THE blue hoops of Dudley Kingswinford Running Club didn’t have too far to travel for competition this week with many turning out for the Baggeridge 5k.

The race, which took place at Baggeridge Country Park last Thursday, was organised by Russell’s Hall based charity Action Heart and was a gruelling event a fraction over 3 miles on a course of dirt tracks and gravel paths taking in steeps inclines and descents.

The tough course was made even harder when some runners took a wrong turn after following misplaced tape and went off course. Some adding a few extra metres to their race, some adding the best part of half a mile as they struggled to get back on track. This resulted in runners approaching the finish from different directions, some with good humoured acceptance, some with gritted teeth and barely concealed fury.

First home for the blue hoops in third place was Ben Foster in 18.50. Rob Sannwald was ninth in 21.54, Dave Norman 10th in 21.55 and Richard Bate 14th in 22.02.

Daren Thompson was 20th in 22.57 from Gary Bonner who claimed the first M50 prize in 23.14 in 25th spot holding off Graham Wildgoose who was a place and a second behind.

Mark Judge was 40th in 24.16, John Andrews was 47th in 25.04, Rebecca Warren in was 50th in 25.13, Dave Garbutt finished in 25.21 in 52nd, Carol Fisher was 69th in 27.09, Helen Davies was 77th in 29.31, John Glover finished in 35.16 from Meg Dowen in 35.22, Andrew Cotterill in 35.24, Natalie Litchfield in 35.29 and Richard Jones in 35.33, all approaching the finish from the opposite direction. Sally McConville recorded one of the furthest distances travelled with 3.8 miles for a 5k race finishing in 38.45 in 122nd

Despite the confusion, Ingrid Cain of DK was able to present a cheque for £2,500 to Action Heart in her position as race director of the recent Gavin Tipper 5k. All proceeds from the race were donated to the cardiac rehabilitation charity in memory of Tipper, a DK stalwart.

Ben Foster than went one to better his third at Baggeridge with a second place spot in Wolverhampton and Bilston’s Midsummer 6 on Sunday. The DK athlete finishing in 36.40, only eight second behind the winner and nearly a minute and a half in front of the third placed runner.