GCR's tourists claim Otmoor Challenge prizes

PUBLISHED: 12:29 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:55 26 October 2009

The winning GCR team of Angus Crosby, Sean Bowen, Graham Robinson and Steve Livingstone

The winning GCR team of Angus Crosby, Sean Bowen, Graham Robinson and Steve Livingstone

A TOURING GCR party returned from rural Oxfordshire with a bundle of prizes after a successful meet. The group claimed the men s race winner and the team prize after a tough race over 13-and-a-half miles in the Otmoor Challenge. It takes place as part of

Martha Hall

A TOURING GCR party returned from rural Oxfordshire with a bundle of prizes after a successful meet.

The group claimed the men's race winner and the team prize after a tough race over 13-and-a-half miles in the Otmoor Challenge.

It takes place as part of the annual Horton-cum-Studley village fete on the first Saturday afternoon in June.

The race attracts quality athletes from local Oxfordshire clubs, as well as fun runners and walkers from the Long Distance Walkers Association.

This year it was the visitors from Herts who took much of the glory.

Graham Robinson claimed the lead in the early miles through the pretty villages of Murcott and Fencott.

Despite a nasty slip, where he suffered horrendous looking grazes, he gritted his teeth through the pain and held on to win the race.

He crossed the finish line in 1 hour 16 minutes 11 seconds, half a minute ahead of the runner-up.

Steve Livingstone got his Berlin Marathon build-up off to a fine start as he finished sixth and the first over-50 in 1 hr 21 mins 29 secs.

Angus Crosby fought off a head cold and had to suffer Steve overtaking him as he was reduced to walking up the steep hill in the warm sunshine at Beckley at the 11-mile point.

He still finished ninth and ahead of Sean Bowen in 15th.

And with Ironman triathlete Sam Smith enjoying an excellent run in an event he had been looking forward to since being support team 2007, the GCR men took the coveted team prize.

The local clubs who had dominated the event for years didn't know what had hit them.

In the ladies' race, Martha Hall built on her winning form in the 10k league this season, cruising to second place in 1 hr 34 mins 10 secs.

She was followed by Jenny Gray, who came third in 1 hr 35 mins 17 secs, with Katherine Philp not far behind in fourth.

The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for Cath Shepherd.

She had cancelled prior engagements to fill a vacant slot at short notice.

Cath slogged through miles of long uncut grass and ankle-breaking uneven farm tracks in the heat to finish just in time for the welly-throwing competition.

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