A decent turnout of Wirral runners and marshalls at the Liverpool and District Cross Country League

A number of our adult members were out running or marshalling at the first Liverpool and District League fixture at Arrowe Park.  Steve Spence reports on the day-

Since it’s inaugural beginning in 1891, yes 1891, the Liverpool & District (L&D) Cross Country League is the longest running cross country league in the region. It is worth taking some time to look at the L&D website for race results over previous years which makes for some interesting reading with some names that many of you may be familiar with in one way or another.

Indeed the last Saturday in October has become synonymous for many senior cross country aficionados as the start of cross country racing season. So last weekend saw the first race of the new L&D season held at Arrowe Park. The course was prepared and laid out as ever by the L&D President, and longstanding Wirral AC member, Nick Lindesay, thank you once again to Nick for his meticulous planning and dedication. As ever the Arrowe Park course was a challenge (we are so lucky to have such a quality XC course on our doorstep).

Recent weather made conditions underfoot rather deceptive with parts of the course, particularly the approach to the loop by the swings, and the loop itself, containing a fair amount of the soft stuff (mud), which increased with each lap.

126 avid runners completed the three lap, six mile course with Wirral AC athletes representing the club with a decent enough turn out of 15 runners two of whom were our female athletes.

As could have been predicted Liverpool Harriers had athletes heading the field with their top six male counters finishing in the top 8 places giving them the 1st team placing with just 24 points.

For Wirral AC, Phil Langan showed some excellent early season form finishing in 7th position, this, despite recent training being hampered by injury. Second Wirral athlete to finish was Harley Henshaw in 17th, a very good effort considering he is in the middle of a heavy block of training. The remaining four Wirral AC counters all packed well to earn the club 2nd place in the team competition with 121 points, Steve Spence (20th) Dan Morgan (24th) Mark Hulmston (25th) and Will Ferguson (27th) completing the count. Richard Bargh showed some good early season form with a gritty run to finish in 32nd place and edge out Wallasey AC’s 6th counter – every place helps!!!! (Wallasey were the 3rd team with 143 points).

Amongst the ladies the first home was Rachel Burns F35 of Liverpool Harriers who I have been reliably informed is a national veteran champion on the track. Our own Sarah Kearney finished 2nd placed lady in 47th place overall. Wirral AC’s second female athlete on the day was Lisa Grantham who finished a very credible 87th place and was the 6th placed lady overall.

Wirral’s youngest competitor in the Senior race was Ieuan Kearney (U20) who finished a very good 36th on the back of some minimalist training with our two most senior athletes on the day Tony Devoy (67th) and Jimmy Atkins (107th) competing in the Vet 60 category with Tony winning the age category, very well done to Tony.

I must say a very big thank you to each and everyone of our marshalling and support team who made the event possible and helped Nick to clear up the course after the athletes had long left the park.

The next L&D race is incorporated into the Cross Challenge at Sefton Park on Saturday 25th November. For anyone who has not been to this event it really is a highlight of the Cross Country season and attracts some top British athletes and is the trial for the European cross country champs later on in the year, Last year Andy Bouchart won the race. So even if you’re injured it is well worth the trip through the tunnel.

Good luck to all our athletes in coming weeks

Steve Spence


  • Nick Lindesay is appealing for marshalls for the above-mentioned  Cross Challenge races in Liverpool.  This is one of the best run and best to watch events in the region.  There will be a great atmosphere, marshalling will be straightforward and you get a FREE LUNCH!!  Marshalls need to meet at 10.30am and the last race finishes at 4pm,  Please contact Nick on nicklindesay@msn.com and phone No 6251124.
  • Steve Brick needs to know numbers for food for the upcoming Xmas Party at the Lauries, 2nd Dec.  If you’d like to come, please buy your tickets now by logging onto Webcollect.  Go to https://webcollect.org.uk/wirralac and login at the top right hand corner to see the event and buy tickets.

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