Athletics: Dursley ladies shine in Gloucestershire AAA Cross Country League

DESPITE a new and challenging course in the Malvern hills, Dursley Running Club had another strong showing at the third event of this season’s Gloucestershire AAA Cross Country League.

The women’s race saw enough Dursley runners on the start line to count for two teams.

As ever the race between Rebecca Topham and Kate Browning was close with Topham managing to break loose and finish in front of her rival and team mate. Her time of 30:53 was just over four minutes behind the winner and good enough to place her 14th overall and first in the V40 category.

Browning was 43 seconds in arrears and third V40.

Next in was Alice Lewis with an excellent run of 33:32 (2nd FV 55), her quick turn of pace managing to keep her away from Zoe Lammerton, who was 27 seconds behind Lewis, with a rapidly improving Margaret Johnson another 26 seconds back.

Club cross country captain Erica Fuller finished in 55th position in a tie of 36:24 to provide the points needed for Dursley’s second team.

The excellent runs across the board from the Dursley women, with five out of six runners in the top five of their categories, translated into great team results with Dursley A fifth overall and second in the Masters and Dursley B 13th overall and eighth in the Masters.

These are fantastic results from a running club based in a small market town, competing against much larger City-based clubs.

The men of Dursley did not have the same enthusiasm to race and it was left to a number of club stalwarts, all in the V60 category, to test themselves on a course not suited to the older runner.

Former Dursley runner Garry Hughes, now running for Stroud AC, won in a time of 34:21, 26 seconds ahead of Harry Bishop of Severn AC.

Graeme Hawkins led the Dursley men home, and one cannot ask for any more from a runner than to win their age category, which Hawkins duly did as first V65 in 46:53, over half a minute in front of Nick Langridge, who trains with Dursley but runs in a Thornbury vest.

Trevor Lewis was next in for the club and claimed third place in the V65 category, with Chris Ashworth finishing just under two minutes behind Lewis.

Cross Country League stalwart Roly Hobbs finished things off for Dursley with a time of 56:32.

With four runners counting, Dursley duly managed to squeeze ahead of Gloucester AC by three points in the Masters competition.

Results – Women: Rebecca Topham 30:53, 14th (1st FV40); Kate Browning 31:36, 18th (3rd FV40); Alice Lewis 33:32, 33rd (2nd FV55); Zoe Lammerton 33:59, 37th (4th FV35); Margaret Johnson 34:25 (4th FV45); Erica Fowler 36:25 55th.

Men: Graeme Hawkins 46:56, 112th (1st MV65); Trevor Lewis 51:09, 142nd (3rd MV65); Chris Ashworth 53:05, 155th; Roly Hobbs 56:32, 176th.

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