As the evenings close in and the leaves begin to fall, it is a sure sign that autumn has arrived and many athletes thoughts turn toward cross country.
Cross country running is embedded into the DNA of English athletics as runners seek to gain the strength and endurance to emerge fitter and stronger in the spring.
So last Sunday saw the first race of the Westward league season take place at Plymouth with TRP at the fore.
First up Holly Cole ran well in the minor girls to uphold the family name in the absence of her father Jim who is recovering from injury. Onto the senior ladies and Rachael Malthouse led the team home followed by the ever consistent Jenny Sabine, Hannah Smith, Hannah Walters and cross country virgin Laura Evenden. Finally the senior men’s race was as ever a high quality race and TRP showed their strength with Jordan Andrews running into sixth place with Ben Neale and Mark Smerdon both finishing in the top twenty. The team was rounded out with solid performances from Lewis Mill, Matt Teague and Guy Mammut.
The next race in the series takes place in Newquay next month.
Earlier in the day Plymouth hosted its annual 10km road race and many shake their heads in frustration that two major running events continue to be scheduled on the same day, arguably detracting from both events.
However TRP had a number of athletes taking part and were led home by Crispin Chambers who claimed 1st vet 55 in a time of 40 minutes. Next to finish was Hannah Smith who would later in the day run the cross country,in 44:19 closely followed by Umberto Bergonzini in 46:40 and Lorna Norris who ran a new pb of 58:52.
Craig Howells made the journey up to Wales to compete in the prestigious Cardiff half marathon and was rewarded with a time of1 hr 26 min 14 sec. A mention also to Emma Baker who took part in the same race.
Finally, it was the 15 th anniversary of Parkrun on Saturday and among those celebrating were TRPs Charlie Gibbard and Pete Moyse who ran at Bushy Park and Tamar Trails respectively.
This was a great weekend of racing from a small club who gain their strength and spirit by in essence training together and racing together as a group.