A course best described as a quagmire, and a 40-minute start delay, may have cost Richard Goodman victory in the Under 20 National Cross country Championship at Alton Towers.
Locked in a duel with 19-year-old Johnny Hay throughout the 8km race, Goodman, 17, gave way over the last two kilometres to finish second, 100m behind Hay.
"I had carefully timed my pre-race meal and warm-up, so the start delay did affect me," Goodman said. "The mud made it impossible to get into a decent rhythm. But I feel I ran a good race and, more importantly, learned some valuable lessons."
Sam Shindler-Glass, 14, finished 63rd out of 323 in the under 15 race.