CONDITIONS were favourable for the 85 Isle of Wight athletes who took part in the 2019 Ryde Harriers Championship cross-country race today (Sunday).

Open to guest clubs and individuals, the event — the first of Ryde Harriers’ series of three cross-country races this year — featured a circular 10km course, in sunny, still conditions, perfect for running, from Smallbrook Stadium, Ashey.

In the men’s race, Jack Grundy, representing TeamSpy, was the first home in 42.08.

The 29 year old, of Cowes, last ran the Harriers Championship two years ago and came second.

“It’s great to have gone one better and win it,” said Grundy, who took six months away from running following the birth of his first child.

“I got lost twice, which was fun, but it was a good day for this event.”

Grundy beat Gary Marshall, of the Wootton Bridge Runners, by exactly a minute.

Marshall burst onto the Island’s athletics scene in style last year by winning the Isle of Wight Marathon — his first-ever competitive race.

The first Ryde Harrier home was Newchurch Primary School PE teacher Adam Tuck, who came third overall and just two seconds adrift of Marshall.

Ryde Harriers athlete Les Cupis, of Niton, who came sixth overall in 43.30, was second Harrier home and winner of the vet-50 category.

The first woman in was Charlie Metcalf, who came in with a time of 44.09 — almost seven minutes quicker than her nearest rival, Hayley Baxter, in the women’s race and came ninth overall.

After the race, the 41 year old diver, of Lake, said: “It was a good course, a mile longer this year — not too wet. However, I prefer to run in wetter conditions.”

Niall Powell, 15, who represented the IW Athletic Club, was the first youth home in 43.49, which earned him seventh overall.

Powell, of Brading, who attends The Bay School, Sandown, said: “I came third in the youth race last year, so I’m pleased with the result. It was very hilly and trickier to negotiate this year.”

The next Ryde Harriers cross-country event will be the IW Championship, from Smallbrook, on Sunday, February 17, from 11am.

For all the results from the Ryde Harriers website, follow the link: