Cross-country champs drawing bigger numbers each year

Wet feet. . . Gore runner Millie McFadzien (14) takes a step to climb out of a stream during the Southland Cross Country Championships held at the Southern Field Days, Waimumu site on Satur day. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Last week’s rain did not pose too much of a problem for the Southland Cross-country Championships runners on Saturday.

The event was hosted by the Gore Harrier Club at the Southern Field Days Waimumu site.

Organiser Graham Hall said about 90 people took part.

“Our numbers have gone up consecutively for the past four or five years.

“We are also getting the young ones coming through which is great.”

Mr Hall set out the course each year and included hills, mud, paddocks and creek crossings.

“I change it every year cross over.”

The course was not too muddy considering the wet weather.

“Underfoot was quite good considering the weather.”

The under-10-year-olds ran a 2km course and the rest ran either one, two or three laps of the 3km course depending which section they entered.

He had received good feedback from the runners.

“Everybody really enjoyed it.”

Runners came from as far away as Wellington to take part.

It was the 11th year the event had been held at the site.

“It’s become the base for the Southland champs to be held there.”

Gore runners who won their events were Millie McFadzien (under-16 girls) and Ricky Gutsell (60 to 69 years male).