Arena Women Dominate at the South of England Masters Cross Country

Our ladies ran superbly to emphasise their position as the leading masters club in the South as Mark Stephenson reports.

The Horspath course on first sight looked benign as it began and ended on the flat slopes of playing fields.  However initial perceptions were misleading as the course soon became hilly and very muddy. Juliette Roberts described it as a proper cross country course worth getting out and running on a cold winter’s day as she wiped the mud from her legs after her run.
Our first runner home and leading the entire field home by a long way was Julie Briggs. Julie won the individual 50-54 title.  The fact that she was not wearing spikes only added to her achievement.
Dani Tarleton, although tiring at the end, ran superbly to finish second in her age group 45-49. She was well supported by Tara Shanahan  and Juliette Roberts to bring in first place in the 40s team competition.  Juliette  also picked up a bronze in the individual 40-44 race.
Caroline Wood won the 55-59 race for the second year running beating ex Arena member Christine Antony by an emphatic margin.  Jenny Hughes helped Julie and Caroline to silver in the 50s team event.
We were not finished yet as our over 60s team of Chris Naylor, Yvonne Patrick, and Anne Miners  won the team silver. Chris picked up individual third place which is very impressive considering she has only just started running for short distances after a long injury.
Finally, hats off to Jim Roberts and Julian Hollingdale for competing in the  men’s race.