Home  Road Running & Cross Country Index 



Road Running & Cross Country, 2006

Ely New Year's Eve 10 km, Camb., 31 December 2006.

Men. 1 R Joy (Norfolk G) 31:39; 2 N Speaight 32:36.

Cliveden 6 miles CC, Bucks, 31 December 2006.

Men. 1 M Trees M40 37:51.

Bushy Park Time Trial 5 km, 30 December 2006.

Men. 1 C Payne (Tortoise &H) 16:35; 5 R Stannard 17:08.

Serpentine Last Friday 5 km, Hyde Park, 29 December 2006.

Men. 1 R Ward 15:07; 46 C Dickinson 1st-M55 18:40.

Hammersmith 3.3 miles, 26 December 2006.

Men. 1 R Marriott (South London) 17:44; 2 M Humphrey 18:24.

Lauriston Christmas Paarlauf, Wimbledon, 25 December 2006.

1 Don Anderson (Belgrave) & A Przedrzymirski (Herc. Wimb) 5m 1405y; 3 W Cockerell (Belgrave) & D Cockerell (SW Bristol &W) 5m 1152y.

Bushy Park Time Trial 5 km, 25 December 2006.

Men. 1 R Ward 15:30; 3 A Bodin U20 16:12.

Bushy Park Time Trial 5 km, 23 December 2006.

Men. 1 J Trapmore (Shaftesbury B) 15:24; 2 R Ward 15:25.

Longridge 7 miles, Nr. Preston, 17 December 2006.

Men. 1 P Freary 37:10.

Reigate Priory Holly Ron, Priory Park, 17 December 2006.

Men. 1 A Robinson (Newham &EB) 31:44; 8 P Buckley 35:16; 9 J Kimaiyo 35:20.

Ronhill Surrey Classic 10 km, Horton Country Park, 17 December 2006.

Men. 1 W Clark (Epsom & Ewell) 32:59; 6 M Webb 35:23; 200 D Davies M65 51:59.

Women. 1 E Nelson (Epsom & Ewell) 35:59; 2 S Murphy 37:45.

South of the Thames CC Championship, Brockwell Park, 16 December 2006.

Above, left to right, start of the South of Thames Championship in Brockwell Park: Dave Anderson, Pete Willis (20), Mike Trees (18), James McMullen (Epsom Oddballs 142), Will Clark (Epsom & Ewell 137), Alan Barnes (Herne Hill 175), James Connor ? (Kent AC), Phil Wicks (19), Dean Lacy (Cambridge H 51), Alex Bodin. Picture by Steve Wicks.

Dewar Shield back with the Bels

The 109th running of the South of the Thames Cross Country Championship turned out to be successful event for the Bels as the men notched up their thirteenth win all told and fifth in the last decade - and, after a recount, we were declared 12 to score winners as well.  A dominant Phil Wicks led the pack while Chrissie Wellington was equally impressive in the women's race; both led from start to finish.

Nobody could remember a Brockwell Park in this state.  Weeks of rain had left the Park like a sponge and even before the race had started, the passage of 150 pairs of feet on their warm up runs over the lower slopes had liquified the top two inches of soil.  In fact there was barely a firm footing to be found on the entire circuit.

These were clearly not everyone's idea of perfect cross country conditions but it seemed to make little difference to Phil who was 40 metres clear of David Anderson and Cambridge Harriers' Dean Lacy after one lap and more than twice that after two.  Phil's two-lap time was 26:06. Compare that, if you will, with the Surrey League's winning time of 25:58, run in balmy October; and of course there was a third lap to contend with on this occasion.

Dave Anderson is far from fit but he had more than enough talent to deal with the rest of the field; and two more very impressive runs came from veteran Mike Trees and Pete Willis - the latter at last beginning to give a hint of what he can do. In his first scoring run for the Bels, eighteen year-old Alex Bodin battled with John Kimaiyo. Alex had never gone further than 8 km before but closed in our team as first Junior in the field - and pushed the Skipper off the score sheet for the first time in years.

We welcomed new members in Dave Mason and Charles Hobbs ("I've never experienced anything like this before") who have both recently moved to south London - but unfortunately neither of them was able to score on this occasion. Carl Moynihan also made his debut and Tom Fordyce delayed his late shift at the BBC so as to boost the 12-to-score team; he works on the BBC's website covering the Ashes series and we wonder which experience was the most painful.

