Newbold Comyn mudbath provides a true test for Midlands Championships

Leamington C&AC hosted the Midland Region Cross Country Championships at a very wet and muddy Newbold Comyn on Saturday and the highlight for the organising club was a fine silver medal for Guy Allen in the under-20 boys’race.

Leamington C&AC's Andrew Savery struggles through the worst of the conditions at Newbold Comyn. MHLC-25-01-14 Midlands XC Jan44
Leamington C&AC's Andrew Savery struggles through the worst of the conditions at Newbold Comyn. MHLC-25-01-14 Midlands XC Jan44

In a high quality race over 8k, a trio comprising Doug Mason of Notts AC, George Goodwin of Rugby & Northampton and Allen broke away by the halfway mark.

As they approached Beacon Hill for the last time Goodwin had been dropped and Mason made his move and quickly opened up a decisive 20-metre gap to win in a time of 29:00 with Allen 22 seconds behind. Goodwin took the bronze in 29:34.

The conditions underfoot were very difficult with most of the course waterlogged with various depths of mud.

Add in Beacon Hill and the dreaded ditch crossing and it made the course extremely challenging.

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However, for the senior men in last race of the day the situation became even worse.

Not only had eight previous races churned up the mud but the first of the three laps of the 12k course was run in a hailstorm which a galeforce wind was blowing horizontally across the course.

It did not deter Notts AC who won the team race and supplied all three individual medallists with Jonathon Thewlis taking the gold medal in a time of 39:18.

Leamington finished 15th with Andy Savery leading the team home in 23rd place (42.28).

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Phil Gould (43:22), revelling in the muddy conditions, led Kenilworth Runners to a superb seventh position, beating Coventry Godiva & Birchfield Harriers in the process.

Once again the strength in depth of the Kenilworth squad proved invaluable as the unavailability of key runners was shrugged off, with Gould just left to lament what might have been, had a full complement of runners been available.

“There’s no doubt we’d have been in the mix for medals today, but we have fantastic momentum,” said Gould, who was delighted with his own 35th-place finish.

Results round-up - p76

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Next in was Jamie Langley (30th – 42.59), followed by Craig Bower (134th – 40.09) and Tom Robinson (182nd – 51.26). Gareth Schule (185th – 51.52) and Paul Caruana (236th – 53.44) completed the scoring team.

Other LCAC finishers were Steve Roberts (293rd – 58.20), Richard Stevens (313th – 60.11), Graham Roberts (329th – 62.20) and Noel Butler (343rd – 64.18).