Tough course forces runners to dig deep

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SUDBURY Joggers Ladies were crowned Suffolk County Cross Country Champions at Ickworth Park, Bury St Edmunds, on Sunday.

The course was one of the toughest used over recent years, and it was certainly a challenge worthy of a County Championship event.

With a full programme of events on the day, and the sun out since early morning, the course soon began to thaw and become quite muddy by the time the ladies’ event toook place.

Sudbury’s trio of Marie Shirley, Louise Hampshire, and Amanda Henry started together and ran sensibly using their heads, while many others started off fast down the hill and paid for the mistake.

Amanda had a fall very early on and dropped a little back from Louise and Marie. On the second lap, Louise pulled a gap out while Marie remained in close contact, with Amanda on her heels.

The ladies completed the 6km course as follows: Louise Hampshire (second) 25mins 08seconds, Marie Shirley (third) 25:40, and Amanda Henry (fourth) 26:00. The combined performances of the three meant that they were announced as County Champions.

In the following Men’s event, Andy Buck was the sole runner, as the team was hit by injuries and illness.

Andy had the hard task of having to run 12km, on the course which had now become very boggy in places. Andy started off well, before having a bad spell towards the middle of the race. In his usual style, he fought through this to come on strong in the second half and produced a fine performance, finishing 35th in 53:49.

It will be back to League Cross Country on January 23 at Haughley Park, Stowmarket.

For more information on Sudbury Joggers visit www.sudburyjoggers.org.uk or call 880796.