One point victory for runners
PUBLISHED: 10:45 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 13:20 04 May 2010
HARD training and good support were the key to Ely Runners second Frostbite League success in three seasons, according to secretary John Turner. The Ely club took the 2005-2006 title by one point from Cambridge and Coleridge AC in a nail-biting finish to
HARD training and good support were the key to Ely Runners' second Frostbite League success in three seasons, according to secretary John Turner.
The Ely club took the 2005-2006 title by one point from Cambridge and Coleridge AC in a nail-biting finish to the six-race competition, despite not having star runner Claire Willer - nominated as Ely Runners' senior runner of the series - available for the last race at Huntingdon.
Their campaign got off to a disastrous start in October, when a weakened Ely Runners team could only finish seventh at St Neots, but Ely pulled back the deficit to claim the title.
Mr Turner said: "There was a great deal of hard training by members who then turned out in strength for the remaining five races.
"It is a tremendous achievement to win as the standard of running is formidable. But it was very close - one or two more good runners for Cambridge and Coleridge in the last race could have seen us finish second.
After the poor start, Ely fought back, winning the next race at Bushfield, coming second in the third race at Swavesey, and winning the next three races.
"Cambridge and Coleridge were close to us most of the way, except the fifth race at Bourne Woods, where they could only finish sixth," said Mr Turner.
"It was literally winner-takes-all for the final race. Thankfully, we were able to win it, even though Claire - who was first woman home in each of her four races - was not available to compete."
Ely ended the league on 95 points, with Cambridge and Coleridge notching up 94. Peterborough-based Nene Valley Harriers finished third, on 87.
The first 10 runners in each team score points in the Frostbite League, two of which must be women.
Ely Runners first joined the league in 2001-2002 season, when they finished ninth. A total of 17 club teams from Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Lincolnshire took part in the 2005-2006 competition.