We are so glad that Tom made the effort to turn up though, because along with team mates Will Cockerell, James Fairbourn, Mark Humphrey, Rob Poulter and Harry Corbett - some of whom don't get to score in a Belgrave winning team too often - we lifted the Coleman Cup.  The team manager was delighted. 

Men. 7.5 miles. 1 P Wicks (Belgrave) 39:30; 2 D Anderson (Belgrave) 41:02; 3 D Lacy (Camb H) 41:15; 13 M Trees 1st-M40 43:25; 14 P Willis 43:44; 21 J Kimaiyo 44:22; 24 A Bodin 1st-U20 44:27; 34 W Cockerell 45:16; n/s (36th) D Mason 45:19; 50 J Fairbourn 47:08; 64 T Fordyce 49:06; 88 M Humphrey 52:40; 103 R Poulter 55:18; 105 H Corbett M45 55:41; n/s (102) C Hobbs 53:43; 113 C Moynihan 56:53.


6 to score - 1 Belgrave H 75; 2 Herne Hill H 146; 3 Brighton & Hove City AC 160; 12 Belgrave 'B' 444.

12 to score - 1 Belgrave H 519; 2 Brighton & Hove City AC 526; 3 Herne Hill H 654.

Women. 7.5 miles. 1 C Wellington (Belgrave) 48:10; 2 F Clark (Crawley) 49:34; 3 M Sinott-Wells (Ranelagh) 51:19; 4 M Heaton 53:28.

Bedford Harriers Half Marathon, 10 December 2006.

Men. 1 N Leighton (Bristol &W) 1:09:38; 154 P Cross M50 1:29:31.

USATF Junior National Olympic CC, Spokane, Washington State, USA, 9 December 2006.

U19 Men. 5k 1 G Billington U20 15:39.

Hercules Wimbledon AC 5 miles Club Race, Wimbledon Common, 9 December 2006.

Men. 1 A Bodin U20 27:52.

SEAA U23 Inter-Counties (held with London Champs, etc), 9 December 2006.

Men. 1 P Wicks U23 32:37; 2 H Lobb 1-London (Bedford &C) 33:25; 3 A Livingstone 1-U20 (Thurrock) 33:32.

California International Marathon, Sacramento, USA, 3 December 2006.

Men. 1 J Ndambuki (Kenya) 2:14:56; 12 B Poore 2:21:51.

Lanzarote Half Marathon, 3 December 2006.

Women. 1 A Critchlow (West 4) 1:23:24; 4 H Smethurst 1-W40 1:29:28.

Victory '5', Portsmouth, 3 December 2006.

Forty to fifty mile an hour squalls made for an interesting race at Portsmouth where the leaders ran nearly 6 minutes for the last mile.  Phil Wicks' preparations for the race were turned upside down when a late arrival meant that he only had time for a 400m jog before the start. Willard Chinhanhu of Poole attempted an early break but Phil was in the bunch as the field set out along the waterfront with the wind behind them. Geele, Robinson and Mitchison were all prominent for the Beagles with our own Malachi Byansi, John Kimaiyo and Knut Hegvold also well forward.

But those windy conditions meant that whatever happened on the outward journey, the whole field was going to concertina at the end - and it did - with five men coming together at the 4 mile point in 19 minutes. Chinhanhu and Geele arrived back at the track together but were being chased hard by the next three and we had the first five all on the finish straight at the same time.

The wind had made a mockery of the times but there was no doubt that it was a terrific run from Phil who was just three seconds down on Andy Robinson and ahead of Dave Mitchison (both Beagles) and Cole (Medway & Maidstone). It was another good effort from Mal Byansi who had John Kimaiyo, a good six inches taller, trying to shelter behind him on the return. Knut had a powerful finish to overtake JK to become our third scorer and take second veteran's prize.

It was good to see Mark Miles there - he was working with the race sponsors - and happy to report that he has now shaken off his nagging cold and chest infection and is back to running.

