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Builth Wells runner Jon Pugh retains his Shobdon crown
4:40pm Thursday 10th May 2012 in Sport
BUILTH and District runner Jon Pugh retained his title when he came home six seconds ahead of the field in this year’s Shobdon Wood run.
Pugh was pushed all the way by visiting Cumbrian runner James Baird from Barrow in a 119-strong field which also included entrants from Northumberland and Somerset, as well as from Wales, the Midlands and the surrounding area.
Despite ominous forecasts of thundery downpours, the event was blessed with largely dry weather, though conditions underfoot over the 5.5-mile hilly terrain of Shobdon Wood had been worsened by recent heavy rain.
Pugh, who has regularly been successful in recent years in the Herefordshire Winter Cross-Country League, eventually crossed the finishing line in 33 minutes 17 seconds.
Third home, improving on last year’s time by a couple of minutes, was a promising junior, 17-year-old Gwynant Jones of Maldwyn, who had his own battle, with fourth-placed Eliot Taylor (Hereford Couriers).
Mel Price, of Mercia Fell Runners, was the first woman, 11th overall, finishing in 40.12, nearly two minutes clear of her nearest rival, another visiting runner, Jo Gascoigne-Owens of Alnwick Harriers.
Third woman to finish was Luned Jones of Chepstow (43.39).
Martin Callaghan of Ludlow Runners made a successful return to competitive running with 19th place (43.01), finishing a short way ahead of clubmate John Lyden (43.31).
Wye Valley Runners won the men’s team event, narrowly defeating Hereford Couriers, while Presteigne Pacers, more or less on home soil, carried off the women’s team prize, well clear of Wye Valley.
Local category winners were Mick Ligema (Croft Ambrey) in the MV55, Gary Gunner (Croft Ambrey) in the MV65, Helen Carter (Presteigne Pacers) in the FV45, Rita Tomkins (Presteigne) in the FV50, Pru Napolitano (Presteigne) in the FV55 and Anne Cruse (Ludlow Runners) in the FV60.