The cream of the country gathered at the Meole Brace Secondary School in Shrewsbury last Saturday for the second annual colts and boys inter-county cross-country races.
The first face over the muddy, snow-laden course was for the Colts age group (11 and 12 year olds).
Long hills proved a formidable barrier and soon sorted out the fittest, especially as races both started and finished by running up hill.
Cheshire provided the individual winner but only managed to finish fifth team with placings of 1st, 4th, 9th and 56th. Sixteen counties and 28 teams contested the race.
The next race, the boys (13 and 14 year olds), was of greater interest to Wallasey Athletic Club as we had three members of the two teams entered. Sixteen counties and 30 teams contested this 21/2 mile race. Cheshire finished in about sixth position, the result not being known at the time of leaving.
The 130 starters in the race soon strung themselves out around the course which became muddier with each lap. Cheshire finished boys in 19th, 30th, 36th, 39th, 41st, 51st, 56th, 65th and 85th positions the Wallasey boys being Rick Hemmings 36th, Kevin McGee 56th; and Paul Delap 85th. Regular readers might think that Paul ran below his normal standard but when this is associated with the fact that he had a suspected broken toe, it is not surprising.
All the boys ran well in their first major competition. It is fair to say that these positions are reasonable guidance to their positions in the country as a whole, this being a countrywide event.
Next Saturday sees the athletic clubs boys' team travelling to Morpeth to contest Northern Cross Country events. Competition, not necessarily winning, is the key to success for individuals and clubs. We certainly hope to bring home a team award but, being an inexperienced team in this class of competition, do not expect to. What is certain is that each member of the team will be giving 100 per cent because they want a team award.
The female members of the club, equally as determined to succeed, will be travelling to Blackburn, to contest their National Championships. They will be admirably led by Barbara Majumdar (nee Banks) who is running strongly again after a long lay-off. She already has the Merseyside title under her belt this season and is a constant threat to the leading women's cross - country runners. Any members, or potential members, who are looking forward to the track and field season should now be back into training; telephone Doug Hanna for details of the venues and times.
Would members please note that the next committee meeting is on March 5, at John Wright's and that the A.G.M. will be on April 9. Members who have not yet, paid their subscriptions will be struck off on March 5, having had eleven months to do so.