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By Liam Moakes Monday 28 January 2013 Updated: 31/01 14:19
AROUND three inches of snow greeted Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club athletes as they arrived in Stafford on Saturday for the Midlands Counties Cross Country Championships.
The event attracted clubs from a considerable distance away including Nottingham, Wellingborough and Bath as large fields of runners prepared to take on the undulating course which was made all the more difficult by snow, slush or mud at every turn.
The B&R U13 girls team were the first to compete as 130 competitors took on the 3km distance.
Livvy Worth was first in for the club in 53rd place (13.30m), just ahead of Megan Nicod in 55th (13.33m), Amy Mijovic-Couldwell in 77th (13.59m) and Amy Tongue in 108th (15.05m), which placed them 17th out of 21 in the team competition.
Orianna Ball stepped up next for the U17 women's race and finished the 5km course in 28th place in a time of 24.49.
In the U20 women's race Sally Hogan finished her 5km in an impressive 21.40, which placed her 11th.
The senior women's team lined up amongst a 170-strong field to take on the 8km course and first in for B&R was Katy Anderson in 28th position (28.23m), followed by Melanie Hepke (56th, 30.24m), Tamara Ball (85th, 32.49m), Charlotte Ball (106th, 35.03m) and Jane Anderson (119th, 36.58m), giving them an overall team place of 12th out of 26.
Perhaps saving the best until last, the men managed the best team placing of the day to finish ninth out of 24, ahead of local rivals Halesowen.
Over 300 runners started and it was B&R's Mark Appleton who finished the 12km course first for the club in 69th place in 39.41m.
He was followed in by the extremely dedicated James Hood (85th, 40.29m) whose efforts are quite remarkable considering he trod on a nail the previous evening and ran with a small part of it still stuck in his heel.
Not content with this, James also managed to lose his shoe, which resulted in him running three-quarters of the race with a bare foot!
Next for B&R came Joe Smith (103rd, 41.45m), Simon Lanckham (105th, 41.51m), Andrew Freeman (110th, 42.02m), Kevin Lanckham (121st, 42.39m), Ian Keyte (175th, 45.33m), Darryll Thomas (192nd, 46.29m), Anthony Warner (207th, 47.25m), Jamie Dancyger (233rd, 49.45m) and Phil Anderson (285th, 56.30m).
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