranged from 3,000m for the Under 13 girls to a hefty 15,000m for the Senior men.

Thirteen West Suffolk AC athletes made the trip.

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First to go were the Under 15 boys over 4,500m. The experienced pair of Fry and Dunbar used the race to experiment with a faster start than normal but this was only partially successful and they paid for the early effort in the latter stages, slipping back to finish a very respectable 30th and 39th from 122 finishers.

New club member James Wear was competing in his first ever cross country race at this level. A steady start saw him pick up places as the race unfolded and 82nd was a solid result from minimal training. Matt Robinson can be reasonably satisfied with 90th, being bottom year in the age group. The team placed 8th.

Next up were the Under 13 girls and West Suffolk AC's lone representative was Holly Archer racing over 3000m. Almost recovered from a recent injury Archer was just off the leading group throughout the race and finished a superb 20th from 124.

Abby Marriott and Kelly Barnard also opted for an aggressive start in the Under 15 girls 4,000m race. Marriott finished the stronger coming home a respectable 22nd with Barnard 43 seconds adrift in 45th.

Andrew Ridley and Ed Fry were well to the fore in the early stages of the Under 17 boys race over 6000m. Again the telling course took its toll but both runners persevered to finish 22nd and 46th respectively.

The Under 17 girls and Under 20 women raced together over 5000m. Zara McLoone came home an excellent 19th. in the Under 17 age group. Helen Watersplaced 53rd. Waters is training for the 300m and 400m and benefits from the overall fitness cross country training and racing gives her.

Another new member, Pippa Russell was in the same situation as Wear in the Under 15s and had a steady run in her first major cross country race, placing 34th in the Under 20 age group.

Last to go was Colin Ridley in the Senior Men's over a gruelling 15,000m. Ridley was pleased with 150th from 553 finishers.

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