Manchester Area XC League, Wythenshawe Park, 15th October

Steve Green reports

The first league match of the season was well supported with over 350 finishers competing in the senior women’s and close to 480 in the senior men’s race. Weather conditions apart from showers at the start of the women’s race were excellent.

Kate Moulds took her strong road form onto the country over the 8k distance. The Vale Royal athlete was always to the fore of an early lead group that included Lucy Armitage of Sale and Salford V40 Laura Lombard.

Moulds went clear on the first lap on the back fields on the first of two large laps and was able to enjoy a clear margin of victory, 50 secs ahead of Lombard. Armitage held on for 3rd and 1st U20, ahead of Bethany Reid. Sale continued their dominance streak to take the team win, with Wilmslow Running Club second.

Callum Rowlinson had Nicholas Barry and Joe Mercer for company over the men’s 10k course, in a large group on the first of three large laps including the traditional twisty woods.

The Salford Harrier was able to make light work of the fast and flat playing fields, to come home around 150m ahead of Sale’s Barry, with Mercer returning his best league run to date another 80m in arrears. Rawlinson led Salford to a narrow team win, just two points to the good from Chorlton Runners.

Ethan Brady-Jones ran strongly to edge Sam Gilson for the U20 win.

In the U17 section, Brady-Jones club-mate Alex Paulson was 20 seconds ahead of Freddie Meredith, with Matthew Russell close behind in third. Freya Griffiths was one of the most convincing winners, the best part of a minute ahead of Jessica Lark, who stayed a few strides in front of Gabrielle Phelan.

Warrington’s Jack Marwood pulled 60m clear of Pio Aron, and third placed Ben Williams in the latter stages of the U15 race. Imogen Wharton dominated the girls’ race 40 seconds ahead of Esme Heavey, with Isobel Hall a couple of seconds down in third.

Trafford’s Adrian White ran away from his U13 peers to come home with 8 seconds to spare over Jack Ireland, with Daniel Oakes, 5 seconds in arrears in third spot.

Isla Pastor of Wirral looked strong in winning the U13 girls’ race 50m clear of Isobel Soper, who was a similar distance ahead of Oonagh McManus.

Thanks to Sale Harriers for hosting the event, and to all the volunteers and helpers, plus our sponsors Run North-West, City of Manchester Athletics,  Colgate Palmolive and Athlete Matters.

Next match Saturday Nov 12th at Kenworthy Woods.