BROMSGROVE & REDDITCH Athletic Club had nine runners in action at Saturday’s Midland Cross Country Championships at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough.
The average age of the B&R members was above 40 for the seven-mile, three-lap race.
Within the first mile the men had caught the majority of women from the previous race on a narrow stretch of the course, which was far from ideal as there were more than 400 men and 200 women.
The first of the three large laps soon stretched out the field and ‘youngsters’ Mark Appleton and Malcolm Duff led the B&R pack.
The laps felt particularly long and many people who ran with GPS watches were constantly checking them, wondering if it was actually a two-lap course as the seven-mile mark was rapidly approaching.
Many people slowed down considerably on the final lap and people were dropping out as it was very apparent it was going to be considerably over-distance.
At the finish many were comparing distances and times and it was found the race was actually more than nine miles.
The race winner was Alex Brecker from City of Stoke in 49.02 as 377 runners finished.
Despite the extra distance, all B&R runners managed to dig in and finish, with their scoring positions as follows: 106th Mark Appleton – 59.17; 107th Malcolm Duff – 59.24; 124th Andy Freeman – 60.33; 132nd Ian Keyte – 61.05 (1st V55); 160th Kevin Lanckham – 62.58; 200th Dean Hartshorne – 65.15.
The team, which finished 14th out of 33, were backed up by: 209th Matt Henney – 66.16; 227th Steve Brooks – 67.16; 329th Phil Anderson – 76.39.