Birmingham XC League (11/02/2019)

Tony Phillis reports,
The fourth and final race in the Birmingham and District Cross Country League, Div.1 was held at a new venue organised by Telford AC at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre. The day turned out to be fine and sunny, but with a strong wind blowing across the course. It was  4 laps over 5.5 miles(9k) of varied running with one downhill and one climb, flat soft grassland, some muddy patches to make a testing terrain. At the start  of the meeting Tipton Harriers were placed 4th of the 16 clubs. With several of the club's key runners missing, some through injuries, the question was could the club retain their place among the top teams. They did so, finishing  third on the day, over half the Tipton runners recording their best places in the league's series of races.  On the first lap a group of seven runners from Coventry, Rugby and Northampton, Birmingham  University and Birchfield, took up the running, breaking away to lead for the rest of the race. Tipton runners were in the following group of around 20, including Louie Boot , Phil Hinch and Martin Williams, with Richard Carpenter following;  in the top 20's and they maintained a good pace over the rest of the course. Ian Williams in the 30's and Jonny Carter , in the 40's, completed the scoring 6. Adam Soley was having a having a good run in the 50's  finishing strongly in 51st position. There was a gap before  Philip Wilson, returning after injury, was having a hard run in the 80's on laps two and three, to finish 81st, Stephen Corbishley a little below his best made up ground on the last lap to finish 85th. Adam Guy was not far behind after making up places on the final lap to 92nd place, while Dean Bate improved his position to 107th, with Phil Clamp completing the 'B' team gaining late places to 124th. Dean Hill just missed out in 134th, next in was Zabie  Hassan who tired on the final lap to lose places to 172nd. 21 Tipton runner finished.
The leading finishers were Phil Hinch  18th, after a strong finish, and a remarkable comeback season, just pipping Louie Boot, 19th, who had an outstanding season to finish joint leading Junior in the League; and his run was very determined.  Richard Carpenter had his best league run in 24th place, gradually improving his position during the race.   After a fast start Martin Williams tired in the later laps to finish 35th, just behind Ian Williams 34th, who had a steady run in the thirties throughout the event in which 235 finished.

Event positions :

1. Birchfield H.       58 pts.
2. University Of Birmingham  100,
4. Loughborough University Students  177
5. Cheltenham and County  202     
6. Worcester AC   298  
7. Coventry Godiva Harriers  298
8. City of Stoke  328

'B' Teams
1. Cheltenham & Co.  509    
2. Univ. Of Birmingham   519   
Series Positions:  
1. Birchfield H.   277   
2. University of Birmingham  512    
3. Loughborough Univ. Students   548    
4. TIPTON HARRIERS  768       
5. Cheltenham and Co.H.      820      
6. Coventry Godiva Harriers   1025      
7. City of Stoke    1214
8. Rugby and Northampton  1334
16 teams completed;
 A good effort from the Tipton runners who turned out for the series, 41 Típtonians took part in the league, and 490 runners from the 16 clubs ran in the four events.