ANDREA Hilldrup led Vale Royal Athletics Club’s women to victory on their debut at the Northern Veterans Cross Country Championships.

She was second behind international Helen Berry (Holmfirth Harriers) over a 5km course at Rossington Park in Doncaster, followed by Helen Smith and Claire Thompson in fifth and seventh spot respectively.

That was enough to secure a team prize for the first-timers, while Hilldrup (over 35s) and Smith (over 45s) claimed age-group honours.

Vale Royal’s Colin Rathbone was third in the men’s over 70s category, while Pauline Davies was runner-up in the women’s over 65s category.

James Ainsworth contested the High Legh 10K the following day, Sunday, when he put behind him a battle with injuries to finish in fourth place overall.

He was first to reach the finish in the men’s over 40s category, clocking a personal best of 35.48.

The Trafford 10K was run in similarly sodden conditions, and Matthew Sheen was fastest of a four-strong Vale Royal contingent while improving his lifetime best.

Andrew Miles lowered his previous best too, while Sarah Walker took second prize in the women’s over 35 age group.

Meanwhile Carolyn Dooley continued her preparations for next month’s London Marathon when she took part in the British Masters 10-mile Championships in Cumbria.

She completed an undulating course, in testing conditions, in a time of 1:08.17 to classify 15th overall and fourth of the females in the field.

It earned her a silver medal in the women’s over 40s category.