Harriers battle it out with the best at Teardrop Lake

There was a strong turnout from the Gade Valley Harriers at the second fixture of the Chiltern League Cross Country season
There was a strong turnout from the Gade Valley Harriers at the second fixture of the Chiltern League Cross Country season

There was another strong turnout from Gade Valley Harriers in the second fixture of the Chiltern League Cross Country season.

Taking place at Teardrop Lake, Milton Keynes, 14 ladies and 13 men donned the club colours to take on the wet and muddy course.

Despite falls, injuries and spikes being pulled off in the mud, the Harriers were racing alongside the best cross country athletes in the country, as the race incorporated the British Athletics Cross Challenge - attracting 1,576 entrants.

As a result of their fine efforts, the Harriers now stand at 11th place in the coveted Division One, with the ladies in 12th and the men in 11th place, also bagging fourth male vets team position.

The finishers in the ladies’ race were Gemma Bitaraf (25:21), Laura Sharma (26:46), Claire McDonnell (27:31), Rossiana Mee (28:06), Tracy Aldridge-Jones (28:26), Victoria Crawley-Wise (28:56), Kathleen Courtier (29:00), Emma Nash (32:12), Jaqui Sampson (32:40), Jackie Eskdale (34:18), Paula Cook (34:30), Joanna Kidd (34:47), Tina Searle (35:15) and Gina Oliver (35:44).

In the slightly longer men’s race, the finishers were Rich Coles (37:67), Anthony James (38:33), Ed Price (39:16), Guy Woollett (39:31), Jon Roberts (40:25), Steve Boyd (40:59), Steve Newing (43:19), Simon Geary (45:02), Dave Wise (49:28), Dean Kidd (50:17), Andy Watt (50:22), Andy Norton (50:27) and Andy Terry (52:33).

The parkruns took a back seat this week because of the cross country, but eight Harriers competed in six of the 5K events.

Three runners were competing for GVH in Gadebridge, with James Birnie first back for the Harriers in sixth overall place in 22:36. Team-mates Rob Potton and Phil Mercer completed in 24:25 and 29:33, respectively.

There was one Harrier per race at the Reading, Black Park, St Albans, Tring and Cassiobury Park runs. Reading saw Helen Cook clocking a respectable 32:06, while Vince Ellerby claimed fourth home out of 451 runners at Black Park in a time of 19:47.

St Albans saw Anthony Willcox in the GVH colours as he set a time of 21:31 and Tring saw Tom North battle the hills to finish in eighth place in a time of 22:15.

Harrier Mikey Ferris took to the Cassiobury parkrun in Watford, where he stormed home in 17:47, claiming third overall place out of 188 competitors.