Spending a Sunday afternoon running through ankle-deep mud and icy puddles may not be everybody's idea of fun - but one group of Wallasey youngsters were happy to go all the way to Winsford to do just that!
In the under 11 race for girls, the Wallasey trio of Joanne Johnson, Liesel Phillips and Jane McCoy were up among the leaders from the very start. Joanne went on to finish an excellent third as Joanne Forrester from the neighbouring Wirral club won the 1,500-metre event round a rain-soaked sports field.
Liesel produced her best performance of the season to finish eighth.
Among those club mates giving them enthusiastic support were their fathers, Alan Johnson and Bob Phillips, whose turn came later when they finished 51st and 64th respectively in the senior men's 10,000-metre race. Jane's father, Danny McCoy, is also an active member of the club.
In the under 13s' race for boys, Paul Backhouse gave another impressive display in his first season of competition, finishing a clear second with team-mate Michael King not far behind in eighth place. There was a highly promising performance from Mark Cooper in the under-15s' event as he overtook club colleague Ian Wiggins in the closing stages to finish 10th with Ian 12th. Francesca Phillips, the elder sister of Liesel, again showed commendable stamina for a girl whose speciality is the 400 metres hurdles on the track as she placed 12th in the women's race with Anne Brimage close behind in 14th position.
In the senior race, Jimmy Ennis continued his progress by placing 18th in a field of more than 100 runners, just three positions behind Bob Brimage who is Anne's husband. Everywhere you look in the Wallasey club, there are members of the same families running in different age groups.
No fewer than 45 runners aged from 10 to 60-plus took part in the club's annual handicap road race on Egremont Promenade and it was an 11-year-old, Paul Geary, who came home first with Joanne Johnson the leading girl.
Later this month Wallasey will be fielding teams in the Liverpool & District and the West Lancashire Cross-Country Championships and will also be strongly represented in the Northern and National events in February and March. But training and competitive opportunities for runners of all ages and abilities continue to form the bulk of the club's activities. For more details ring secretary Bob Phillips on 632 4261.