It was with unbridled enthusiasm that local athletes flocked to experience the after effects of recent heavy rain in the second round of the Birmingham & District Invitation Cross Country League and Midland Womens' Cross Country League.
As many other sports pressed the postpone button, Coventry & Warwickshire runners encountered ground conditions which many described as "muddy, wind swept and icy" and even traditionalists may well have conceded to be "a little damp in places."
Provisional results show good performances from local clubs across the three divisions of the Birmingham League.
In Division 1, a fine sixth place finish from Toby Spencer helped Coventry Godiva's to fourth place on the day and to retain third place in the league overall. Rugby & Northampton moved up to 7th on the day, 10th overall, with Kenilworth in 11th to remain in 7th place overall.
Perhaps the most noteworthy individual performance was from Terry Egan of Rugby and Northampton, who completed his 100th Birmingham League race. Terry made his debut in November 1985 in Division 4 at Sutton Coldfield and, by his own admission, 'played it safe' in his milestone race, jogging round and enjoying his achievement.
Gloucester played host to the Division 2 race, with University of Warwick maintaining their strong start to the campaign in 4th (3rd in league overall). Behind them Knowle and Dorridge finished 7th (8th overall), Stratford 12th (11th) and Sphinx AC 14th (13th).
The close competition in Division 3 resumed at Burbage Common with Nuneaton leading the charge to maintain their 1st place in the league. Northbrook regained 2nd place on the day from the resurgent Masseys, but in overall terms they remain 3rd and 2nd respectively. Solihull & Small Heath finished 4th and retain the same place in the league.
Burbage Common also staged the second Midland Womens' Cross Country League with Frances Briscoe (Coventry Godiva Harriers) dominating the race with her second win of the season. Frances led her team into second place, just behind Birmingham University with Stratford upon Avon AC highly placed in both the overall and masters races. As in the first race, local clubs continue to have a significant presence in the league with a third of the field drawn from Warwickshire clubs.
The third round of races is set for Saturday 12 January with races at Sandwell Valley Country Park (Division 1 and Midland Womens XC League), Wyken Croft Park, Coventry (Division 2) and Droitwich Spa High School.