JAMES Wright is this week celebrating the best win of his winter season to confirm he is running back into form.

The 16-year-old Chippenham Harrier won the U17 men’s race in the third Gloucestershire Cross Country League fixture staged around Pittville Park, Cheltenham.

Indeed, Wright ran so strongly that until the closing stages he was also leading eventual U20 men’s winner Will Stockley – both age groups ran together in the same race – before the Trowbridge man sprinted clear.

“This was probably my best race of the season so far as I missed the start due to an injury I suffered during the track season,” said Wright.

“I felt strong and back to normal so that was really pleasing. I missed the first league race of the winter due to the injury and was then 12th in the second league race.

“I will now run the final race next month and with a best three results from four to count towards the overall prizes I’ll have to wait and see how it will turn out.”

Stockley set the early pace in the event and quickly opened a gap over the mixed age group field. Starting cautiously Wright, who is a student at Hardenhuish School, gradually worked his way through the field before finally catching Stockley on the final lap.

“I kept pushing the pace as I didn’t want anyone to catch us but Will just stuck in behind me and coming off the last hill he sprinted away to win,” added Wright.

“But I am very pleased with my performance and really enjoyed it.”

Younger sister Megan wasn’t as happy but can still take great credit for finishing third in a competitive U15 girls’ race.

Elsewhere, Chippenham Harriers’ Ellery Cole finished fifth in the U20 men’s race won by Stockley with Team Bath’s Otto Copping, who lives in Box, sixth.

The Chippenham Harriers’ senior women’s squad had one of their best results of the league campaign as the trio of Cordula Hurcum (fifth and first veteran over 40), Karen Hacker (13th and second veteran over 35) and Emma Hines (19th) finished third team behind Cheltenham and the Forest of Dean.

Non-scorer Michelle Maxwell gave solid support in 22nd.

In the senior men’s event, Chippenham-based veteran and club coach Gary Dunstone helped Team Bath AC place second team finishing 22nd and second over 45 runner.

Gloucestershire Cross Country League, Pittville Park, Cheltenham – senior men: 1 Oli Mott ( C ) 34:26; 2 Sam Harding (C ) 34:30; 3 Alex Crossland (Cl) 34:33.

Teams: 1 Cheltenham & County Harriers 32; 2 Team Bath 96; 3 Cheltenham B 126.

Masters: 1 Cheltenham 73; 2 Team Bath 118 (Dunstone, Blackmore, Brace, Mackintosh); 3 Cheltenham B 221.

U20 men: 1 Will Stockley (TB) 23:59; 2 Josh McHale (TB) 25:49; Also: 5 Ellery Cole (Chipp) 26:04; 6 Otto Copping (TB) 26:24.

U17 men: 1 James Wright (Chipp) 24:09.

U15 boys: 1 Alex Parsons (TB) 18:17; 2 Joshua Noon (Worcs) 19:34.

U13 boys: 1 Dylan Stoneman (TB) 10:49; 2 Jake Wakeling (TMS) 10:54; 3 Jacob Barry (U/A) 11:05.

U11 boys: 1 Henry Sheffield (Ci) 8:42; 2 Harry Maxwell (TB) 9:34; 3 Freddie Farrier (C ) 9:37. 10 Joshua Maxwell (TB) 9:55; 17 Josh Newton (TB) 10:11;

Teams: 1 Cheltenham 23; 2 Running Revolutions 29; 3 Team Bath 29.

Senior women: 1 Sally Hogan (B&R) 26:30; 2 Hilary Nott (C ) 26:38; 3 Fee Maycock (C , W50) 27:46.

Teams: 1 Cheltenham 16; 2 Forest of Dean 31; 3 Chippenham Harriers 37 (5 Cordula Hurcum (Chipp, W40 1st) 27:49; 13 Karen Hacker (Chipp, W35 2nd) 28:45; 19 Emma Hines (Chipp,(W40) 29:09). Also: 22 Michelle Maxwell (Chipp) 29:23;

16 Team Bath 159 (8 Fiona Blackmore (W40 2nd) 28:12; 32 Kimberley Brace 30:25; 119 Lynn Jones 44:06).

Masters: 1 Cheltenham 26; 2 Chippenham 37; 3 FoDean 59.

U15 girls: 1 Dalis Jones (WH) 19:40; 2 Millie Porter (Glos) 20:18; 3 Megan Wright (Chipp) 20:51.Also: 6 Ella Treby (TB) 21:27; 14 Molly Dunstone (Chipp) 24:44.

U13 girls: 1 Kiya Dee (BRR) 10:55; 2 Emma Youngs (Worcs) 11:23; 3 Jessica Hill (Glos) 11:30.

U11 girls: 1 Ellis Woolley (C ) 10:01.

RICHARD Palmer, a Marlborough resident took on a gruelling 100-mile challenge last weekend in a field of 148 elite long-distance runners. 

The race, known as the ‘Arc of Attrition’, is a point-to-point extreme coastal race from Coverack to Porthtowan, taking in 100 miles of the Cornish Coastpath.

Runners complete an Arc around the entire south west foot of Cornwall and the race has a strict 36 hour cut-off with additional checkpoint cut-offs on route. 

With extreme weather conditions destroying big chunks of the coastal path in the weeks leading up to the race, diversions extended the course by more than five miles.

Only 52 made it to the finish, Palmer finishing in 33 and a half hours, running 107 miles.