THE Gloucestershire Cross Country Championships took place in cold conditions at Old Down Country Park on January 6.

Thornbury Running Club was well represented with 18 runners.

Several of the team were feeling the after effects of the club's Christmas party the night before, but dutifully made it for the afternoon start times.

The Old Down course was an uncompromising one, with plenty of climbs, tight turns and sticky mud, which rarely allowed the runners to settle into a rhythm.

The women's race was contested over two and a half laps and the early pace was set by Lizzie Williams and Colette Jackson, with the experienced Joanne Emerson looming a little way back.

Joanne used all her cross country nous and hill climbing ability to move through the field in the second lap and finished in 29:47 mins in 19th place and 2nd in the LV40 age category.

Lizzie Williams ran 30:34 mins in 23rd place, followed by Colette Jackson one place behind in 31:08 mins and 3rd LV40.

Clare Watt and Angela Bushell both had consistent races, Clare finished in 32:45 mins and was 2nd LV55 and 28th overall while Angela ran 33:58 mins in 31st place.

The races started in front of the bird enclosure and the ducks and geese raucously greeted the 102 men to the start line, clearly expecting an exciting race.

Thornbury men were out in force with 13 runners tackling the four lap course.

Nick Williams' night of dancing at the Christmas party did little to hamper him, and he set off near the top of the field and was the first Thornbury runner in a time of 36:52 mins in 21st place overall.

Matt Johnstone narrowly held off the fast finishing Rob Watkins, Matt ran 37:42 mins in 27th to Rob's 37:46 mins in 29th and 2nd in MV45 age category.

Martyn Green made a cross country comeback and finished in 38:49 mins in 40th place.

Team Captain Jim Godden continued his rehabilitation after a frustrating foot injury and was happy with his time of 40:58 mins in 54th place and 3rd in the MV55 age category.

Moray Sloan tracked Nick Langridge throughout the race and had a little more in reserve for a faster finish in a time of 44:35 mins 71st place to Nick's 44:41 mins 73rd and 3rd MV65.

Other results on the day included Sean Underwood 45:33 mins 78th, Kevin Arnold 45:48 mins 80th, Ian Evans 46:07 mins 83rd and Martin Coyle 46:08 mins 84th. Mike Bennewitz and Anthony Yates enjoyed a competitive tussle until Mike pulled clear in the final lap.

Mike's time was 52:18 mins and 95th place and Anthony ran 54:41 mins in 99th.

On Saturday John Grimsey ran a new personal best time of 34:21 mins at Burnham and Highbridge parkrun and David and Anne Palmer ran 27:37 and 31:11 mins at Chipping Sodbury parkrun.

Thornbury runners were at three different parkruns on January 6.

Kevin Wood was running at Ashton Court for the first time and ran 25:16 mins, while Liam Symonds-Barry ran 26:32 mins at Kingsway parkrun in Gloucester.

On Mundy Playing Fields course Paul Thomas was 11th finisher in 24:11 mins. Behind Paul, the other results were Jonathan Greenwood 26:23 mins, John Mann 26:41 mins, Karen Carr 31:17 mins, Jane Leslie in 31:23 mins and Anne Palmer ran her 98th parkrun in a time of 34:44 mins.

One set of results which slipped through the net was Kevin Arnold’s double parkrun effort on New Year’s Day. Due to a quirk in the scheduling, Kevin was able to run the Southwick Country , followed by Shepton Mallet parkrun later in the day in times of 22:07 mins and 22:41 mins.