WYE Valley Runners men’s and women’s teams travelled well to notch comprehensive triumphs in the third race in the Herefordshire Cross- Country League at Fforest Fields campsite near Hundred House.
From the start of the six-mile, one-lap event there was a breakaway group of four leading runners as Hereford Couriers’ Eliot Taylor, the winner of the previous two league races, the Wye Valley duo Luke Mason and John Pullen and Builth RC’s Tim Iveson battled for supremacy.
Taylor and Iveson opened a gap as they approached the top of the long winding climb through the forestry trail section and this advantage was extended as the pair strode out on the tricky but fast downhill stage.
They remained locked together until Iveson made his decisive move over the final hilly mile and sped clear to register a popular local victory.
Taylor held on bravely for second place but the Wye Valley squad took the team honours as Mason and Pullen finished third and fourth respectively bolstered by another strong run from the back-to-form former league champion Mike Fawcett in fifth place and Alan Lewis, 13th.
This placed them 14 points clear of second-placed Hereford Couriers for whom Taylor was backed by a robust run from the fast-finishing Mike Link, eighth, with Luke James, 12th and Russell James, 17th.
Croft Ambrey were two points behind in third with Stacey Morgan in 7th, Mark Lamonby 9th, Simon Norwood 11th and Jordan Mcqueen 14th.
Hereford & County’s star runner, Clara Evans, again dominated the women’s race over the same course with another dynamic performance.
The 18-year-old geography student took a heavy fall on one of the tricky woodland trails, but bounced back up and charged on to win by a convincing margin.
Ludlow Runners’ Claire Thomas ran impressively to record her second successive runners-up place with Croft Ambrey’s Sue Davies, returning from Wales Masters international duty, a strong third.
Another notable run in fourth place from 50-year-old Jane Rowlands led Wye Valley’s women to victory with Katherine King in sixth and Becci Ansfield eighth running powerfully to complete the winning team.
Second-placed Croft Ambrey were seven points adrift as Davies was supported by another influential run from the rapidly improving Irina Dale in fifth place and Jo Marriott in 17th.
Hereford Triathlon Club finished third thanks to Kylie Mansfield in seventh, Jenny Papworth 15th and Claire Hebblethwaite 16th.
The penultimate event in the five-race series will be held at Monkhall Farm on Sunday, January 13, incorporating the Herefordshire Cross Country Championships for senior, junior and veteran men and women.
Herefordshire Cross Country League 2012-2013 Fforest Fields - Men: 1 Tim Iveson (Builth and District RC) 39.08; 2 Eliot Taylor (Hereford Couriers) 39.21; 3 Luke Mason (Wye Valley Runners) 39.38; 4 John Pullen (Wye Valley Runners) 39.43; 5 Mike Fawcett (Wye Valley Runners) 40.50; 6 Cliff Berry (Ledbury and District Harriers) 41.01; 7 Stacey Morgan (Croft Ambrey RC) 41.02; 8 Mike Link (Hereford Couriers) 41.14; 9 Mark Lamonby (Croft Ambrey RC) 41.22; 10 Mike Pfeiffer (Builth and District RC) 41.34; 11 Simon Norwood (Croft Ambrey RC) 41.46; 12 Luke James (Hereford Couriers) 41.51; 13 Alan Lewis (Wye Valley Runners) 41.57; 14 Jordan McQueen (Croft Ambrey RC) 42.13; 15 Stafford Rees (Rhayader AC) 42.19; 16 Adrian Taylor (Presteigne Pacers) 42.35; 17 Russell James (Hereford Couriers) 42.54; 18 Neil Marshman (Wye Valley Runners) 43.15; 19 Glyn Williams (Croft Ambrey RC) 43.31; 20 Jonny Williams (Hereford Triathlon Club) 44.06; 21 Dave George (Croft Ambrey RC) 44.40; 22 Dan Phillips (Wye Valley Runners) 44.44; 23 Andrew Davies (Croft Ambrey RC) 44.49; 24 James Runchman (Hereford Triathlon Club) 45.32; 25 Dave Williams (Hereford Couriers) 45.33.
Fforest Fields - Women: 1 Clara Evans (Hereford and County AC) 45.24; 2 Claire Thomas (Ludlow Runners) 47.03; 3 Sue Davies (Croft Ambrey RC) 47.45; 4 Jane Rowlands (Wye Valley Runners) 48.21; 5 Irina Dale Croft (Ambrey RC) 48.46; 6 Katherine King (Wye Valley Runners) 49.11; 7 Kylie Mansfield (Hereford Triathlon Club) 51.04; 8 Becci Ansfield (Wye Valley Runners) 52.09; 9 Kerry Bason (Ludlow Runners) 52.16; 10 Celia Speake (Builth and District RC) 52.19; 11 Bev Bishop (Hereford Couriers) 53.25; 12 Sue Sherwood (Wye Valley Runners) 53.32; 13 Gill Bamber (Wye Valley Runners) 53.37; 14 Rita Tomkins (Presteigne Pacers) 53.40; 15 Jenny Papworth (Hereford Triathlon Club) 53.42; 16 Claire Hebblethwaite (Hereford Triathlon Club) 53.53; 17 Jo Marriott (Croft Ambrey RC) 54.22; 18 Sandrine Gorien (Wye Valley Runners) 54.23; 19 Nicola Goodwin (Hereford Triathlon Club) 55.14; 20 Sam Harper (Croft Ambrey RC) 56.41; 21 Angela Price (Hay Hotfooters) 56.45; 22 Imme Davies (Hay Hotfooters) 57.28; 23 Jan Edwards (Wye Valley Runners) 57.54; 24 Lynne Compton (Wye Valley Runners) 58.03; 25 Jennifer Jones (Ledbury and District Harriers) 58.12.