SIMON Nott completed a brilliant hat-trick of titles as he successfully retained his Wiltshire senior men’s crown at the University of Bath, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

Nott’s triumph was ample consolation for his late change of plans when the bad weather saw his bid for a personal best in the Telford 10k on Sunday halted, with the event was cancelled on Friday evening due to the weather.

Fortunately he had already registered for the Tri-Counties Cross Country Championships, which combined the county events for Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire to provide better competition and such is his current form that his biggest danger were the conditions as the runners braved biting winds and heavy snow.

“It was very snowy, even foggy in parts, cold and wet underfoot – in short it was quite a challenge,” said Nott.

“The competition was also pretty stiff so it was a good race and to be crowned county champion again is a very nice feeling.

“I always feel very honoured to be Wiltshire champion and it was a great way to end my racing year.”

Nott, who is a member of Calne Running Club, is not just in great shape physically but is also racing better than ever.

There was no hint of panic when the Avon Valley Runners’ pair of Ed Knudsen and Mike Towler along with Ben Brewster of Southampton took out the early pace on the first of the four laps.

Keeping his cool Nott just bided his time and gradually worked his way through the field before making his bid for glory.

“By the second lap I was chasing Ed who was running really well and had opened up a little gap on me,” added Nott.

“I felt stronger and stronger as the race went on and on lap three I went by him and quickly opened a gap which I kept to the finish.

“It was tough out there in those condition and it is a day none of us will forget for a long time! It was proper cross country alright.”

Knudsen kept his form well to not only finish second overall but also lead AVR to the men’s team title with great support from Towler, Daniel Piper, Rich Harding, Gary MacAlister and Nick Cranston.

Avon Valley also impressed as they finished runners-up to a strong Bristol & West AC squad in the senior women’s race with Chippenham Harriers just four points behind in third.

Bethan Francis led the way finishing seventh overall and second in the Wiltshire Championships behind new champion Alice Murray-Gourlay of Taunton AC.

Behind Francis Veryan Cranston, Jackie Rockliffe and Diane Hier provided excellent support.

Veteran Karen Hacker was Chippenham’s leading scorer in ninth, which earned her the Wiltshire bronze medal while just behind her Calne’s Denise Nott continued her return to form to finish first veteran over 45.

"Historically I've never felt good in this race so I am very pleased with how my running is going at the moment,'' said Nott.

In the young athlete races Corsham’s Jade Littlechild showed great determination to finish third overall behind the Hobbs sisters Hannah and Ellie from Avon in the combined U20/17 women’s event so was the clear winner of the Wiltshire U17s title.

“It was a freezing day and those were the toughest conditions I have ever raced in,” said Littlechild.

Her Team Bath clubmate Otto Copping, who is also a student at Corsham School and lives in Box, won the U17 men’s title with Will Stockley of Trowbridge crowned U20 champion.

Chippenham Harriers’ Megan Wright continued her fine form to win the Wiltshire silver medal in the U15 girls’ age group while Harriet Hillman, of St Margaret’s Prep School, Calne, won the U13s title from AVR’s Freya Buglass.

Tri-Counties Cross Country Championships results

Senior women: 1 Catie O’Donoghue (B&W) 27:28; 2 Emma Fisher (W, W45) 27:29; 3 Kate Drew (T) 27:41; 4 Alice Murray-Gourlay (T) 27:47; 5 Fiona Marks (B&W) 28:00; 6 Kelly Dicks (GWR) 28:15.

Teams: 1 Bristol & West AC 30; 2 Avon Valley Runners 52; 3 Chippenham Harriers 56.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Murray-Gourlay; 2 Bethan Francis (AVR) 28:27; 3 Karen Hacker (CH, W35) 28:48.

U20 women: 1 Hannah Hobbs (WH) 18:35; 2 Alys Withers (NS) 20:24; 3 Rosie Allen (WH) 20:52.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Caitlin Wosika (TB) 22:34.

U17 women: 1 Ellie Hobbs (WH) 19;20; 2 Jade Littlechild (TB) 19:41; 3 Lucy Fitzpatrick (TB) 20:30.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Littlechild; Fitzpatrick; 3 Caroline Brenchley (TB) 21:07.

U15 girls: 1 Beatrice Wood (CoS) 14:09; 2 Dalis Jones (WH) 15:10; 3 Rosie Hamilton-James (WH) 15:23.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Wood; 2 Megan Wright (CH) 15:33; 3 Olivia Roderick (IIF) 15:38.

U13 girls: 1 Harriet Hillman (SH) 11:57; 2 Freya Buglass (AVR) 12:19; 3 Jade Griscti (IIF) 12:24.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Hillman; 2 Buglasss; 3 Griscti.

U11 girls: 1 Ella Spencer (SH) 8:17 2 Millie Redman (NS) 8:20; 3 Erin Davis (WH) 8:33.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Spencer; 2 Daisy Cobham (CoS) 9:07; 3 Izzy Richards (CH) 9:38.

Senior men: 1 Simon Nott (CRC) 35:40; 2 Ed Knudsen (AVR) 35:55; 3 Ben Brewster (S’hampton) 36:34; 4 Chris McMillan (W) 36:53; 5 Adam Stokes (T) 37:51 6 Mike Towler (AVR) 38:28.

Teams: 1 Avon Valley Runners 98; 2 Westbury Harriers 172; 3 Chippenham Harriers 192.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Nott; 2 Knudsen; 3 Brewster.

U20 men: 1 Will Stockley (TB) 19:45; 2 Fleix Rusby (Wells) 20:01; 33 Aidan Daniel B’Ham Uni) 20:07.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Stockley; 2 Daniel; 3 Robert Howorth (TB) 21:02.

U17 men: 1 William Cheek (NS) 19:27; 2 Abdi Hasan (WH) 19:31; 3 Ben Rawlins (WH) 19:55.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Otto Copping (TB) 20:13; 2 Dan Davis (M) 20:52; 3 James Wright (CH) 21:08.

U15 boys: 1 Alex Parsons (TB) 13:20; 2 Sam Cobb (T) 13:30; 3 Tom Heal (T) 13:34.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Nile Battey (CS) 14:19; 2 Andrew Ingleton (IIF) 14:51; 3 Joe Milton (AVR) 14:53.

U13 boys: 1 Lukas Bailey (CoS) 10:48; 2 Ben Jones (M) 11:48; 3 Harry Maxwell (TB) 11:59.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Bailey; 2 Jones; 3 Maxwell.

U11 boys: 1 Ryan Reed (T) 7:42; 2 Charlie Coles (CoS) 7:56; 3 Alex Hearn 8:00.

WILTSHIRE: 1 Coles; 2 Hearn; 3 Jacob Fleming (AVR) 8:16.

KEY: (AVR=Avon Valley Runners; B&W=Bristol & West AC; CH=Chippenham Harriers; CoS=City of Salisbury; CRC=Calne Running Club; GWR=Great Western Runners; M=Marlborough & District Juniors; NS=North Somerset AC; SH=Swindon Harriers; T=Taunton; TB=Team Bath AC; W=Wells City Harriers; WH=Westbury Harriers; ZA=Zoot Athos.