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North of England Cross Country Championships 2023

The second Championship Cross Country event of the year took place this weekend (28th Jan) which was the North of England XC champs at Witton Park in Blackburn.

Seventeen ECH athletes battled it out against some of the best local runners around. The conditions were relatively good but a testing course was in front of them with the well known ‘Saucer’ hill half way round each and a sticky muddy section at the bottom of the hill was a hot spot for spectators. This caused for many people losing spikes including Hayley Simpson running with one of her spikes half on and Gareth Raven losing his but managed to pick it up and throw to ECH legend Wade Cooper on the side lines and finishing the last part of the race with one spike on! Great fun!

The Junior Women kicked off the day over 5.9km. Emilia Platt had another outstanding run to finish 8th overall with teammate Aliesha Smith in a superb 30th place both in the first year of this age group, followed by Megan Lewis in 48th bringing the team home in 4th place overall.

Next off were the under 15 boys over 4.3km. Marshall Fleet was first home in 55th position closely followed by Alfie Manser in 58th. Joe Taylor finished a solid 94th position. The under 13 girls were next over 3.2km. Excellent performances from Demi Baxter 37th and Imogen McBurnie 104th. Callum Fricker performed well in the junior men’s event coming home in 62nd place in 31.33 over the 7.4k distance.

The penultimate race of the day saw Hayley Simpson run very well finishing in 88th place out of 270 finishers with a time of 34.12 over 7.4km. The final event of the day were the senior men over a whopping 11.5k distance. The team finished a creditable 14th position were great performances coming from Joe Hudak 53rd, Gavin Browne 75th, Liam Browne 178th, Gareth Raven 198th, Jonathan Aust 243rd, Darren Smith 258th and James Hartshorne 381st. A massive well done to ex-East Cheshire Harrier athlete Joe Steward who had a storming run to win the race, a brilliant achievement. Another ex-member Dave Barratt also performed brilliantly to finish 5th.

Well done to all and thanks to all ECH coaches, parents etc. for their support on the day.

Photo – Hayley battling her way through the mud!