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Muddy . . . Gore Harriers member Mervyn Potter makes his way through water during the Southern Cross Country Championships. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

An “honest” cross-country course tested the endurance of Southland runners on Saturday.

About 66 athletes competed in adult and junior grades of the Southland Cross-Country Championships.

The course, at the Southern Field Days site in Waimumu, provided a challenge in its ninth year at the location, event organiser Graham Hall.

“It’s very popular course,” Hall said.

“The weather helped .. it’s a tough course, it’s wet, there’s a bit of mud. I call it an

“We’re pleased with the day.”

Southland Harriers chairwoman Linda Te Au praised Hall’s ability to create a course with varied terrain.

“It was a great day,” Te Au said.

“Graham sets out a challenging course. It’s a true cross-country course and the weather was perfect.”

Gore Harriers junior runner Jack Davidson (10) came first in the under-12 boys grade and Lily Gemmill (8) won the under-10 girls competition.

Gore Harriers senior runner Kylie Davidson won the masters women event.

Athletes from the Gore, Invercargill, St Paul’s, Te Anau and Queenstown Harriers Clubs competed.

The Gore Harriers Club would host a handicap race in a fortnight, Hall said.

The event would be a 5.4km race, at Hamilton Park, and runners from throughout Southland would compete.

“Because it’s a handicap, anybody can turn up on the day and win it,” he said.

“It’s always well supported.”

The event would be held on July 25.