Tadley Runners welcomed nearly 200 runners to their annual 5.2 mile Christmas Cross Country Race. The club launched a brand new, completely off-road course for the 25th anniversary of this cross country, and all finishers were treated to a special T-shirt to commemorate this milestone, and the usual cup of home made soup!  The 186 finishers experienced a wide variety of terrain – woodland paths, water meadows, fields, hills, a stream and a very generous supply of mud!  Despite the earlier showers, the whole duration of the race enjoyed bright and sunny conditions.

The winner, Frederick Slemeck, of Hercules Wimbledon, has set a very impressive initial course record to challenge future runners of this race. Frederick finished in 31m 34s, followed by Ian Gosling of Reading Roadrunners in 34m 18s. In third place was Nicholas Liu of Basingstoke and Mid Hants AC, who achieved a time of 35m 21s. The men’s age-graded prizes went to Richard Usher of Reading Roadrunners for the M40 category (36m 05s), Mark Bevan of Basingstoke and Mid Hants AC for M50 (38m 21s), and the M60 prize went to Richard Shaw, unattached (44m 51s).

The ladies race was won by Ellie Gosling of Reading Roadrunners with a brilliant time of 38m 52s, closely followed by Kate Robson of Basingstoke and Mid Hants AC (39m 03s). Katie Henderson of Tri20 crossed the line in third place achieving a time of 40m 28s. The ladies’ age-graded prizes went to Belinda Tull of Reading Roadrunners for the F35 category (42m 52s), Anne Leggett, unattached for F45 (46m 42s) and Sally Waterman, unattached, won the F55 category with a time of 52m 08s.

The Team prize went to Reading Roadrunners, represented by Ian Gosling, Ellie Gosling and Richard Usher (36m 05s).

Our next race is the popular Tadley Summer 10k race held in July. For more information about the club, visit www.tadleyrunners.co.uk.