A rather nice Sunday morning greeted the runners at Shipley Park for the fourth race in the series, after they had negotiated the slippery paths to the start at the cricket ground. After a layer of snow overnight and the appearance of the sun, the runners knew they were in for a tough run, over the course of the 4.5miles of hilly terrain.
The Belper team of twenty runners, a little down on previous races went out and produced their best for the club, in a strong field of 206 runners, the most in the race since the first race last October.
Our first runner home in a strong top ten was Gordon Irvine in 8th place and having another fine run came Jack Dakin in 27th position. Krishna Mahadevan having his first BDL of the winter was our third finisher in 45th spot. Simon Edwards another runner having a purple patch followed in 49th place with Andy Rose in 55th position. The next two Harriers home, Amer Armoush and Theresa Hempsall are both running their best since they have been with the club and looking good for even better performances. These were followed by Gavin Elliott, Malcolm Weir and Andy Dakin who had a really strong run.
Our next finisher Phil Butt took a tumble in the mud but carried on regardless while Andy Nash, Geoff Stone and Rob Pearce could all be very well pleased with their performances. Tim Boursnell running his first cross-country for the club and recently back from a sunnier climate was our next finisher, followed by Simon Hackett slowly working his way back to his pre-injury form. Our two reliable ladies were the next finishers, Georgina Bestwick and Rosemary Arris Pratt, while Rose Norman was back running her first cross-country for a couple of years.
The performance of the day most go to Jo Southcott, as I am sure most of you are aware, Jo and Tim are expecting their first baby in June. Congratulations to both of you and well run Jo. Also to all the Harriers who raced a very well done.
The team positions were down from the previous races with the men finishing 5th, the ladies 7th and the combined team 6th. Overall after four races the men are sitting in 4th place, the ladies in 7th and the combined team 5th.
The final cross-country of the series is at Holmebrook Country Park Chesterfield on February 10th where a strong turnout of our runners could still bring us some silverware.