Stalwarts lead the way!
A depleted, but enthusiastic Welsh Masters contingent competed in the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International in Derry, Northern Ireland on Saturday 18th November 2017. Despite missing all of its medallists from 2016 due to injury and a few other notable absentees, as usual the Welsh Team were full of passion and determination in top class races.
The opening race of the international fixture involved all of the women and the men 65+ and it was in this race that Wales achieved our greatest success. Gordon Orme, M75 had a superb race and picked up silver medal in his age group and led the M75 team of himself, Brian Gough, John Gardiner and Mike Lewis to Team Silver. Special mention should go to Parc Bryn Bach athlete Mike Lewis who only took up running two years! Just like the men, it was the ‘older’ women who led the way and Denbigh Harrier Chris Birch picked up another individual medal as she finished second in the W70 race. Team Captain Cath Wheeler made her usual top 6 finish, and Ann Evans, 4th in the W60.
Race two, is the Men 50 -64 age group and Lee Aherne and Ifan Lloyd were in the leading group for the first half of the race. Ifan once again showed his class and toughness as he battled all the way to the line with Ireland’s Tommy Paine, just missing out on silver medal by a few seconds. Lee, who would have preferred the promised flat, fast course that never materialised did well to hang on and make the top 10 in his age group. Steve Toogood made the top 8 on his Welsh debut.
The third race, the M35-M49, started like an express train and it was no surprise that our lads started to struggle. Despite being BMAF M35 cross country champion, Steve Skates found his international debut a different standard than the championships at Liverpool and despite paying for going off a little bit too quick did well to make the top 15. Richard Baker was the best of the M45 finishers with a 10th place finish.
Wales are hosting next year’s international at Singleton Park, on 17th November when we hope to have the strongest possible teams out so if you fancy it, please let Team Managers Bernie Jones and Ali Whitelaw know.
Full results can be found on the BMAF website.....