ALTON Runners’ first race of 2017 was the fourth round of the Southern Cross Country League at Lord Wandsworth College.

A dry and sunny morning was a welcome sight for over 500 runners after the rain of New Year’s Day.

The five-mile two-lap course was excessively wet and muddy and more than one runner took a tumble.

The first man home for Alton was David Fry in a fine fourth place. He was closely followed by Lenny Passingham in 12th, and then came Alistair Morey in 54th, David Hayles 92nd, Richard Taylor 100th, Jamie Kilner-Smith 150th, David Smith 169th, Philip Scrase 173rd, Mike Sennett 188th, Jeff Smart 191st, Michael Pearce 200th, Jim Armitage 216th, Dave Molyneux 252nd, Richard Scrase 262nd and Terry Newman 277th.

Alton Runners’ Beth Swadling came 27th in the women’s race. Daisy Chetwode finished 81st, Karen Masson 82nd, Rosella Guidetti 91st, Jane Scrase 95th and Caroline Freeman 161st.

The Alton team came 12th out of 23 teams and their overall position after four races is now 15th.

Alton Runners train on Tuesdays and Thursdays (from 6.45pm) and meet at the sports centre before going to the Butts for a warm-up. More information on the website