RUNNERS battled through the mud as Highworth Running Club held the Wickstead Wander cross country race for the fourth year in a row on Sunday.

The event, which begins at Highworth Warneford School and takes in Wickstead Equestrian Centre on its route, is a charity event with all profits going to the Riding for the Disabled Association.

Heavy rain had rendered the race in doubt but an inspection was held before the weekend and the decision was made that the course was fit for purpose.

The conditions put off a few runners with numbers slightly down on 2011, but nevertheless a sizeable field of around 70 runners enjoyed the mud, water splashes and horse jumps.

Dealing best with the tricky conditions was Royal Engineers Running Club member Jonathan Gordon as he crossed the finish line in 35:39.

He was followed home by former winner Gary O'Brien (Swindon Harriers), who was nearly a minute behind in clocking 36:37, handing him the male vet category win.

In the women’s race, Wootton Bassett Hounds’ Sam Kelly proved herself as she timed in at 40:25, winning the women and women’s vet prize in the process.

A number of runners donned fancy dress and despite competition from cave men, Minnie Mouse and Father Christmas, the winner of that category was Spencer Iles (Swindon Striders) who ran as Woody from Toy Story.

Highworth Running Club would like to thank all the runners, volunteers and marshals who helped out on this race as it allows the club once again to make a sizeable donation to the RDA.

For details of the club’s future events visit