Libby wins Midlands cross country title

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Libby Coleman continued her excellent form this year by winning the U13 girls’ race in the Midland Counties Cross Country Championships held at Newbold Comyn, Leamington Spa.

Libby’s victory made her the first Sutton Harrier to win a Midlands Cross Country title since Andrew Norman in 1967 as she beat Wolverhampton’s Amelia Samuels in second place by 12 seconds in 12.48mins.

Also from Sutton, Ben Burnham came 70th in the U15 boys in 17.22mins, Michelle Willcock 66th in 38.34mins in the senior ladies and Fran Meakin 84th in 39.53mins.

Three other members of Sutton Harriers, Paul Beasley, Heather Pike and Dave Ward, ran the 32-mile Wilmot Wander as the Beasley Beasts, starting and finishing at Chaddesden. The course was along canal towpaths, parklands, fields and hills.

From the start the three were running in cold windy rain, and this continued for most of the run. With the rain, the going was getting very muddy and wading through water along the paths made it very slippery.

A diversion was caused by a collapsed bridge, resulting in a extra mile added. So their time of 7hrs 07mins was excellent in the circumstances.

In conditions that included rain, sleet, snow and freezing wind, five other Sutton members took part in the Ferriby 10 mile road race with over 600 other runners.

Carl Allwood finished third in 57.41min, Paul Whittingham 10th in 59.53mins (first in his age category 45-49) Tony Goodyear 35th in 64.28mins, Sarah Hutchinson 116th in 70.16mins (first in age category 35-39) and Alison Whittingham 247th in 77.49mins.