Mansfield Harriers returned to cross country league action over the weekend with the third in the series of four North Midland League races at Shipley Park in Heanor. The course can only be described as proper cross country with mud, hills, standing water and anything else that makes cross country the challenge it is.

In her first run is this league 9 year old Isabel Westwood made an outstanding debut to finish 13th in the Under 11 girls race. Giving some of her rivals up to 18 months in age Westwood was strong throughout only slipping out of the top 10 on the last hill to the finish line but still a phenomenal run and one that shows she has a glittering career ahead of her. In the Under 17 ladies race the Scott twins also put in superb runs on the difficult course with this time Mollie coming out on top for a magnificent 2nd spot with Amber close behind in 4th.

Dylan George found the conditions to his liking in the Under 17 men’s race looking strong throughout he clawed his way through the strength sapping course to earn himself a top 10 placing with 8th. Joel Whittaker-Naylor also put on a good show of cross country running in the Under 15 boys race to finish 33rd.

In the lady’s race Bev Armstrong was another who found the course to her liking with her best placing of the winter to come home in 46th. Maddy Collinge placed well in her age category and was 95th overall and Tina Copcutt completed the team running with great strength to place 115th.

First man home for Mansfield was Gary Morley who ran a controlled race to work through the field throughout and place 84th. Andy Wetherill was having a superb run however a fall resulted in him covered in mud and losing momentum but still managed a top 100 placing with 92nd. Nigel Watkins continues to show age is no barrier placing 121st a superb run for a 60 year old. In his debut for the club and first cross country race Adam Fairfield showed great fortitude to place 146th. Tim Raynor had a solid run for 184th and on his second run of the day Stuart Whysall showed great resolve for 209th.

Jonny Lowe avoided the mud and weather as he continues to develop his journey on the track. Lowe travelled to Sheffield to race indoor over 600 meters at the Northern Athletics Open Meeting placing 3rd in his heat in 1.37.71 which will be one of the fastest times in the UK this year for his age group.  Racing over 60 metres Under 15 boy Ben Madeley won his heat in a time of 8.11.

Several Mansfield athletes were out on the roads and trails racing today with several getting new personal bests. Racing over distance in the challenging 4 lap course at Holme Pierrepont Sarah Bradbury recorded 1.55.54 closely followed by Jackie Duers of 1.57. Recent club newcomer Troy Revill had an amazing performance with 2.15.35 a massive 24 minute new best as he reaps the benefit of club training. In the 5K event Claire Booth also showed her training is going well as she ran a new best time of 27.25.

At the Edwinstowe 10K Pete Copcutt had a fantastic run to record 50.24 a time that comfortably beats his previous best time. Copcutt will now be focusing on breaking the 50 minute barrier in the next few months. Showing no adverse impact from the cross country the day before Tina Copcutt recorded 61.51 and Michelle Baxter completed the Mansfield contingent recording 62.55.

Report by Richard Massey, Coach and Press Officer.

Picture below of Isabel Westwood