It was the last hurrah for most over the mud as the long cross country season came to a conclusion with the Inter Counties Championships at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough on Saturday. Athletes from Wolverhampton & Bilston AC could leave the club vest in the drawer as most in attendance were pulling on the green and white of Staffordshire, with one exception, a great achievement for any club athlete to attain county representative honours.
Reports from the venue suggested that there were considerable issues getting into the site and parking, for some this was more stressful than the race itself, meaning that preparations were not ideal particularly for those running in the first race the U20 mens race. Louie Lambeth was first home for the county in 56th place in 31.17 and Joe St Quinton was 154th in 35.11. In the U13 boys race Fred Jones was just out of the medals in 4th in 11.37, Oscar Davis was 57th in 12.37, Sam Ball finished in 87th in 12.54 and Jack Stockton finished in 13.33 to take 181st place. James Neilson was the only club representative in the U17 mens race finishing in 167th in 26.30 and Sarah Thurley made her county debut wearing the blue with a yellow hoop of Shropshire finishing in 261st place in 44.12. In the U15 girls race Megan White finished in 160th place in 18.17 and Ruby Buggins finished in 19.08 for 235th place.
Pride of place went to Louise Hackett who put a cherry on the top of her cross country season with a bronze medal in the U20s race finishing in 25.52.
Twenty four hours later Paul Marson took part in the Action Heart 5, whereas this had always been on the roads around Dudley this was transferred to Baggeridge Country Park for the first time adding mud to a race that was already famous for its undulating nature. Paul came home in 39.51 to take 8th place. Dave Newport took part in the Shrewsbury 10k coming home in 39.51 in 50th position. And a large group travelled to Lichfield for the Fradley 10k with Garry Palmer bringing the club home in 68th place in 39.40, Rob Edwards was 108th in 43.23, Sarah Thurley backed up her Saturday performance with another good effort finishing in 44.42 in 131st, Mark Perry was 196th in 48.31 and Craig Buggins was 199th in 48.45.