THE FIRST cross-country race of the season got underway for Spa Striders in the Burton Dassett hills last weekend.
Chris McKeown, who organised the event, raced to the best time for the men’s team in Division Two of the Birmingham & District Cross Country League after finishing six miles in 39 minutes and 59 seconds.
He was followed by Neil Smith (41:49), Steven Taylor (42:13), Simon Ludford (42:54) and Richard Spear (43:49) in completing three laps of the course.
Also finishing under the 50-minute mark was the quintet of Tim Beresford (45:16), Pete Teevan (46:25), John-Paul Hunt (46:33), Chris Wilson (49:42) and Ben Parkinson (49:50).
In Division One of the Midland Women’s Cross Country League, Fiona Ferguson completed two laps for a four-mile total in 30:34, while Claire Davidson (31:35), Laura Peake (31:36), Alice Bourne (32:14) and Charlotte Everard (32:37) crossed the line shortly after.
Liz Draper was in action in the first race of the Hardmoors Marathon series, where she battled through the North York Moors to finish her 74th marathon in seven hours and eight minutes.
Debutant Paul Conway enjoyed his first event as a Strider at the Draycote 10k, which he completed in 48 minutes and 11 seconds to lead teammates Richard Shelling (48:32) and Michael Clarke (50:55) home.
Elsewhere, Club chairman Nigel Fox was successful in taking on the off-road Cirencester Duathlon, where he finished the rain-ravaged course in an hour and 32 minutes.