TWENTY Newport Running Club members travelled to Norton for the Apley Estates 10-mile cross country race.
First home for the club was Maurice Reid who took 16th place in a field of around 140 in an excellent time of one hour, 10 minutes and 50 seconds.
The event had a spectacular setting - the Apley Estate at Norton is the home of Lord and Lady Hamilton.
The pace started off quite quickly and the going was quite firm which helped all the runners as they tackled two loops along estate roads and tracks, forest paths and fields.
The first four-mile loop climbed up through the woods before descending down to start the six-mile loop.
This took the athletes further out into the estate and then up a stiff climb to the top of the ridge and along the top through the trees with some excellent views, made all the more pleasant by the glorious sunshine that followed a cold and wet start to the day.
A last fast descent led back to the estate road and a final 200-metre dash to the finish line.
Tom O’Boyle was the second Newport finisher, 18th place in a time of 1:12:03. David Brown had a good run and worked his way through the field after a steady start to be 24th in 1:13:32.
Helen Cork used her youth and stamina to push on strongly in the second half of the race to be 45th in 1:20:50.
Mark Deighton had a close run with Andrew Coles, but just held on to be 60th in 1:23:23 with Coles closing in to finish 62nd just two seconds later.
Lisa Millar was using the race as part of her training for a marathon and had a good race to cross the line in 1:26:13 to claim 74th spot.
Rachel Storey did well to be 98th in 1:34:17 and Helen Hadebe followed her closely to be 101st in 1:34:44. Anne Strowger got the better of Sandra Dainty to be 105th in 1:36:30 with Sandra 108th just 12 seconds behind.
Tracy Hartridge, Aimee Macphee and Jane Chapman ran as a group and kept each other going to finish 118th, 119th and 120th all in the same time of 1:42:30.
Another group of Newport ladies were in close contention with each other with Toni Ireland 129th in 1:47:31, Sarah Higginson 130th in 1:47:48, Diane Hampton 131st in 1:47:50, Suzanne Potts 132nd 1:48:13, Lisa Baker 133rd in 1:48:20 and Pauline Walsh completed the line up in 135th place in 2:02:21.