Runners battle storm and flooded fields in Brecon cross country

BEFORE THE STORM: The women's team before they battled the elements in the Gwent League Brecon cross country race (3936281)

BEFORE THE STORM: The women's team before they battled the elements in the Gwent League Brecon cross country race (3936281)

First published in Sport

PENARTH and Dinas Runners battled torrential rain, gale force winds and various stages of hypothermia during a windswept cross country race on the weekend.

The runners weren’t the only ones to suffer as their brand new tent was blown away by the sheer force of the wind, before it was stopped by a nearby canopy and members of another running club.

Both the men and women runners splashed their way through flooded fields and horrendous weather conditions as they took part in the Gwent League cross country fixture in Brecon on Saturday, February 8.

The race routes had been shortened the day before due to the fields being churned up and the forecasted stormy weather.

Despite the atrocious conditions the routes still consisted of three large laps for the women and three large laps with an additional two small laps in another field, which partly resembled a lake at first glance, for the men.

After the races both the men and women endured various stages of hypothermia, including shivering uncontrollably, slurred speech and dizziness, with paramedics even called for one woman that struggled to warm up.

Thankfully all club members eventually warmed up and enjoyed tea’s, coffee’s and cake as they reminisced about one of the hardest cross country races they had ever taken part in.

Louise Hunt was 43rd overall and had a fantastic race, as first lady finisher for Penarth and Dinas and proving that she truly deserves her selection for South Wales Region at the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships at Birmingham in March.

She was part of a strong women’s teams that also included Lisa Cleary, Debbie Evans, Andrea Hurman, Stella Sturgess, Ruth Owens, Yvonne Williams, who was third in her age category, Lindsey Hunt, Claire Phillips and Anna Helsing.

The Ladies Veterans 45 team were 1st overall on Saturday, lying 2nd overall in the rankings.

Despite the soaking conditions the women braved the elements to cheer on the men’s team, that consisted of Richard Jackson-Hookins, who was the first P&D runner to cross the finish line, Clem Clement, Chris Nellins, who was third in his age category, Chris Seal, and Andrew Palmer.

The men's team were third on the day and lie in third position overall. If there is another strong turnout at the next Gwent League cross country fixture in March they could challenge for second and get promotion to division two.

In a hugely competitive division one the ladies team were 5th on the day and are now 7th overall.

Penarth and Dinas Runners meet every Monday evening at Penarth Leisure Centre at 7pm.

You can now follow them on twitter @PD_Runners

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