Thick mud fails to obscure Coote and McGarry’s class

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What a mess!’ race organiser Dave Hallden said.

‘Half-way through the heavens opened and we had to put up with driving rain – but we were all nIcely warmed-up by then, and at least, if you fall, the mud provides a soft landing!’ But conditions were extreme, with one part of the course, in the valley, literally knee-deep in mud.

Around 40 runners turned up to compete over the up-and-down course at La Ferme, St Martin – double the numbers for the first race last year – with Jon Coote, who won the recent half-marathon, and Jo McGarry, back after injury, winning the men’s and women’s sections in times of 29 min 01 sec and 30.08 respectively.

‘Jon ran really well, he’s on brilliant form at the moment,’ Hallden, Coote’s coach, said.

The race was McGarry’s first in about six weeks, and she was pleased with the result.

‘I’d been suffering tightness in my legs, so although I’d still been running over the last few weeks, I wasn’t doing as much as usual and my fitness wasn’t quite as good as I’d have liked.

‘I took it a bit easier going downhill and was a bit more cautious than usual, but it was great fun.

It was the first step back into racing, and there are two more cross-country races before Christmas, then the Boxing Day run and the hill-climb, so I’m hoping they will help in preparation for the Hampshire Open next month.’

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