SUZANNE Turvey's win in the penultimate race in the Herefordshire Cross Country League series proved to be a just what the doctor ordered.
The 22-year-old has just completed her medical studies at Cardiff University and was running her first league race of the season in what turned out to be a gruelling challenge and a true test of strength and endurance through saturated fields and ankle deep mud on a demanding 6.2 miles hilly course at Monkhall Farm.
Turvey quickly developed a commanding lead to win the race by the huge margin of two-and-a-half minutes from Wye Valley’s Katherine King, who had won the previous two races.
Hereford Triathlon Club’s Kylie Mansfield recorded her best league finish in third position.
Turvey's emphatic victory also contributed to a narrow win for her Croft Ambrey team, with Sue Davies finishing fifth and Nicky Turvey, Suzanne’s mother, running a magnificent race to complete the team in seventh place.
Nicky now mostly concentrates on triathlons but helped out her running team and the family with a revisit to her former glories of being a champion runner. Hereford Triathlon Club finished just two points adrift with Mansfield well supported by Louise Bartlett in fourth and Nicola Goodwin, eighth. Event organisers Wye Valley finished third with King backed by Daneen Hughes in sixth place and Becky Davies, ninth.
Croft Ambrey now hold a four point lead with just one race remaining in the series.
Rhayader AC’s Jonny Pugh with his mountain biking background, was in his element in the punishing conditions to win the men's race.
He established a lead when the going got heavy and then relaxed once he had opened up a commanding gap to finally win by 22 seconds.
Behind him there was a tussle between Eliot Taylor, of Hereford Couriers, and the home club’s James Richards who swapped the lead relentlessly as each battled for supremacy with Richards finally just prevailing.
Reigning champion Taylor, however, remains on track to retain his league individual title.
Richards also had the satisfaction of inflicting the first defeat of the season on the previously all-conquering Couriers team as he led Wye Valley to victory backed by the evergreen John Pullen in fourth place, a best ever sixth place for the improving Jim Masters and another accomplished run from Dan King in 13th.
Couriers finished second with Taylor well supported by a best ever fifth place from Mike Link, Matt James in 11th and Luke James 14th.
Croft Ambrey took third thanks to the returning Simon Norwood, seventh, Mark Lamonby, ninth, Stacey Morgan, 10th and Dave George 19th.
Couriers remain strong favourites to win the team title with the final race in the series scheduled to take place at Presteigne on Sunday, February 2.