Ryston Runner Kate bags superb South time

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During a varied and successful weekend for Ryston Runners AC, Kate and Meg Willis were involved in a quality field in the South of England Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Parliament Hill.

It was a challenging hilly and muddy course but Kate ran superbly to finish 20th in the Under 13 Girls.

Meg, in her first year in the age category, gained valuable experience managing to finish 161st.

Meanwhile, more than half a dozen hardy clubmates joined the 130-strong field for the testing Peddars Way Challenge, a 48.28-mile multi terrain event organised by Bury St Edmunds based Positive Steps.

Ryston’s immediate past chairman, Andy Smith, had chosen this as a way to celebrate his 50th birthday, and two of the other club members running, Jeremy Navrady and Martin Ive, had similar landmark comings-of-age to mark.

A pleasant day made traversing the muddy course somewhat more amenable than it might have been.

First Ryston finisher was Phil Thompson in 28th place, having taken 8 hours 32 minutes and 15 seconds to cover the ancient trail.

Second home, and second female finisher in the whole event, was Lesley Robins in 8:48:09.

Martin Ive was 67th, timed in at 9:23:57, before Karen Smith just pipped Andy in a cheeky sprint finish, 69th and 70th in 9:36:29 and 9:37:00 respectively.

Paddy Thompson cracked the 10-hour barrier in 80th place with 9:50:49 and Jeremy Navrady completed the finishing line up with 10:51:12 in 107th.

Barry Smith, who had had to miss some key training sessions due to work, wisely decided to call it a day after 20 miles, but had still gained some valuable marathon strength training in the process.