Fell running legend wins Moorlands Christmas Cracker race

NUMEROUS times national fell running champion Simon Bailey won the annual Staffordshire Moorlands AC Christmas Cracker race.

The event usually takes in a section along The Roaches 1,500 feet above sea level, but the route was changed due to the dangerous icy conditions underfoot.

Instead the athletes followed an alternative route around Tittesworth Reservoir in the interests of safety.

The experienced Bailey (Mercia Fell), pictured, who has represented his country at the World Mountain Running Trophy, dominated from start to finish to win comfortably from John Dance (Salford Harriers), with unattached runner Phillip Sale third.

Bailey, a native of Rushton Spencer, is a fell running legend. He finished second in the Shutlingsloe race at the tender age of 14.

In the 2004 season, Bailey became the youngest man to win both the British and English Fell Running Championships in the same year, when he won five out of eight championship races in which he competed and set course records in three of them.

Salford Harriers won the team race.

Haley Kutter (Salford Harriers) also led from start to finish in the ladies race, despite a strong challenge throughout from Michelle Wilcocks (Sutton in Ashfield Harriers). Tracy Dean (Staffs Moorlands AC) was third.

West Cheshire AC won the ladies team race.

A NUMBER of athletes from the Staffordshire Moorlands stepped forward to receive medals at the end of the North Staffs Cross-Country League season.

Unfortunately, Saturday’s final fixture at Staffordshire University’s Stoke complex had to be cancelled because of bad weather.

Officials ruled the icy conditions underfoot posed a danger to both competitors and spectators alike.

The final individual and team positions in the various age groups were decided on results at the the three previous fixtures at Winsford, Park Hall and Stafford Common.

Staffordshire Moorlands AC’s rising young triathlon star Eden Schiller, who is also a member of the Newcastle Triathlon Club, pipped Eden O’Dea (Wrexham) by one point to take the U15 girls title.

Other local individual medal winners:

Women

Senior: 3 Kerry Marchant (Staffs Moorlands AC) 10pts and also V40 winner.

V45: 2 Tracy Dean (Staffs Moorlands AC) 59pts.

V60: 2 Liz Clutton (Cheadle RC) 372pts.

Men

V50: 2 David Allen (Cheadle RC) 670pts.

V65: 1 Michael Beardmore (Cheadle RC) 670pts.

Team medal winners

Women

Senior Division One: 3 Staffs Moorlands AC 217pts.

Men

M40+Masters (6 counters): 2 Cheadle RC 1963pts.

Pictured: Kerry Marchant of Staffordshire Moorlands AC.