NORTHERN CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Mark Shaw storms home to take Junior Men's Title
Mark taking the junior men’s title was the highlight of a great day for the club with 4 runners taking top 15 positions in this highly competitive meeting that attracts runners from as far south as Lincs, Derbyshire and Cheshire.
Pontefract racecourse was the venue for this year’s championship and provided us with various combinations of laps. There was an uphill start followed by a long downhill then a long haul back up to the finish which all runners agreed, seemed a lot further than the distance markers showed!
Conditions were near perfect for runners and spectators with a clear still winter’s day. Running conditions were slippy and quite heavy in places but generally good.
The U17 women’s race was the first event of the day. Chloe Loredo was our only runner but came in 15th having been in the top 20 for most of the race and maybe losing out a bit on the 2nd lap of her 5k race.
In the U13 races which were 1 lap of 3.1k, Eli Barnbrook came 96th Adam McMillan 119th and Ben Bergstrand 141st. All ran really well in their 1st major championships and weren’t overawed by the size of the fields and the manic sprint starts up the hill to begin their races.
Wayne Parker was our sole representative in the U17 men’s race. Wayne set off steadily on the 1st 3.2k lap then greatly increased his pace on the 2nd lap to work his way through the field and finished a very impressive 9th in 20.18 minutes. In a very close finish he would have come 6th if he had been 2 seconds quicker.
At the U15 level the race was 1 large 4k lap. Izzy Pearse in 102nd and Natasha Thornton in 157th were our female runners and in the boy’s race Sam Garratt was 1st New Marske home in 89th position with Josh McMillan in 153rd. All our junior runners gained invaluable experience from running in such large and highly competitive fields.
In the junior men’s race which was 2 large 4k laps Mark Shaw set off very steadily in the main pack and then slowly worked his way through the field before taking the lead just before the end of the 1st lap with 2 runners in close pursuit. By the middle of the lap there was just 1 hanging on but Mark gradually pulled away to win by 9 seconds in 27.31 minutes. To win such a prestigious title in the 1st year at the age group having only turned 18 two days earlier in a race full of 20 year olds is a magnificent achievement and testament to all the hard work Mark and his coach Steve Shaw put in.
Unfortunately we had no senior women runners but we had 4 runners in the 3 lap 12k senior men’s race. Andy Wiles ran an excellent race and was in the leading pack of 6-10 runners from the gun. Andy was in the lead at one stage and the leading group didn’t really split up much until well in to the 3rd lap. Andy finished in an excellent 6th in a time of 40.34 having only dropped back from the international runners who finished ahead of him in the last 2k. Andy’s steady improvement again reflects the amount of hard work he and his coach Steve put in. Elliott Jackson was our next runner in 97th and was followed closely by Nasir Hussain in 100th. Clive Thornton was our final runner in a respectable 462nd out of 685 finishers. All ran solid races in a high class event.
Overall another great day for New Marske Harriers!