CROSS COUNTRY: Club’s best ever start to league season

The Rugby & Northampton men's cross country team made their best-ever start to the league season in sixth place
The Rugby & Northampton men's cross country team made their best-ever start to the league season in sixth place

Triathlon international leads R&N home, with talented 17-year-old only just behind

On Saturday, Rugby & Northampton AC took part in the Birmingham and District Invitation Cross-Country League hosted by Cheltenham & County Athletic Club.

George Goodwin about to race through the water

George Goodwin about to race through the water

Three hundred runners set off on the six-mile cross-country course and R&N men’s team turned in a superb performance. The first mile of the race saw two R&N athletes in a large leading group of around 20 runners. International triathlete George Goodwin was able to stay with the leading pack for much of the race, eventually coming home in 12th position. Goodwin put in another strong performance after his recent sixth position at the European Middle-Distance triathlon championships, to finish in a time of 31:54.

Muss-Ab Hassan (32:00) was second of the R&N athletes finishing six seconds behind George in 16th. 17-year-old Hassan was competing in his first ever senior cross-country race and finished as the second fastest junior.

The next local athlete was Will Gardner (32:23) who ran a solid race, working his way through the field on the second of the three laps to finish 24th.

Alistair McDonnell (33:36) also put in a good performance to finish 52nd, ahead of another 17-year-old, Abedom Beyene (33:54), who was also making his debut in the senior event and was 66th.

Fin Hutton getting back to the bank

Fin Hutton getting back to the bank

The team was anchored by Ultra specialist Stephen Marks (34:55), who just finished outside the top 100 in 103rd. This placed the team in sixth position overall to make it the best start R&N have made to a season.

The club will be looking to build on this in their next race at Warley Woods on December 1.

Max Chippington making a splash in Saturday's race

Max Chippington making a splash in Saturday's race