By Jamie Arrowsmith 28/02 Updated: 08/03 16:47
ALTHOUGH some may typically think of London as flat, Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club members who competed in Saturday's English Cross Country Association Championships at Parliament Hill quickly discovered otherwise.
The 'Hill' in Parliament Hill soon became understandable as they tackled a course which was extremely hilly with an array of mud and puddles along the way.
All those who competed from the club agreed it was the toughest race of the season but perhaps, given this national competition is run by the organisation responsible for supporting the development of cross country running alongside selecting athletes to represent England, it perhaps starts to make sense.
B&R AC were represented in the U17 women's race, senior women's and senior men's races.
In the U17 women's race Cannock & Stafford AC's Becky Straw, of Barnt Green, completed the 5km course in 18 minutes to triumph by one second and B&R's Orianna Ball finished 113th out of nearly 200 runners in a time of 22mins,43secs.
In the senior women's race Orianna's sister Tamara and mother Charlotte took on the 8km course in a race which contained a massive 650 athletes.
Tamara completed the race in 35mins,28secs which placed her 218th and Charlotte finished just a few minutes later in 38mins,45secs.
The race was won in a time of 27mins,6secs by Charnwood AC's Gemma Steel.
In the senior men's race, which saw Keith Gerrard from Newham and Essex Beagles finish the 12km course in an incredible 35mins,56secs, B&R had seven entrants, although sadly Simon Lanckham did not finish due to an injury in slipping on one of the many muddy patches on the course.
The remaining six athletes did, however, manage to accumulate enough points to place them 91st out of 125 in the team competition.
Individually they finished as follows: Andrew Freeman - 603rd in 46min 42s; Kevin Lanckham - 614th in 46min 50s; Jimmy Atkins - 955th in 50min 54s; Gavin Moorhead - 1,066th in 52min 18s; Phil Anderson - 1,093rd in 52min 42s; Len Quartly - 1,585th in 1hr 3min 40s. There were 1,688 finishers in this race.
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