Men. 1 W Chinhanhu (Poole) 24:50; 2 M Geele (Newham &EB) 24:51; 3 T Payne (Birchfield) 24:54; 5 P Wicks 25:01; 16 M Byansi 26:49; 23 K Hegvold M45 2-Vet 27:55; 24 J Kimaiyo 27:59; 44 D Mason 28:52; 68 M Humphrey 29:56.

Teams: 1 Newham &EB 25; 2 Belgrave 68; 3 Winchester 71.

Elswick H Norman Woodcock Memorial 6 miles, Newcastle, 2 December 2006.

Men. 1 N McCormick (Morpeth) 28:51; 2 D Anderson 30:04.

SLH Pirie 10 miles, 2 December 2006.

Women. 1 C Wellington 1:03:38.

Oxford vs Cambridge University Race, Wimbledon Common, 2 December 2006.

Men. 1 P Natali (Cambridge) 38:39; 3 J Blackledge (Oxford/Bel) 39:20.

Bushy Park Time Trial 5 km, 2 December 2006.

Men. 1 W Clark (Epsom &E) 16:37; 2 W Cockerell 16:47.

Club La Santa Running Week, Lanzarote, 26-29 November 2006.

26th - 10 km. Women. 1 A McKeown (GER) 38:05; 7 T Heaton 39:47; 8 H Smethurst W40 40:45; 11 L Cooper 43:22.

27th - 13 km Ridge Run. Women. 1 A McKeown (GER) 49:46; 5 T Heaton 51:03; 7 H Smethurst W40 53:28; 17 L Cooper 58:30.

28th - 5 km Beach Run. Women. 1 J King (GBR) 20:47; 5 T Heaton 21:34; 6 H Smethurst W40 22:01; 21 L Cooper 24:42.

29th - 21km run. 1 A McKeown (GER) 1:21:27; 5 T Heaton 1:26:04; 6 H Smethurst W40 1:27:49; 16 L Cooper 1:36:01.

Overall Challenge Positions: 1 A McKeown (GER) 3:10:11; 5 T Heaton 3:18:27; 6 H Smethurst 1st-W40 3:24:01; 15 L Cooper 3:42:33.

Hayling 10 miles, 26 November 2006.

Men. 1 T Payn (City of Portsmouth) 51:46; 121 P Cross M50 1:06:55.

Leeds Abbey Dash 10 km, 26 November 2006.

Men. 1 J Ndaysenga (Birchfield) 29:15; 55 P Willis 33:10; M Whiting 35:28.

Wolverton 5 km, Milton Keynes, 25 November 2006.

Men. 1 D Mitchison (Newham &EB) 24:42; 10 J Kimaiyo 26:49.

UK Cross Challenge, Sefton Park, Liverpool, 25 November 2006.

Men's 10 km. 1 F Tickner (Wells) 31:18; 48 P Wicks 34:01.

South of Thames CC Assoc. 5 miles Team Race, Epsom Downs, 25 November 2006.

Men. 1 H Evans (Tonbridge) 29:03; 5 M Byansi 30:22; 20 W Cockerell 32:03; 40 M Humphrey 33:52; 100 H Corbett M45 38:50; 128 S Baxendale 41:54; 153 finished.

Teams: 1 Kent AC 40; 2 Reading AC 71; 3 Crawley AC 78; 9 Belgrave H 165; 29 teams closed in.

NCAA Division 1 Champs, Terra Haute, IN USA, 20 November 2006.

Men's 10 km. 1 J Rohatinsky (BYU) 30:44.9; 137 D Gauson (Butler/Belgrave) 32:56.5.

Brooks Brighton 10 km, Brighton, 19 November 2006.

Men. 1 J Ward (Altrincham) 30:01; 2 S Sharp (1st SEAA) 30:13 (30:11 chip); P Cross M50 39:11; L Rehn M40 42:19.

Jersey Spartan Half Marathon, 19 November 2006.

Men. 1 P Freary 1:08:57.

Herbert's Hole Challenge 10 km multi-terrain, Chesham, 19 November 2006.

Men. 1 E O'Gorman (Chiltern) 40:53; 3 M Humphrey 41:09.

Gauldry Gallop Open 8 km, Gauldry, Fife, 18 November 2006.

Men. 1 Y Colombet (G Heriot) 27:14; 4 G Oudney 27:41.

