Emily Kearney Triumphs in the Manchester Mud

Last Saturday the club competed in the 3rd match of the Manchester Area Cross Country League.  Four U11 girls braved the mud, first back being Emma Poulston in 31st place followed by Evie Smith (42nd), Amber Neal (44th) and Sarah Smith (47th).  Well done girls!  Alex Poulston had a great run to finish 3rd in the U13 boys race.

Maggie Cooper writes about the senior ladies-

The third Manchester Area Cross Country League race was at Kenworthy Woods. We had a slightly depleted team due to various injuries and other commitments but 6 of us were out for the club including Emily – back briefly from the U.S. for the Christmas break. So, what we lacked in quantity was more than made up in quality.

The course takes in the playing fields before entering the undulations of the woods themselves which are something like a BMX bike course, without the bikes. Luckily it wasn’t too muddy, probably not as muddy as last year and definitely nothing like Boggart Hole Clough last time. However, it was still somewhat different from running in the U.S. where, apparently, they use track length spikes for cross country and don’t actually know what mud is.

Anyway, I only mention that because Emily didn’t seem to suffer with the mud as she tussled in a three-way battle with Sarah Stockman from Macclesfield and Anne Kenchington from the University of Manchester. Her mum, Sarah, wasn’t too far behind and Penny and I were making our through the field gradually with Anne not so too far behind and Kelly (who has had little chance to run in the past few weeks) running excellently a little further back.

The course is one small lap and two of the large laps which go into the woods and Emily was still battling it out at the front of the field with the other two girls until coming out of the woods for the last time where she took the lead and kept it into the finish.  What a fantastic performance in this very high standard league!  Her mum Sarah also had an excellent race to finish 18th (3rd W40). Penny continued to work through the field and finished 43rd (7th W40), I (Maggie) was 50th (3rd W45), Anne 83rd (10th W45) and Kelly 235th (39th W35).

I didn’t know that there were prizes for the winners at the race but it seems that you get a bag with a hat, toothbrush and toothpaste and M&S voucher. Might inspire me to do some training!

With our reinforcements out, we managed 6th team overall and 2nd Vets team. That leaves us still heading Division 2 and remaining third in the Vets Division 1.


 

Kieran Morgan now reports on the men.

Match day three on our tour around the leafy outskirts of Manchester, and with the Borders league looming like a dark cloud over this fixture (both a metaphorical and literal one which decided to rain on us half way through the race) it left just me, Steve and David to represent the green and white army out on the course.

David was his usual self. He turned up, I saw him before the race started, then never again. It won’t be long before I start making similar jokes I did about Richard Evans, “oh hey I heard he had a back problem from carrying Wirral AC all the time”. Nah but really, he’s a good runner.

Steve was decidedly less god more man, in that I could see him for a good lap and a half. The fact he’s only…… ever so slightly older than me and David? Yet seems to improve every time he sets foot on to a cross country course isn’t just testament to his hard work, but that age really is just a number. Next thing you know he might be dabbing, listening to radio 1, maybe even out in concert square. Cheeky Bar baas to celebrate, well earned.

Personally, I was just glad to be two stone lighter since I re-joined the club. The fact I’m able to complete these races is still a minor miracle, yet as my heroics in the multi terrain league showed, without me the club would still be a whole league title lighter. Which is good because I won’t win much else this year.

The course itself was a pretty bog-standard Manchester League course, in that it was pretty high quality and could only be dreamt up by someone truly sadistic. First the fields of death, followed by the mounds of hell that seemed to have been robbed from a BMX course, then some overgrown grasslands and some woods which must have claimed a couple of ankles getting twisted.

Good mixture of terrain, shallow mud and not too boggy, everyone was at least able to get up to a decent speed unlike the yearly insanity that is Boggart Hole. Did the guys who chose the Borders League over this miss out? Probably, yes. Okay it was three laps but let’s be serious no one ever looks at their calendar and thinks “oh boy, Birkenhead Park” except perhaps those who don’t own a car.

At the end of the race I’d decided the best way to settle a sprint finish would be to dive feet first over the line. I still lost. David had finished so quickly I don’t think I actually saw him when I got back to the rest of the group. He’d probably got bored after five minutes and went off for burger and chips again like he did in Manchester. How he does that and is still able to beat most other runners I’ll never know. All I know is I’m looking at what must be the hundredth pasta salad I’ve eaten since I re-joined the club and die a little inside.

After saying tarra to Steve that was is really. GG, WP, onto next week for Beacon Park.

Full results can be found here- https://www.race-results.co.uk/results/2017/maccl173.pdf

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