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Thursday 31 January 2013 Updated: 31/01 11:50
ELOISE DU LART produced the performance of the day for Stratford AC in the Midland Counties Cross Country Championships at Stafford Common.
The entire park was under at least two inches of snow, with many areas even deeper, which led to each race being shortened due to the poor conditions.
Du Luart (4th, 20.35) starred in the under 20 women’s race which was run as a combined race with the under 17 girls event.
She made a strong start and was fourth under 20 as the field started to get strung out after just quarter of a mile.
Annabel Gummow (Bristol and West) was a runaway winner but Du Lart showed great fighting sprit to finish third of the runners eligible for a prize in the championships.
In the senior women’s race there were three excellent runs from Dani Rasgauski (25th, 28.08), Emma Bexson and Katie Eayrs.
Rasqauski, who enjoyed the experience, overtook countless runners in the second-half of the race as her reserves of stamina were ideally suited to a taxing, undulating and very soft course.
Emma Bexson (72nd, 31.15) arrived at the venue on a high after being part of the Stratford AC triathlon team that had won a prize at the Stratford-upon-Avon District Council Sports Awards the night before.
Katie Eayrs (82nd, 32.20) ran a super race in a field of very good runners and was not daunted by the conditions or the scale of the event.
The club’s only representative in the under 15 girls race was Caroline Furey (53rd, 22.21) for who it seems no type of weather, course or distance can disrupt her rhythm.
A quartet lined up in Stratford vests for the under 13 girls race and all four performed well.
Georgina Mitchell (31st, 13.05) went off quickly from the gun although she seemed to get stuck in the mud a little at halfway, as did the majority, but she hung on well and crossed the finish line looking strong.
Steady-starting Rebecca Winn (42nd, 13.18) made up an enormous amount of ground after the field turned back towards home and ran superbly.
Consistent Harriet Smith (84th, 14.20) ran another confident race, while the long-striding Hannah Bexson (97th, 14.43) enjoyed the stern test of athletic ability.
By the time the senior men made their way to the start at 3pm, the snow, mud, and water had combined to make the course pretty uninviting.
Rob Minton (86th, 40.45), who has staamina in abundance, led the Stratford contingent home from Danny Tolhurst (115th, 42.12) who did not produce one of the best performances of his cross-country career and was pleased to cross the finish line.
David Battersby (136th, 43.13) made steady progress on the second and third laps which was a good sign for the future, while Keith Hawkes (172nd, 45.24) continued his marvellous season of cross-country running with another special run.
In his first winter of races, Stephan Meier (203rd, 47.09) continues to be surprised and dismayed by just how bad the conditions are at each event but showed he is in fantastic shape.
James Deacon (217th, 48.11) always enjoys the big championship races and once more put together a high quality race.
Tri-star Andrew Speechly (228th, 49.04) and jack-of-all-trades Paul Hawkins (236th, 49.51) relished the opportunity to run with the best in the area and both men produced tidy performances.
Mike Barrie (281st, 55.56) is a good judge of his own pace and fitness and was full of running around the finishing loop, while Larry Coltman (289th, 56.58) was not far behind and will be ecstatic with his run.
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