ATHLETICS: Copson shows class as she claims victory

RUGBY & Northamptons Midlands League Division One cross-country team face the camera
RUGBY & Northamptons Midlands League Division One cross-country team face the camera
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It was a busy weekend of cross country action for Rugby & Northampton, who had representatives in four separate events last Saturday.

Angela Copson, R&N’s multi-record holder, represented England in the British & Irish Masters International, hosted at Tollcross Park in Glasgow. She joined up with the home nations’ best to compete for the Women’s Over-65 title.

It was a great trip north for Copson as she completed the 6km course in 24 minutes and 15 seconds, clinching first place ahead of Scotland’s Ann White and Jeanette Craig.

With the success, Copson has extended her winning streak in national and international cross country championships to 20 events, and it was her ninth international title in the last year of her competing in the over-65 age group.

The women’s senior and veteran teams were also in action on Saturday, competing in the first round of their new Midland Women’s League Division One campaign in Leamington.

The club finished ninth in division one with a strong veteran contingent. Jo Pulsford (26:22) was the first R&N runner home in 34th, while two places further back was Amy Sarkies (26:34), making her first appearance in the competition. Junior Rebecca Leadbeater (27:22) crossed the line in 44th and Daisy Melville (29:19) completed the scoring team in 75th.

Leamington proved even more successful for the masters collective as R&N clinched the runners-up spot. Brilliant finishes of sixth, seventh and 21st in the master competition by Pulsford, Sarkies and Melville helped seal second place.

Zoe Shepherd (30:17) finished 26th in the master age category and was supported by Helen Jones (31:36) in 31st, Catherine Williams (31:43) one place further behind and Minerva Chesser (32:09) in 34th.

While the women’s team were in Leamington, 17 male R&N athletes took to the course in the Birmingham League Division One in Cheltenham. Team A performed well to finish in 14th - an impressive position considering many of the club’s strongest runners were unavailable - while Team B claimed 11th.

Ben Musgrove (34:02) participated in the Birmingham League for the first time and the Under-20 athlete led the team home in 78th position. Following the 18-year-old across the line was Adnan Haq (34:17) in 89th.

Veteran Paul Birch (35:21) was next in 119th, while fourth and fifth in the R&N results were Robert Male (35:37) and Alistair McDonnell (35:44).

Completing Team A, in 140th, was Chris Lamb (36:00), while Peter Currington (36:29) was 13 places further back in a personal best 153rd. Also claiming a spot inside the top 200 was debutant Joe Childs (37:14) in 176th, and finishing within eight places of each other were veterans Nigel Roberts (210th, 38:28), Vince Carroll (213rd, 38:36) and Max Chippington (218th, 38:53).

Peter Thomas (39:30) came 235th, while Adrian White (42:48) claimed 274th place. Within a place of each other were Terry Egan (43:39) and Adrian Reast (43:42) in 281st and 282nd. Rounding off the R&N involvement was Ian Wright (46:50) in 295th and 298th-placed John Saw (50:00).

Over in Milton Keynes, three of R&N’s younger athletes competed in the British Athletics Cross Challenge Series. In the U17 competition, Adam Searle (19:32) finished 13th on the 5.9k course, while James Wizard (21:39) claimed 35th. Claudia Searle (10:34) competed in the Girls’ U13 race, finishing 10th over the 2.67k course.

Relentless Rose is still refusing to Meander

silson AC runner Paul Rose completed his 87th Marathon at the Thames Meander event. Rose pushed himself hard and was delighted with his time of 3:59:21.

Great running clearly runs in the Rose family, as Paul’s daughter, Chelsey Rose, gained yet again parkrun PB, this time in Swindon. Chelsey ran the 5km in 25:01.

Justine Verwey, Kit Rapson and Madeleine Moutrie took on and conquered the Dirt Half Challenge in Leighton Buzzard.

The trail event began in Buzzard and followed the canal towpath to Stoke Hammond, Great Brickhill and then passed through Stockgrove Country Park before following the Greensand Ridge back to the start via the canal towpath.

Round two of the Chiltern Cross Country League took place at Teardrop Lakes, in Milton Keynes. Silson AC once again had an astounding turn out of runners,

There were lots of fantastic efforts from the Silson runners but a few notable ones included Cez Probert competing just eight months after giving birth to her beautiful daughter, Darcy, while Fiona Storer completed her debut race for Silson AC. Fiona’s husband Simon (who ran his debut race for Silson in round one) and their children Jade and Jake also ran.

Madeleine Moutrie ran after also completing the Dirt Half Challenge in Leighton Buzzard. She just missed the start of the ladies’ race, but still ran the 5.6km distance , overaking lots of other ladies who did start on time and hadn’t run a half Marathon earlier that morning!