STRATFORD-upon-Avon Athletic Club’s men’s and women’s teams raced in their respective second cross country league meetings of the season on home ground at Welcombe Hills and Clopton Park.
And Stratford men’s A and B teams both finished first overall on the day to sit top of the league after two races.
Racing in Division Three of the Birmingham League, some 28 Stratford runners took part in the race which was run over three laps equivalent to 10km.
Stratford’s Rich Shephard took the lead on the first lap but was eventually edged into second place and was closely followed by Ned Campbell who was third and first junior.
Also in the top-10 were Matt Burdus-Cook in sixth and Alex Pester in seventh (second junior) with Alex Hill slightly further back in 15th closely followed by Jamie Hall in 20th as all A team members finished in the top-20.
And the next six runners for the B team all finished close together with Adam Linforth 26th, Koda Spriggs 28th (fourth junior) on his senior debut, Dave Teasdale 37th, Tim Hutchinson 42nd, Phil Reading 48th and Paul Faithfull 50th.
Never to be put off the rest of the Stratford runners battled on to fantastic finishing times as well.
Sam WIlks was 51st, Hue Crossweller 76th, Max Ross 82nd, Rob Gisbourne 86th, John Raby 88th, Joe Lee 93rd, Nick Cooper 94th and Richard Dobeboe 95th.
Outside of the top-100 were: Nick Campbell 116th, Will Dyche 119th, David Battersby 125th, Chris Spriggs 141st, Owen Lewis 166th, Dave Wolstencroft 221st and finally the longest serving club member Allan Coldicott finished in 245th place. Unfortunately, Damian Wheeler had to pull out during the race with illness.
The ladies battled to a valiant sixth place finish in Division One and were led home by junior pair Georgie Campbell (26 minutes 13 seconds) and Charly Marshall (26 mins 36 secs) who finished 11th overall (fourth junior) and 17th overall (sixth junior) respectively.
Next to cross the line, and leading the charge for Stratford’s masters, was Emma Bexson (28:52 and 11th master) followed by Emmy Orton (30:21) and Vicky Sharpe (30:22) in a sprint finish.
They were followed by Suzie Ross (31:17) who set a new course personal best, Ceri Shephard (31:19) on her return to cross-country after a break for several seasons and Bronwen Mansel (33:27) on debut.
Stratford’s other finishers were: Emily Carr (33:45), Hannah Osborne (34:02), Kate Barney (34:33), Kim Lee (34:43), Fran Doran (35:03), Suzi Graham (35:32), Clare Goodwin (36:09), Philippa Paddock (36:14), Beth Swain (36:15), Clare Weatherhead (36:29), Pip Bell (39:54), Lisa Lambourn (40:40), Sam Swanepoel (41:51), Gemma Smith (45:12), Sandie Owens (45:40), Kate Sergent and Miranda Maloney (53:28).