Banbury Harrier Tilly Lainchbury finished in a very satisfying sixth place at the Midland Cross Country Championships.
Held at held at Newbold Comyn, Leamington Spa on Saturday, it was a very tight start with 121 under-13 girls all jostling for space, and Lainchbury found it hard to get into her running.
But by the halfway point she had moved up to eighth place. Obviously enjoying the muddy ditch, wooded areas, hills and fast, flat golf course area the course provided, Lainchbury had got herself into sixth place before the long drag up to the finish. She had worked hard all the way round and was tiring badly but managed to hold off a strong challenge before crossing the line in sixth.
Team-mate Freya Pamphlett overcame pre-race nerves and proved her fitness to came home a satisfied 97th.
The under-17 men’s race is always keenly challenged and Owen Knox set off well, staying with the lead group of eight runners.
Knox was still looking full of running at the halfway point and, although the group had strung out, he was hanging onto the back of them well. Suffering with stomach issues in the last part of the 6km race he lost ground and wasn’t able to hold off some fast finishers, but was content with his finishing place of 15th in what was a strong field in a championship race.
Under-13 boy Sam Davis started conservatively and, at the halfway point, was about mid-pack. Showing good endurance, he picked off athletes through the second half of the race, finishing a good 42nd place of the 114 finishers.
Another Harrier to finish well was Katie Pamphlett in the under-17 women’s race. Encouraged not to loose ground on the athlete in front of her, Pamphlett gradually reeled her in and finished well in front of her, in 35th place.
The only two senior athletes out for Harriers were Ros Kelling and Jonny Carruthers. Both enjoyed the added distance – 8km and 12km respectively – and the variety of terrain. Kelling finished 92nd of the 263 finishers and Caruthers 289th of 403 finishers.