It's nineteen years since since Steve Anders won this title, since then its been a lean time for St Helen's runners at these championships however that run was ended at Croxteth Park on 10th February as David Forrester claimed the Liverpool & District Cross Country Union the title after a 5 and half mile battle with Richard Burney. The young St Helens athlete who was the National Under 17s cross country champion in 2007 built on his growing reputation by adding this senior title to his impressive list of conquests.
The race which started in heavy mist/fog and was finished in bright sunshine, was run over a testing course which will be used for the world Firefighter games later this year. The breakaway group of three at the end of the first of three laps was quickly reduced to two as David injected a burst which only Richard could match and left the inform John McCole chasing hard but off the pace isolated in the bronze medal position.
These two athletes matched each other stride for stride until the closing stages when the young St Helens athletes cranked up the pace another notch and showed the speed which he has displayed at home and abroad in recent weeks to run away with the crown. However this was no stroll in the park, and the new champion had to work hard to wrestle the title from reigning champion Richard Burney
who has been balancing the responsibilities of running and parenthood recently after he became a Dad for the first time only two weeks ago.
The team title went as expected to Liverpool Harriers who packed well with coach Dave Evans pleased with his lad’s performance, collecting a total of 31 points gaining them a winning margin of 101 points over St Helens Sutton with Wirral AC a further six points behind them.
Sarah Jackson ensured that Liverpool Harriers did not go without a winner by claiming the Women’s title with club mate Marina Ali taking the silver and Jeanette Fox of Wirral the bronze .
The event was supported by Croxteth Park and Myerscough College who have been very keen in promoting local races at Croxteth Park in recent years including last years young athletes road relays and they have other events including the World Firefighter Games cross country and Croxteth Park 10k still to come this year.
Photos Ron Scott