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Veterans steal limelight for Maidenhead Athletic Club

For the first time since 2015/16 Maidenhead Athletic Club (MAC) had representatives in the men’s races at the Berkshire Cross Country Championships in Woodley this weekend.

Following a week or more of rainfall the event in Ashenbury Park turned into a bit of a mudfest. The team was led by Adam Bennett who ran well against strong opposition to finish 15th in the senior men’s race.

Their four other representatives took on the men’s vets race, with Stuart Atkinson the first to appear in a creditable 34th position.

Next home was Chris Sutton in 37th place with Paul Sharp not far behind in 38th. Their final finisher was David Waugh who was taken aback at how tough this relatively flat course turned out to be. He’ll be back to take on the 15k Southern Cross Country Championships course on January 25.

However, the limelight was stolen by MAC’s women’s vets team who took team silver.

Becky Atkinson was the team’s star, winning the vets’ ladies race in a time of 42.16, earning qualification to run for Berkshire in the Inter Counties Cross Country race next year.

Ellen Easten was eighth in 50.08 and Caroline Shrimpton pipped Jen Francis to ninth place in 50.27. Jen was 10th in 50.29 and Leila Oliver close behind in 11th in 50.56.

Their contributions were good enough for the team to win silver, which they were all absolutely thrilled about.

In the senior ladies race Kirsty Matthews was seventh overall in 44.53, good enough for a reserve place for the county. 

In the u20s ladies competition Abbie Jones came fifth in 26.43 and also qualified to run for Berkshire in the inter counties event. Lili Rawlins and Morgan Englefield also both ran in the u17s women’s race and put in great performances. Lili was 13th overall in 23.33 and Morgan came 16th in 26.44.

Alana Bodell was the only u15s girls to enter and finished in 22nd place in 20.16.

The club’s youngest member to enter, Sophie McLachlan, was 28th in the u13s race in 14.43 and took everything in her stride, smiling as she crossed the finish.

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