Joe Rainsford was Heanor Running Club’s leading performer in the English National XC last weekend.
Fellow club members Paul Clarke, Paul Mercer, Tony Weatherson and Graham Whitt also made the trip to the far north of the country to tackle the snow-covered mudbath of a course at Herrington Park, Sunderland.
Snow on the evening before the race made for testing conditions as the race returned to Sunderland for the first-time since 2007.
In stark contrast to the unseasonably warm and dry conditions at Parliament Hill last year, the senior men tackled a swamp-like 12k route that was also the final event of the day.
Joe Rainsford led Heanor RC’s men home with a 159th place finish.
The 2013 Junior Derbyshire Cross Country champion judged his effort well and slogged it out to place well on what was his senior National XC debut.
Paul Clarke and Tony Weatherson both improved on their positions from last year’s National Cross Country at Parliament Hill.
This time around, they succeeded in finishing 352nd and 560th respectively.
As for Paul Mercer, he came out on top in the battle of the National XC debutants with Graham Whitt.
The duo’s first experience of the event couldn’t have been tougher and they crossed the line separated by just three seconds in 638th and 641st respectively.
Attentions now turn towards the inaugural Loughborough 5k, which is to be held next weekend.
This will be the fourth event in the 2013 Heanor RC Club Championship.
n Club training is every Tuesday and Thursday at 6.50pm and Saturday mornings at 9am for seniors, from Shipley Hall Cricket Club between April to September and William Gregg VC Leisure Centre from October to March.
Juniors meet at 5.45pm every Thursday from Shipley Hall CC in the summer and Marlpool United Reform Church Community Hall during the winter.
Runners can benefit from structured training sessions and from the experience and advice of UKA-qualified coaches whilst also receiving help and encouragement every step of the way from other like-minded individuals.
Training sessions cater for all abilities meaning everyone will have someone at his/her level and no one is ever left behind