XC Silverware

Hermitage Harriers claimed a number of prizes at the final fixture in the XC calendar on Sunday. The fixture was held on ‘home turf’ as the Harriers held their popular Holly Hayes Wood XC and drew a crowd of 403 athletes.

The presentation of prizes took place in the Lady Jane public house following the race and Hermitage took away the men’s division one trophy, the ladies division two trophy and the combined team trophy. Many of the club’s athletes also picked up individual prizes including: Louise Mason who took away 1st place in the vet 50 category, John Pape who was 2nd vet 70 athlete for the season and Jason Williams, Shaun Coulton and Craig Hinds who claimed 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the vet 40 category respectively.

The race itself was a very successful one for the club with the Harriers clocking up an impressive 282 points to finish in 2nd place overall. First Harrier home, and in 2nd place, was Jason Williams in an outstanding time of 31.47, he was joined a couple of minutes later by teammates Daniel Booth who finished 18th in 34.00 and James Willoughby whose 34.34 earned him 25th place. A quartet of Harriers (Paul Gregory, Craig Hinds, Pete Armstrong and Ryan Twigg) appeared in positions 33-36 with times of around 35 minutes. The men’s team was completed by Kristian Bravin in 38th position in 35.05.

Once again, the women’s team put in an impressive performance with Mia Weston being first Harriers’ lady across the finish line in a time of 41.05 and 15th position overall. Fellow Harrier, Katie Smith was second counter for the team and crossed the line in 43.17 and 19th place. The team was completed by Zoe Sewter and Melanie Bunkle who completed the five mile course in 26th and 65th place respectively.

Individual performances of note came from Pete Armstrong who finished off the season with his best position to date, 35th, after completing 100% of the cross country fixtures alongside teammates Jason Williams and Ryan Twigg. Daniel Booth also put in an outstanding performance with his best position to date in 18th place overall. Melanie Bunkle made her return to racing for the Harriers on home ground and put in a fantastic effort to take a place in the scoring team.

Further afield, Hermitage Harriers Dean Kelleher and Matt Adcock took part in the Coventry half marathon with great success. Matt Adcock finished in second place with a personal best time of 1 hour, 10 minutes and 37 seconds. Dean Kelleher also set a new personal best, shaving a minute off his previous time in his home city as he prepares to run the London Marathon this April.

So, Hermitage have had a highly successful season in the cross country league and made a strong start to the road racing league too. There could perhaps be more silverware with the club’s name on it in the not too distant future!