Wimborne Athletic Club

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Wessex League Race 1  – 30 November – Kings Park, Bournemouth 

Despite the filthy conditions, there were so many positives to take out of the first race of the season in the Wessex League. Not least of which was the superb teamwork in staging the event and the fantastic commitment of our marshals who were absolutely freezing by the time the last runner crossed the line in the final race of the day. Huge thanks to all of you.

The Wessex League had seen declining numbers of runners in the races over the last couple of years and it was extremely encouraging to see this trend turned around. WAC have managed to maintain good numbers over those last couple of seasons and in doing so became one of the better represented clubs in the league.

It was pleasing to see so many of our under-11s racing in XC competition for the club for the first time. Our youngest runners have been working really hard in Saturday and Tuesday sessions recently. Well done to Harry and Piers who were really in the thick of the action. There were spirited performances too from Chris, Grace, Kelly, Leanne, Phoebe and Ryan.  Many of these have a few years in the under-11s age group yet – so the future looks bright. Well done to all of you.

Sharon Hutchings in the under-13s race lived up to her billing as a winner of the ‘Newcomer of the Year Award’ at the previous night’s WAC presentations with what was probably her best race yet. Sharon finished 7th but another 8 seconds faster over the 2.7k course would have put her in third place – there is something to aim for next time. In the same age group Jordan Symington gave a great account of himself in the boys’ race. In the under-15s race we saw battling performances from both Jack Snook and Callum Kennedy both of whom are in the first year in that age category.

In the under-17s Maddy Vaughan-Johncey had her best cross-country race for some time – it must be putting in those longer endurance runs with the senior roadrunners that has helped, and it was great to see Laura Harvey back for her first race of the 2008/9 season. Our under-17 girls finished as second team.

Kirsty Harvey, as an under-20, now competes in the senior women’s race and it was great to see her back in action. Her presence in our ladies’ team really pepped things up. Kirsty, Nicki Roe and Trudi Carter all had a terrific battle all the way around which was settled by an outstanding piece of finishing from Trudi to be first WACer home. Our top three received solid support from Lyn Hutchings and Annmarie Pearson. Bearing in mind that most of our seniors had spent a couple hours in the wet and cold on marshalling duties there were some impressive performances here. We finished second in the team results.

In the men’s race bionic Graeme Furley was first WACer as he continues to improve race-on-race. Graham Whiffen was next WACer in. Then there was a tussle between Daryl Davies, who is starting to show something like his true form again, who edged out Guy Thompson (in his first WAC XC race) by the narrowest of margins. The next pair of battling team-mates was Phil Burgess and Jeff Hinsley smartly followed by Steve Snook who was keeping league organiser Ian Humphreys honest all the way to the finish line. Our men’s ‘A’ team finished third and our ‘B’ team 1st in the Division 2 category.

With it being so bitterly cold, the real heroes of the day have to be our marshals. Phil Burgess was involved in the early preparations and then officiated on the start line. Kim Jolliffe did a fantastic job on the admin side in base camp with support from Steve Snook. Terry Simms and Glyn Davies  took the key marshalling posts where you have to be alive to which race is being run and how many laps in are we, in order to guide the runners onto the correct course. And then there were those of you in the exposed spots and took the full force of the elements – thank you all.  Let’s hope that when it is our turn again to take on these responsibilities we get better weather.

As well as all the WACers and their friends involved in marshalling we had excellent support from some experienced officials from other clubs, a big hand for Ken Ballam, Nigel Harding, Chris Potter and John Rhoden.

WACers times and results were:


2 – Harry George – 5:54

4 – Piers Copeland – 5:56

7 – Chris Coomes – 6:17

14 – Leanne Symington – 6:49

16 – Ryan Gosden – 6:57

17 – Kelly Snook – 6:59

19 – Grace Copeland – 7:06

22 – Phoebe O’Mahony – 7:28

Under-13 Girls

7 – Sharon Hutchings – 10:15

Under-13 Boys

8 – Jordan Symington – 10:17

Under-15 Boys

13 – Jack Snook – 16:52

14 – Callum Kennedy – 18:04

Under-17 Women (2nd team)

5 – Maddy Vaughan-Johncey – 19:42

8 – Laura Harvey – 23:24

Senior Women (2nd team)

8 – Trudi Carter – 19:52

9 – Kirsty Harvey – 19:56

10 – Nicki Roe – 19:58

14 – Lyn Hutchings – 22:47

15 – Annmarie Pearson – 24:41

Senior Men (A team – Div. 1 - 3rd team) (B team – Div. 2 – 1st) (Vets – 3rd)

 7 – Graeme Furley – 32:16

14 – Graham Whiffen – 34:35

23 – Daryl Davies – 36:15

24 – Guy Thompson – 36:16

31 – Phil Burgess – 38:33

32 – Jeff Hinsley – 38:39

34 – Steve Snook – 39:15

Full results for the Wessex League will be found at  www.wessexleague.com


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