DESPITE freezing conditions and a treacherous course which included icy patches a big field of runners competed in the Herefordshire Cross Country League fourth round.

Runners who arrived at Fforest Fields campsite near Hundred House to the sight of a scenic winter wonderland.

Host club Builth & District R.C.'s Tim Iveson recorded his fourth successive league race victory whilst Ludlow Runners' Amy Fulford became the fourth different female winner in the series.

Iveson had the company of two of his team mates plus Maldwyn Harriers' Joseph Murray and Croft Ambrey R.C.'s Mark Lamonby for the majority of the first lap, of two undulating laps, as the runners tested out the safest way to negotiate the tricky underfoot conditions.

As the race progressed an increasingly confident Iveson injected more pace into his stride and broke the opposition to win by 14 seconds.

Builth R.C. finished their four counting team runners in the first 14 places to register a comprehensive victory.

Wye Valley Runners' men returned to form as they separated the top two Welsh teams thanks to excellent battling performances from Christian Jones in eighth, Steve Flowers 11th, Peter Nugent 13th and Dan Lewis 16th.

The women's race, over the same demanding course, again proved to be compelling and absorbing.

Ludlow Runners' former league champion Amy Fulford, running in her first race of the series, started conservatively but soon gained belief that she could deal with the skiddy conditions and stormed past her rivals to eventually take victory by over a minute from Ledbury Harriers' Holly Gourley.

Ludlow's improving Alice Godding just overtook Rhayader R.C.'s Jo Rees in a hazardous sprint finish for third.

Perhaps the most gratifying result of the day was the glorious victory recorded by Hay Hotfooters' women's team.

The small border team have competed in the Herefordshire leagues for many years without threatening the larger top teams, but at Fforest Fields they celebrated their first ever team victory.

They were led home by Bethan Logan in fifth place and she was well supported by Sarah Christesen in seventh and a best ever eighth place by the determined 17-year-old Aderyn Carter.

This gave Hay a 12 point victory over Croft Ambrey, who had Kelly Bowen in sixth, Gemma Mallett 10th and Steph Main 16th.

Wye Valley's women's team finished fourth on this occasion but they still lead the overall title race by 17 points from Croft Ambrey, with Hay a further nine points behind in third.

The final race in the series will be held at Presteigne on Sunday, February 24