Bahrain Marathon Relay, 17 November 2006.

2.7 km N Speaight 7:52; 3.2 km N Speaight 10:38.

VAC 5.2 miles, Wimbledon, 18 November 2006.

M70. 1 F Gander 45:35.

London Colleges League, Wimbledon, 15 November 2006.

5.6 miles. 1 A Vernon (St.M/Aldershot F&D) 32:47; 12 A Marek (gst) 36:38.

Frostbite League 5 miles multi terrain, Bushfield, Peterborough, 12 November 2006.

Men. 1 N Speaight 25:31.

Leatherhead Fire Station 10 km, 12 November 2006.

Men. 1 K Quinn (Aldershot F&D) 32:38; 50 P Cross M50 41:01.

Hellrunner, Long Moor Army Camp, 12 November 2006.

Men. 1 R Jebb 1:02:48; 12 M Whiting 1:13:56.

Bushy Park Time Trial, 11 November 2006.

Women. 1 S O'Sullivan (Thames H&H) 18:05; 15 C Eastham 23:19.

Sweatshop Men's Surrey CC League, Division One, Race 2, Coulsdon, 11 November 2006.

Not so "Happy Valley"

Coulsdon might have come earlier in the season than usual but it produced its normal low take-up among  Belgrave runners.  Hallowed cross country ground Farthing Downs and Happy Valley might be, but there is definitely a feeling that this course with its flinty, rutty and rooty section, where ankles are already under strain thanks to the camber, is something to be avoided. 

Unfortunately Phil Wicks, winner though he was in the end, wonders whether he will run this one again. He suffered from a turned ankle on lap one, having broken clear of the field with guesting Huw Lobb (Bedford &C). Ignoring the pain he pushed on for a second lap and took 60 metres out of Huw but only a jog was possible the following day and no running at all the day after.  Phil is obviously in good shape in spite of his recent shin splints and cold but the problems keep stacking up against him as he targets the ever-nearing U23 European Trial. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

John Kimaiyo was our second man for most of the race but, suffering on the far side of the final lap, found himself being swept up by the Skipper whose command to, "stick with me!" was willingly taken up. A powerful descent to the finish had the two of them racing it out and into the funnel almost together.  Will was pleased to have edged Thames rival Nick Altmann ... and then came Tom Ellacott with a tremendous run.    

Herne Hill are on a Surrey League roll and by now they had swamped the finish funnel with five men in before double figures had been reached and their ten men home in 26; we were having to wait a little longer. Mark Humphrey, taking a break from the "Run Fat Boy Run" film set was delighted to have the beating of Knut Hegvold for his highest ever league place.  Then behind Warren Lynch and James Fairbourn, Robert Norville DID make the ten this time - as did Matthew Taylor.

So, we reach the halfway stage over 400 points adrift of Herne Hill and the league seems pretty much sorted with Dulwich doomed to return to Division Two.  But there's always a challenge to take up.  Next race is on our home course, the other side of Christmas, where it would be nice to move back into second spot.    

Senior Men. 5.44 miles. 1 P Wicks (Belgrave) 27:51; 2 H Lobb (guest) 28:04, 3 I Lockett (Herne Hill) 28:21; 17 J Kimaiyo 30:00; 18 W Cockerell 30:00; 20 T Ellacott 30:21; 39 M Humphrey 31:32; 41 K Hegvold 31:35; 48 W Lynch 32:03; 60 J Fairbourn U20 32:30; 92 R Norville 34:51; 113 M Taylor 36:42; 132 H Corbett 38:17; 139 P Cross 38:50;145 L Rehn M40 39:44; 154 finished.

Teams: 1 Herne Hill H 130; 2 Thames H&H 268; 3 Belgrave H 396; 4 Reigate Priory AC 419; 5 Ranelagh H 430; 6 South London H 569; 7 Guildford &G AC 571; 8 Stragglers 607; 9 Dulwich R 705.

Overall: 1 Herne Hill H 287; 2 Thames H&H 663; 3 Belgrave 710; 4 Ranelagh H 808; 5 South London H 1021; 6 Reigate Priory AC 1026; 7 Stragglers AC 1106; 8 Guildford &G AC 1175; 9 Dulwich R 1394.

