Bedford and County AC Senior men’s squad were in action at the weekend at the National Cross Country Relay Championship at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield.
This championship, which Bedford won a record three years in a row between 2008-10, is probably the most hotly contested of all the winter domestic championships and regularly features a number of Great Britain internationals and Olympians.
This year was no exception, with a truly exciting race over the traditional four legs of 5km.
Despite fielding a much weaker and inexperienced team than anticipated, Bedford performed solidly to finish in 19th place of the 149 finishing teams.
The team got off to a great start with Steve Naylor running brilliantly to finish in ninth place on the opening leg with a time of 15:22.
Michael Harrison, running the senior race for the first time, slipped back to 15th with 16:11.
Joe Strange, running in the A team for the first time in a national event, slipped back to 17th with 16:52, and veteran Luke Humphreys brought the team home in 19th with a time of 16:36.
Bedford’s B team performed creditably, finishing in 63rd place with Sean Still running particularly well with a fine 16:36 on first leg.
The club’s U20 men exceeded expectations, finishing in eighth place in their 3x3km race.
The team was led off by Jono Janes who ran a very controlled race coming home in an excellent 12th place with a time of 8:56.
Jack Douglas then had an excellent run, moving the team up into seventh place with a fine 9:04.
Sam Knee-Robinson slipped back one place on the very competitive final leg, bringing the team home in eighth with a run of 9:12.
The B team finished in a superb 15th place, with just 5s covering the whole team.
Brothers Stephen and Andrew Headley ran 9:19 and 9:24 respectively, with Chris Wright bringing the team home with 9:22.