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Maria Leads the way at Blackpool

Lawson playing fields host a Mid Lancs Cross country course that is not notoriuously difficult but contains some technical sections and plenty of time to look over your shoulder at your fellow compititors across the tight corners and flat yet rugged terrain, the sun was shining but the temperature was still only 5'c

Maria Cook Skelmersdale Harriers Blackpool Cross Country
Maria Cook (SBH) at Blackpool. Courtesy of Greg Oulton

After a frantic startline amongst the under 17men, a large crop of under 21s developed at the front of the ladies race, closely monitored by 5 seniors, with a lot of jostling into each tight 90' turn and an expectant pushing and shoving into a tight 180' late into the first lap before things could settle down. As the second lap opened up, so did the race. The five experienced seniors all calmy picked off the youthful exuberance one by one until there were only four remaining at the front into lap three, but a very strong and inform set of juniors they have been all season. Only one of the vets manage to break clear of a closely contested final kilometre with Maria Cook bringing the club home in 6th overall.

Thoughts quickly looked back to the supporting pair in Anna Williams & Tanya Foley, who had been tied constantly throughout the three laps, too-ing and fro-ing positions, but Ultimately Anna took the lead on the final straight to take 62nd, two seconds ahead of Tanya in 63rd, giving SBH ladies a 5th placed division finish.

In the mens race it was again just two for our mens contingent. Kevin Walker got off to a comfortable and strong lead and was follwed closely by Dan Gilbody for the first two of four laps until the formers strength and current form allowed a breakaway to finish 78th with Dan following home in 104th.

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