Senior Men's XC League Report (14/11/2017)

Tony Phillips has provided this update from the race held at Cheltenham on Saturday.

"Tipton Harriers continued their encouraging beginning to the cross country season, following the winners and runners up positions in the Midland Cross Country Relay Championships - the event has been elevated to championship status - the club achieved 4th position in the first meeting of the Birmingham and District Cross Country League, Division 1.

A good turnout over 300 runners starting the race, of which 33 were from Tipton. The race was held at Pittville Park, Cheltenham, that presented a testing course on a cool, overcast. damp autumn day. The course consisted of varying terrain, with wet surfaces, some slippery, a tricky drop through a stream, stretches of good running over grassland, with some challenging gradients.

The runners soon stretched out from the talented front runners to the struggling back markers.In the earlier stages over a 5.7 mile three lap course with several loops to negotiate Tipton's Joe Smith and Ian Williams were in the top 20, with Peter Brookes not far behind.

Stuart Hawkes and Richard Carpenter were settling in the 30's with Phil Wilson and Martin Williams following in the 40's and 50's. Ian Williams was having his best run over the country for some time, leading the Tipton team over the second and third laps with a strong finish in 12th place.

Joe Smith and Peter Brooks maintained their positions in the group following the leaders, putting in strong runs in the later stages to finish 15th and 18th. Stuart Hawkes finished 30th just 37 secs. behind, with Richard Carpenter only 2 secs. down in 31st place, a big improvement after hard running over the last lap. Martin Williams completed the scoring six in 38th place, moving through the field over the final lap, with his usual effort in the later stages of the race.

Phil Wilson once again showing improved performance led the 'B' team, dropping some places in the final part ot the event. After good efforts Stephen Corbishley was 72nd, Dean Bate 90th with a solid runs picking up places in the last lap. Shaun Barnsley 102nd and Tom Holden close behind with consistent effort, 104th, and Ben Carrington completing the 'B' team, that finished 5th in the 'B' team table.

Phil Clamp a Master runner ran well for 131st, with Dan Brazier 147th, and Dean Hill 144th following. Richard Powell 177th, Zabie Hassan 176th, and Archie Roberts 199th completed the 'C' team.

16 teams competed in the Division 1 League. Alex Brecker, City of Stoke, was the individual winner after leading all the way, challenged by Phil Beastall of Cheltenham and County, 2nd, and William Fuller, 3rd, leading Loughborough University students to a winning team position, Birchfield were second team followed by Birmingham University, 3rd, and Tipton Harriers in 4th place 26 points behind, Cheltenham and County 5th and an improved City of Stoke 6th. 310 runners finished, including 32 from Tipton Harriers - a commendable turnout. and a good start to the League season. Well done!"