Shrewsbury Athletic Club runners felt the full force of Storm Brian when they competed in the second fixture in the North Wales Cross Country League at St David’s College, Llandudno on Saturday. Despite atrocious conditions, with reported 80 mph gusts, mud and driving rain, the Club achieved 1st place with a smaller squad, extending their lead at the top of Division 1 and making it two wins from the first two fixtures, led home by Matt Hall in 6th place, James Hickinbottom 12th, Scott Hall 16th, Connor Middleton 18th, new recruit Norbert Feeney making the scoring six in his first cross country race for the Club, in 22th place and Kevin Francis 38th. The Women's team, newly promoted from Division 2 to Division 1, finished 7th, spearheaded by Sara Willhoit in 2nd place, with Lauren Morley 7th, Anne Byrne 113th and Sheila Richards 115th. The Male Masters’ team finished 3rd and Pete Savill was 1st Veteran Over 60.
Men: 6th Matt Hall 34/52, 12th James Hickinbottom 35/57, 16th Scott Hall 36/55, 18th Connor Middleton 37/25, 22nd Norbert Feeney 38/31, 38th Kevin Francis 40/07, 70th Pete Savill 42/55, 92nd Haydn Jones 44/33, 101st Chris Wakeman 45/37, 153rd Derek Owen 55/46. Women: 2nd Sara Willhoit 23/15, 7th Lauren Morley 24/55, 113th Anne Byrne 43/11, 115th Sheila Richards 43/58.
Shrewsbury Athletic Club’s young cross country runners competed in the second fixture of the Shropshire Young Athletes’ Cross Country League at Bridgnorth. For the girls, Lucy Newall finished 2nd in the Under 11 Girls race, Jess Gunner 2nd in the Under 15 Girls race and for the boys, Adam Edwards finished 1st in the Under 13 Boys race. Club teams placed 3rd in the Under 11 Girls, Under 11 Boys and Under 13 Boys age categories.
The Shropshire Winter Fell Race Series commenced with the staging of the Breidden Hills Fell Race, with Club newcomer Andy Birch excelling in his first fell race for the Club, finishing 6th and 2nd Veteran Over 45 in 1/03/17, Steve Turk 17th and 2nd Veteran Over 50 in 1/09/02 and Gill Evans 49th and 1st Lady Veteran Over 55 in 1/21/40.
Elsewhere, another new Club arrival, Richard McKenna placed 360th in his first race in Club colours in the Chester Marathon in a time of 3/17/07, Lauren Morley finished 47th and 5th Lady in the Bells of Pattingham 10K race in 44/53 and Michael Thomas placed 71st in the Bangor Half Marathon in 1/49/01. Luke Butler led a squad of five home at the Manchester Half Marathon in 76th place in 1/17/59, with Grant Lloyd 308th in 1/28/30, Stewart Farley 380th in 1/29/34 and Keith Austin 423rd in a personal best time of 1/30/40. Most notable was Pete Savill’s performance, competing on his 65th birthday and finishing 1st Veteran Over 65 in 1/31/17. James Hickinbottom won the Stilton Stumble 10K race in Nottinghamshire in a personal best time of 33/46 and Pete Hughes finished 59th in the Farndon 10K, part of the Cheshire Grand Prix Road Race Series in a personal best time of 40/41.
Photo. Not all the SAC runners were looking forward to racing in the Llandudno weather.