Nene Valley Harriers athletes left many of their rivals bogged down in the mud at the National Cross-Country Championships on Saturday.
The Wollaton Park course in Nottingham was set out to include many swamp-like areas of the deer park, but local cross-country experts thrived on the unforgiving terrain.
A highlight was the battle between Nene Valley Harriers and Peterborough AC in the senior men’s race.
Peterborough AC have enjoyed the upperhand on the road in recent months, and both city clubs were eager to show their supremacy on the country.
The Harriers came out on top, but only just, finishing 36th out of the 131 teams with Peterborough hot on their heals in 37th.
Lloyd Kempson led the Nene Valley charge finishing 140th, with a rejuvenated Chris Wright not far behind in 168th.
Nathan Tweedie (302nd), Michael Channing (350th), Mike Chapman (671st)and Oliver Slater (843rd) completed the Nene Valley scoring team.
James McCrae was the highest placed Harrier, finishing 39th in the junior men’s race. McCrae, whose short-striding style was well suited to the conditions, received solid support from Alex Hampson, Austin Herbert and Bradley Spurdens as the team came home 12th.
There were some fine performances from the girls with Megan Ellison the pick of the bunch placing 43rd in the Under 17 race, while Josephine Fortune squeezed into the top 100.
Flo Brill’s season has been hampered by illness, but she had a fine run at Nottingham with a 51st place finish for the Under 13 girls.
Amber Park was the first Under 15 girl home in 83rd, and strong running from Ella Robinson, Olivia Mead and Hana Ray saw the team finish 31st.
Nene Valley’s senior women were led home by Ruth Jones in 248th while Sam Oakley fought his way through the field for a pleasing 54th place finish for the Under 13 Boys.
Matt Dowling was 218th in the Under 15 boys race, and was the mainstay of the Nene Valley team that finished 34th.