U17/U15. 2.72 miles. 1 D Altendorf (SLH U17); 6 S Etem (HHH 1st U15) 16:59; 10 J Taylor-Holland (4th U15) 17:40.

Above: Chrissie Wellington, Sarah Gailey, Sarah Murphy, Catherine Bryson, Vicky Clarke, Louise Cooper, Helen Smethurst and Tilly Heaton enjoy a celebratory "cuppa" after the second league race at Lightwater. Photo by Junior Galley.

Surrey Women's CC League, Division One, Race 2, Lightwater, 11 November 2006.

Belles open up the gap

With the Belles fielding the same team plus extras that won XC1 at Epsom just a few weeks before there was an air of confidence and excitement in the team. Could this be a double win and a clear signal to the competition that the Belles were battling to regain the Surrey League title?

The race started well with Chrissie, Catherine and Sarah all up in the top 15 on the first short lap of the course. Naomi Warner and a couple of the Herne Hill girls had decided to make a quick start of the race, but Chrissie and co., weren't too far behind. By the time the group had come through the start area the second time Naomi had dropped back considerably much to the spectators' surprise. It turned out that both Naomi and Chrissie had taken a wrong turn at the end of lap one and whilst Chrissie managed to get back on track pretty quickly poor Naomi had not been so lucky.

Not one to let a little difficulty put her off Chrissie took advantage of the situation and began to make a clean break. Catherine Bryson was more cautious and there was a steady gap between her and Chrissie which was filled by 3 or 4 rapidly tiring athletes. By the time the 3rd lap was coming to an end and Chrissie headed round the final bend in the lead, Catherine had also had a storming breakthrough and sprinted home to provide the Belles with their first 1-2 since this team manager's been around.

And then came Sarah Murphy following just 30 seconds behind - the Belles 3rd runner - followed by Vicky Clarke, whom we welcomed back to the team after a racing absence of some months. Tilly Heaton closed the Belles team in with all five coming home the top 20. An awesome result.

Whilst our competitors were still trying to finish 3 or 4 athletes, our 6th and 7th runners were coming home in 30th and 34th spots respectively. Erica Fogg was a welcome late addition to the squad and Sarah Gailey continued to show her aptitude for distance running.

Helen Smethurst, suffering from a cold, finished in 45th; Louise Cooper, still suffering from the Snowdonia Marathon, came home some places further back than usual in 83rd; and new non-scoring team member, Marketa Johnson, finished in 90th spot. 140 Division 1 runners finished.

In terms of team results, the Belles had a clear win, scoring just 50 points. Whereas we only had a few points advantage after Match 1, the gap had widened, with Stragglers and Thames both scoring 108 points, and injury-stricken Ranelagh only managing 4th with 134 points.

Overall in the league, this places the Belles a clear first ahead of Thames and Ranelagh.

There is no room for complacency though and the Belles need to ensure that 74 point margin isn't eroded over the next couple of fixtures.

In our own plate competition Chrissie Wellington is currently heading the table with a clean sweep of 40 points so far. Catherine Bryson and Sarah Murphy have both scored a 2nd and 3rd place to give them both 37 points. However, with 4 races still to go in the plate, this could all change.

Megan Evans had some company in the U15 race for once as Krystal Galley (Junior’s daughter) made a welcome appearance for the team. Considering this was her first cross country outing she made good ground, working with Megan over the first lap and then making a break to move ahead, finishing 9th to Megan’s 10th position. Both girls have only moved up to this age group this year and were battling girls a couple of years older and stronger. Only one U17 girl finished ahead of this dynamic pair. If we could just attract a few more then we could turn out a reasonably strong squad in this age group.

Megan and Krystal are
pictured right by Junior Galley.

Senior Women: 1 C Wellington 23:40; 2 C Bryson 23:48; 3 F Clarke (Reigate) 23:51; 11 S Murphy 24:23; 16 V Clarke 25:16; 20 M Heaton 25:40; 30 E Fogg 26:22; 34 S Gailey 26:36; 45 H Smethurst W40 27:25; 83 L Cooper 30:16; 90 n/s M Johnson 30:28; 140 finished.

