WHENEVER competitors do a cross country at the Old Racecourse, Richmond, they know it is going to be windy, hard and hilly, but an event earlier this month excelled itself, with gale force winds and sleet.

First off, the ladies and over 65 men set off up the hill into the wind, and before they had finished, the weather turned to sleet, and all were pleased to get to the end.

From Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers, Esther Harrison, really getting back into her stride, finished tenth out of 93 in 23.45, with Trudy Morrice 13th, and first in her age-group, in 23.49, Bronwyn Mayo 13th in 24.06, Lorraine Hiles, another age-group winner, 16th in 25.38, Kirsty Naylor 24th in 26.31, the improving Andrea Colls 27th in 27.07, Sarah Harrison 32nd in 28.04, Katie Wadsworth 34th in 28.04, Beth Haggath 56th in 31.46, Ruth Pollard (needing windscreen wipers for her glasses) 59th in 32.16, Alison Butcher 68th in 33.25, Christine Burn 75th in 36.47, Margaret Wikely 87th in 40.02, Denise Gandy, in her first ever cross country, 89th in 42.43 and Rosie Gatenby, in a supporting role, 90th in 43.02. The ladies' team finished a very good fourth.

The V65 men ran with the ladies and Rob Burn took 24.48, Ken Evitt 33.06, Richard Easby 36.13 and Alan Wikeley 40.59.

By the time the men's race started it was sleeting with a vengeance. The organisers decided, in view of the atrocious conditions when the race was underway, to reduce it by a lap, much to everyone's relief. There were 94 finishers, with Paul Peacock coming 34th in 32.41, Alan Simpson 51st in 34.47, Adrian Elsworth 59th in 35.09, James Harrison 67th in 36.18, Ken Wood 71st in 37.01, Joe O'Keefe 72nd in 37.21, David Tervitt 82nd in 39.30, Gary Wilkinson 87th in 41.02 and Duncan Fothergill 89th in 42.03. 

Several of these runners had done park runs the previous day, with Katie Wadsworth, progressing well with her alphabet park run list, along with James Harrison and Paul Adams, at Fountains Abbey, Gary Wilkinson, Bronwyn Mayo, Paul Atkinson, Diana Williams and Sarah Hind at Northallerton, and Lorraine Hiles, Nick Swatton and Geoff Bullock at Millfield.

Congratulations to member Beth Haggath, who at last week's monthly time trial on the Sowerby Gateway track, took 16 minutes over the two miles, an improvement of one minute, 20 seconds over the previous month, and a full seven minutes 28 seconds since she did her first time trial in 2021.