ATHLETICS: Richardson claims gold

Julian Richardson helped England to vet 45 team gold on his debut at the British & Irish Masters Cross Country International in Belfast.

The Oxford City athlete was the second runner home in England’s scoring team of four at Queen’s University Playing Fields.

Richardson, 45, finished sixth in his age group, completing the 8km course in an official time of 28mins 33secs.

It later emerged that these times were 45 seconds slower than they should have been.

With Simon Wright (28.05) third, Ian Wetherall (28.34) seventh and Andrew Robinson (28.38) eighth, England scored 24 points pip Ireland, who accrued 29, for gold.

Richardson said: “When I realised that we had some star names missing I had mixed feelings, but to finish as second fastest in the team and still win the team gold felt like a real achievement.”

He said having compatriots Wetherall and Robinson around him meant they supported each other well.

“After the first of four laps, there were three of us England vet 45s close together quite a way behind our leading teammate.

“Our national pride kicked in and we hooked up together and really dragged each other round the remaining three laps in a real team effort.”

Richardson’s city clubmates Stewart Thorp, Roy Treadwell and John Exley competed in their respective vet 60 and 65 open races.

Thorp, who had been unlucky only to be a reserve after some strong diplays in British Masters Athletic Federation (BMAF) races this year, won his category in 31.40.

Treadwell won his vet 65 event, with Exley finishing second.

OTHER RESULTS

WATFORD JOGGERS AUTUMN CHALLENGE

(senior men unless stated) Didcot Runners: T Reddy 36.12, S Powell (LV40) 45.41, S Cousins (LV35) 46.20.

SURREY CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE

Division 3 Woodstock H: 102 C Gray (V50) 33.19.

GRAND UNION CANAL HALF MARATHON

Headington RR: 29 K Lowies 1.30.37, 214 A Barry 1.49.07 pb.

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