FORMER international and Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club legend Adrian ‘Shergar’ Passey ended a 14-year running exile with an impressive performance at the Birmingham League Division Two cross country event hosted by Stratford AC.
Held in the Welcombe Hills, this was a challenging, hilly three-lap race through plenty of mud in which Passey was up against his son and Oxford student Ben – in his first race for the club – after the pair had wagered as to who would come out on top.
Also out of retirement was 59-year-old Simon Radcliffe who had also not raced for many years, making it 25 B&R athletes in action.
The course proved particularly treacherous for the athletes with a fair few falling over, including leader Chris Perrin from Cannock & Staffs AC who had enough of a lead over second placed Stephen Millward of Gloucester to get up and still win the race by an impressive 40 seconds, with amazing over 50 athlete Paul Ward of Telford taking third.
Adrian’s pedigree showed from the start and he managed to stay with the leaders, finishing an impressive 12th, with Ben rapidly closing the gap on the final lap to come in 21st – some 48 seconds behind his father.
Elsewhere for B&R, Mark Appleton continued his fine form by finishing 32nd, followed by club newcomers Tim Spencer and Peter Ball in 40th and 43rd positions respectively. James Hood ran well on his return from injury to complete the scoring six in 55th.
The addition of the Passeys, Spencer and Ball, who could not make the first race, made a big difference to the team which came fifth out of 17 teams – three places higher than the first fixture and moving them up to sixth overall after two races.
The B team consisted of Kevin Fisher (58th), Gareth Richardson (62nd), Adam Parr (74th), Ashley Ross (82nd), Andy Freeman (93rd) and Calvin Scoltock (104th) to give them second on the day and fourth after two races.
Other B&R runners: 107 Tom Richardson; 121 Steve Brooks; 137 Tony Warner; 146 Anthony Howell; 169 Matt Henney; 170 Kevin Lanckham; 189 Dean Hartshorne; 204 Paul Edmonds; 220 Ian Nutter; 241 Jamie Dancyger; 251 Pete Hawcroft; 254 Phil Anderson; 267 Simon Radcliffe.
THE MIDLAND Women’s League Division Two event took place at the same venue on a two-lap course.
B&R’s Sally Hogan continued to impress with seventh place which leaves her fourth overall and behind her was team-mate Tamara Freeman in 14th and now sixth overall.
Then came Sarah Richardson (56th), Lucy Bristow (66th), Dagmar Prinzing (99th), Amy Ross (109th) and Holly Smith (134th).
Next up is the West Midland Young Athletes Cross Country League fixture at Perry Park in Birmingham on Sunday. The next seniors and ladies meeting is the Worcestershire County Cross Country Championships at Warley Woods on January 6.
MEANWHILE, runner Joe Smith, representing Tipton Harriers, was in action at Park Hall Country Park, Stoke, where he finished 13th to help his team to second place and third overall after two meetings.