HOLLY Weedall said running with the boys helped to bring the best out of her as she won gold at the Cheshire Cross Country Championships.

Only five boys finished ahead of her as she sealed first place 64 seconds ahead of the next best girl in the under 15s age group at Birchwood Forest Park in Warrington at the weekend.

Northwich Guardian:

Holly Weedall, 385, at the start of the under 15s race surrounded by Vale Royal clubmates. Picture: Mike Boden

> VIDEO: How the men’s race was won

> WATCH: Youngsters tackle the Cheshire Cross Country Championships

> VIEW: 180 pictures in our gallery of Saturday’s event

> FOOTAGE: See the women’s race unfold

> VIDEO: Vale Royal pair share in under 20s success

And it was double joy for Weedall as silver medallist Grace Roberts and fifth-placed Ellie Hudson ensured Vale Royal Athletics Club won the team gong – as did the boys' trio of Jake Wlison, Patrick Griffith and Dylan Carney.

“I’m really happy. It was quite a tough course, though, because there were loads of rabbit holes everywhere,” said Weedall, 14, a student at Weaverham High School.

“And the uphills and downhills were really steep.

“The team’s done good with first, second and fifth. Team stuff is really important, so that’s nice.

“You don’t really see each other that much when you’re running but it’s nice if you can support each other.

“Because we were running with the boys you can try and keep up with them as well. They push you a bit.”

Northwich Guardian:

Holly Weedall hot on the tails of the boys in the woods section at Birchwood Forest Park on Saturday. Picture: Mike Boden

Weedall, from Winsford, focuses the majority of her spare time on athletics, training with Vale Royal up to three times per week.

“I do a bit of swimming, but mostly I just do running because I love running.”

Northwich Guardian:

Holly Weedall setting the pace for the under 15s girls in the Cheshire Cross Country Championships on Saturday. Patrick Griffith, who won bronze in the under 15s boys' race, is in hot pursuit. Picture: Mike Boden

She harbours dreams of competing in the Olympics one day but her sights in the short-term are elsewhere.

“I’ve got the English Schools Championships coming up so that’s quite exciting,” she said.

And there’s a newcomer to the sport who might also help to keep her on her toes in years to come.

“My little sister has just started running,” she said.

Running is a family affair.

“My dad runs around too. He tries to come after me really but he’s not as quick as me,” she said.

Her dad Chris crossed the line 76th in the senior men’s race on Saturday.