Gruelling end to fine cross-country season for Buxton AC runners

Nat Winfield, the first Buxton AC finisher at the National Cross-Country Championships.
Nat Winfield, the first Buxton AC finisher at the National Cross-Country Championships.

Five months of consistent performances and solid results by Buxton Athletics Club came to a gruelling but exciting close as the curtain came down on the 2016/17 cross-country season.

The National Championships were held on a truly testing course in the beautiful grounds of Wollaton Park in Nottingham. And Buxton athletes were among the thousands of runners from all over the country who battled to conquer a boggy, muddy, energy-sapping course for a race that will be remembered, if not always fondly, for years to come!

Nat Winfield led the Buxton men home, followed by Ben Light, Pete Bailey and Stefan Ledin, while Tania Wilson was first back for the ladies, with Kate Ledin, Sheila Bradley, Heather Fryer-Winder and Ruth Gowers completing the team.

The event doubled up as the decider in the club’s own championships, for which participation in two leagues, county, regional and finally the national championships were needed to qualify. The clear leader from early on was a relative newcomer to the club, Alasdair Campbell, whose consistent displays earned him the men’s title.

For the ladies, crucial points were hard-earned over the final few races, leading to a joint win for Tania Wilson and Sheila Bradley. In the veteran categories, Pete Bailey and Kate Phillips worked hard to earn their well-deserved first places.

Campbell, running in the Scottish equivalent of the national cross-country championships, also held at the weekend, helped his team to third place overall from a total of 42 teams, which was a fine result.

Meanwhile husband and wife Sol and Amy Clark ran in the Oulton Park 10K in Cheshire, with Sol finishing a fantastic second in a field of more than 400 runners in a time of 36.12 minutes. Amy ran a season’s best of 45.45. At the same distance, Alison Hitchen took part in the inaugural Carsington Trail 10K, finishing 88th.

Serial parkrunner Shannon Booth competed in the Congleton event on Saturday, clocking 24.12, while Justin Holmes (24.43) and Gill Thompson (28.53) took part in the Glossop parkrun.

Buxton’s next Pavilion Gardens 5K is set to take place on Saturday, March 18 at 9am.