The fifth race in the Advisa Group Cross Country Series took place last Saturday at kempt Tower on another mild winter’s day. Compared with last year’s wet conditions the course was surprisingly dry so a course was planned which circum-navigated the bird sanctuary in an anti clockwise direction. Initially a one kilometre course was mapped out for the 7/8 age group in which the start and finish were on the south side of the pond. This was then extended for the older age group by taking in the two bridges on the north side of the course. This extended course was 1.5 kilometres with the 9/10 running one lap and the 11-14 age groups running two laps.. In total 91 runners completed the course.
In the 7/8 age group the boys and girls races were run separately due to the large numbers competing, The girls race started first and the runners were soon spread out with Elizabeth Atkinson winning from Erin McAlister and Eva Scott. The boys race followed with the largest entry of the day with Freddie Luca just holding off Adam Kennedy on the line to win by just two seconds. Again there was an even closer race for third place with Corey heath just gaining the verdict from Scott Le Moucheux on the line.
The third race comprising one loop of the extended course was run with boys and girls running together but with a staggered start, Both races were completive Oliver Roth well winning the boys race and Lucy Hunt the girls race. Oliver was a clear ten seconds ahead of Jakob Stanton and Thomas Atkinson whilst Skye Leather took second place from Kirsty Ludlam in the girls race.
The final race of the day saw the eleven and older age group completing two laps of the course. Fifteen runners took part in the 11-12 age group. There was a great tussle in the boys race with Isaac Du Val and Jack Kennedy separated by no more than a few seconds as they closely followed each other for two laps. Isaac proved the stronger in winning by three seconds. Peter Holmes earned a merited third place. The girls were more spread out with Adele Maher winning from Lily McGarry and Chloe Jeanne. Special mention must be mentioned for Caitlin Ftzsimmons who on her first ever run tripped in a rabbit hole and twisted her knee but painfully managed to complete the course. Finally in the boys 13-14 Ollie Turner led Hampshire gold medallist Sam Maher for a lap and a third before Sam turned on the power to lead Ollie home. William Brown was fast approaching Ollie near the end to take third place. There was another comfortable win for Yasmin Lookess in the girls race from Isobel Atkinson and Natasha Polak.
After the race Advisa Group medals were given to the first three home in each age group and lucky race numbers were drawn for four pairs of cinema ticket spot prizes.