Birmingham XC League,11/1/14

Graham Rush and Phil Beastall both impressed as they led the Cheltenham Harriers team to a fifth place finish in the Birmingham Cross Country League Division One fixture in Coventry. Rush finished strongly on the final lap as he moved up from ninth at the halfway point to secure a pleasing sixth place. On his cross country debut for the club Beastall also finished well, moving up from 30th to 24th to start 2014 with an impressive performance. James Bingham and Jon Barnes were closely matched for the first half of the race, before Bingham opened up a lead that Barnes reduced to just five seconds by the end of the race. Both runners were rewarded with their highest ever finishes in the league as they came home 45th and 50th respectively. Marc Fallows showed improved form for 64th place before Jeremy Bradley made a welcome return to action to complete the scoring team in 68th place. Fifth place on the day leaves the Harriers seventh in the league standings, but now just 66 points behind both Coventry and Birchfield with just one fixture remaining.

Roger Mullins ran well to lead the B team home in 71st before Andy Gore found the muddy conditions to his liking in 86th. Russell Forsbrook and Dave Aubrey just missed out on the top 100 as they finished 102nd and 104th respectively, with Will New following in 117th place. The race to take the final B team spot was a close affair, with Miguel Mundinano in 128th holding off the fast finishing Mike Gray who was just one place behind. This left the B team fourth on the day, but still in second place in their league competition behind Loughborough University. Teammates Tommaso Migliuolo and Gavin McCaugherty enjoyed a close tussle throughout the race, with Migliuolo coming out on top to finish two places ahead of McCaugherty in 156th, whilst James Wilkinson defied injury to come home in 216th place to complete the Harriers sixteen man squad.

Full Results
Race Video