The fine conditions leading up to the event created unusually good, firm
racing conditions in what is often a boggy and muddy park.
Rochdale’s Senior ladies took the race by storm. They finished equal first overall and
winning the over 35, 40 and 45 age categories.
Notable performances include Josefa Terrim who was 4th lady (29:27),
second counter Jan Needham (31:12),
Anna Blomfield (31:15) who won the female veteran 45 category and Chris Deasey
as third counter in two teams (36:34).
Rochdale’s Senior Men’s team was the strongest in recent history, buoyed
by the presence of super fast brothers Matthew and David Proctor. Mathew won the men’s race in 35 min 22 sec,
with David taking 2nd place in 35 min 23 sec.
In a further strengthening of the squad, ‘Fast Phil’ Williams made
Rochdale his first claim club earlier this year. While his Heaton Park results would not count for the Club, he raced in Club colours
anyway and finished in an excellent 8th place (37:44). In about 2 weeks time the rules will allow Williams’
results to count for Rochdale and he will then provide a significant boost to
the Club’s standing in the leagues.
Ian Roberts, the Club’s first counter in this year’s National Cross
Country Championships, was next home in 39 min 52 sec to take 16th
place. John Cook, still going strong in
his 50’s, showed his consistently good form by making 4th counter in
40 min 17 sec. Andy McDougall (40:34) was
also in form, just being pushed into 6th counter position in a typical
sprint finish by predatory Paul Leary (40:30).
The men’s team finished second overall and they would have won had Phil
Williams’ result counted.
An impressive sixteen members of Rochdale’s junior section turned out
and many fine performances were in evidence.
Of particular note were Beth Greenwood (20:18, 2nd
under 15 girl); Sophie Thirsk (21:30, 4th under 15 girl); Naomi Richardson (21:47, 5th
under 15 girl); Gina Thornton (20:52, 3rd under 17 girl); Jack Walsh (15:55, 3rd under 15
boy); and Lucy Moore (14:53, 4th under 14 girl).