Nene Valley Harriers made a pleasing start to their Frostbite League campaign, winning the senior race and finishing runners-up in the junior race at a sun-drenched Priory Park in St Neots on Sunday.
With many of their speediest men missing the race because of the National 6 Stage Road Relays held the previous day, Harriers knew they were unlikely to have things all their own way as they launched their bid to retain the senior title won last season.
It proved to be a good day for many locals as Werrington Jogger Anthony Johnson led the field home on the five-mile off-road course in an impressive time of 26.08, which represents a new course record on a circuit that has been used annually since 1999.
Johnson was followed four seconds later by James Mogridge from Yaxley Runners, while Lloyd Kempson was Nene Valley’s highest placed finisher coming home third in 26.29.
Teenage triathlete Nathan Tweedie was the second Harrier home, taking fifth position in a time of 27.40.
Seventeen year-old Jevan Robertson enjoyed his best result as a senior runner finishing 14th, and Nene Valley packed well with Sean Beard, Lee Harthill and James McDonald finishing 40th, 44th and 46th respectively.
The final male points scorer was sprinter Dave Brown who ran strongly in a rare cross-country outing, coming home 63rd with a 31:34 clocking.
Suzie Boast, running for the host club Riverside, was the first lady to cross the line in 27th position.
Nene Valley’s Philippa Taylor was second home, finishing 58th, while the rejuvenated Nicky Morgan finished as fifth lady with a time of 32:52.
Sixteen year-old Megan Ellison was hot on Morgan’s heels to complete the scoring for the city club.
Werrington and Yaxley also showed up well finishing in fourth and sixth positions respectively.
James Whitehead was a top 10 finisher in Werrington colours, as was Yaxley’s Steve Lomax.
The junior race was dominated by overall winners Riverside Runners who filled second to fifth positions behind race winner Joey Croft of Hunts AC.
Ethan Ellison was first home for Nene Valley Harriers, claiming seventh position with Amber Park finishing as third lady in 15th place overall.
Codi-Leigh Middleton ran strongly taking 18th place, and the Nene Valley scoring team was completed by Matthew Church and Kelsi Ellis.