Wirral Ladies are MACCL Division 2 Champions!
It was a successful day at Wythenshawe for our ladies team but they weren’t the only ones battling through the mud on Saturday. Our two youngsters, Sarah and Evie were heading back to the car, covered in mud as the ladies team was arriving. Their dad, Mark, writes:
We arrived in plenty of time at Wythenshawe Park, but got directed to a car park that was basically a field. As I turned in I could already see cars with their wheels spinning.
I quickly turned around and escaped, finding a proper car park further into the park. Definitely the right move, they had a tractor in the field later on, pulling cars out.
The muddy field set the scene for the course today, mud, mud and more mud. The under 11s course was a mixture of very muddy fields with brief areas of rest bite on gravel footpaths.
Added with the rain and wind it was a really challenging run, the only positive was that it was a flat course.
Sarah and Evie were the only runners from Wirral AC youth team that I saw! They both ploughed through the mud to finish the last race of the series really well.
It was a great race for me as a spectator, myself and lots of other parents formed an enthusiastic mob, running from point to point to cheer on the runners.
As the twins, plodded through the mud back to the car, the rain had stopped, race run and league completed for another year, happy but very muddy girls.
Evie finished 46th and Sarah was 48th, well done girls. Great running. They also, along with Amber Neal, completed at least 4 races to finish 38th (Evie), 42nd (Amber) and 44th (Sarah) in the league overall.
Conditions underfoot were certainly no better for the senior women, but at least it wasn’t raining anymore. The route had been altered a little due to waterlogged ground (probably that lake in the middle of the field that we saw!) but was essentially one small and two large laps. Although not our boys, the photo below gives you an idea of what it was like out there!
It was difficult to determine exactly were the start line was under all the mud but once the race was underway there was a great splashing and sloshing of mud and people ended up looking like they had some terrible skin disease with brown spots covering their faces.
As Sarah Kearney, rightly pointed out, there was about 150m of grass where it wasn’t completely mud, and we ran that bit 3 times so that wasn’t so bad. There were lots of twists and turns and a section of gravel gave a reprieve from the mud before we headed into the silence of the woods.
Coming out of the woods for the last time, Sarah was in a 3 way battle but, in her determination to beat her fellow competitors, she slipped on the mud and tumbled heavily. Although neither stopped to pick her up (it is a race after all), it turned out that one of them was a medical student and she ensured that Sarah was actually OK once they finished. A top 10 finish for Sarah was the best of the season and secured her position of 2nd in the 40-44 age category and a brilliant 8th overall in the Senior Women’s League.
Maggie Cooper had a fantastic run working her way through the field picking off athletes one by one during the latter half of the small lap and into the first big lap and keeping her position after that. She was rewarded with 17th place and 1st in the 45-49 category on the day to finish the league 1st equal in her age category.
Penny Thorne and Anne Rosbottom had solid performances as they have had all season and completed our team finishing 40th and 50th respectively. Both also performed strongly in their age categories in the league overall finishing 6th in the 40-44 category (Penny) and 3rd place in the 45-49 category (Anne). So we are expecting to win a lot of toothpaste at the Awards Night on 2nd March.
It was great to have Caroline Brophy back competing with us. It was a bit of a baptism of fire when you haven’t raced for a while but she did really well to get through the mud and finish 168th and we were glad to have her on board, not least for her excellent chocolate brownies!
It was a fine performance overall in difficult conditions and the Ladies Team finished 5th overall even though we are in Division 2 but that result meant that we were confirmed as winners of Division 2 and will be promoted to Division 1 next season. Our Vets team won on the day and finished 2nd in Division 1, a fantastic achievement from a group of really committed athletes. It wasn’t just those who turned out on Saturday but all who have competed during the season who have ensured this success and a great team spirit – plus the cakes helped a bit.
David Brockway was our only man out due to the clash with the L&D league. He has been running really well this season and finished 47th on the day but that left him 12th in the overall individual standing for the league. Also a mention for Steve Spence who finished 4th in his age category (45-49) although he wasn’t able to run on Saturday.
Most of the action photos are courtesy of Jon-Paul Kearns on Flickr (thanks for allowing use of the photos).