Teams: 1 Belgrave H 50; =2 Stragglers AC and Thames H&H 108; 4 Ranelagh H 134; 5 Herne Hill H 150; 6 South London H 157; 7 West 4 160; 8 Wimbledon W 162; 10 Belgrave 'B' 237.

Overall: 1 Belgrave H 112; 2 Thames H&H 186; 3 Ranelagh H 201; 4

Under 15: 1 I Brinsden (E&E) 16:12; 2 G Shephard (E&E) 16:15; 3 A Tracy (G&G) 16:36; 9 K Galley 17:26; 10 M Evans 17:29.

adidas Run Through the Villages 8.44 miles, Wheelton, 5 November 2006.

Men. 1 P Freary 44:13; 2 R Hayman (Sale) 44:44.

Ronhill Surrey Classic 10 km, Oxshott, 5 November 2006.

Men. 1 T Doran (Elmbridge) 32:58; 4 L Greatorex 34:39; 8 M Webb 35:39; 246 D Davies M65 55:16.

Stevenage Half Marathon inc. SEAA Champs., 5 November 2006.

Men. 1 W Chinhanhu (Poole) 1:05:40; 3 M Byansi 1:10:13; 71 P Cross M50 1:29:09.

Women. 1 J Kang'ara (Belgrave) 1:19:35.

Marlow Half Marathon, 5 November 2006.

Men. 1 M Trees (Belgrave M40) 1:15:21; 395 D McMillan M55 1:51:56.

US Half Marathon, San Francisco, 4 November 2006.

Men. 1 B Poore (Belgrave) 1:09:19.

Alan Scally Road Relays inc Scottish Universities Champs, Glasgow, 4 November 2006.

Women. 10th fastest C Bertram 30:22.

Reigate Priory Cross Country Relays, Priory Park, Reigate, 4 November 2006.

Belles second at Reigate

Sarah Murphy took the first leg, as is her preference, to battle it out up front. Posting the Belles fastest leg of the day, and 5th fastest leg overall, Sarah brought the Belles home in 3rd spot. It was her fastest time ever over the Reigate course on a day when fast times were in evidence.

Tilly is proving to be on the road to full recovery, moving the Belles up one slot and being just 18 seconds down on her best over the Priory. Thinking that Arena's athlete was on her shoulder for the last mile Tilly pushed hard - although the guy who was struggling (but not managing) to get past wouldn't be pleased to hear she thought he was a girl.

And so to last leg, with the Belles a minute and a half down on SLH and with Caroline Hoyte of Arena heading off just after Catherine Bryson, there was tension in the air - could Catherine reel in such a big gap and fend off an aggressive attack from third spot? Unfortunately the SLH runner couldn't be seen throughout the race yet alone be caught, but Catherine confidently held off Arena to bring the Belles home in 2nd slot, and captured the 7th fastest leg of the day.

1 South London H 46:36; 2 Belgrave H 48:21; 3 Arena 80 48:47.

S Murphy (3) 15:48; T Heaton (2) 16:40; C Bryson (2) 15:53.

Fastest: E Baker (South London) 14:05; G Bruinuels (Dorking &MV) 15:37; L Watson (Medway &M) 15:42; S Murphy (Belgrave) 15:48.

ECCA National Cross Country Relays, Berry Hill Park, Mansfield, 4 November 2006.

Tagged in Mansfield

When David Anderson looked around him on the start line of the Senior Men’s race, the last competition of the day, he couldn’t help but be impressed by the number of top clubs and the quality of the runners who had supported the 19th running of the National cross country relays at Mansfield – the 21st occurrence of the event all told.  And it had been the same story in each of the preceding races.

Junior team in action

It was back in 1987 that we last lined up a Junior Men’s squad – four to a team in those days, when the race was held at Crystal Palace – and we placed 7th with Matt and Justin Chaston, Matt Kinane and Glen Tiernan.  A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then and how great it was too see a Belgrave team in action in this age group once more.

With barely a year of the sport behind him and only seven months of proper training James Fairbourn faced up to the best of British under 20 middle-distance talent on the first leg. The pace was terrific and totally different to anything he’d encountered before, having started his running with a couple of marathons (including a 2:51 in Chicago, 2005).  James never gave up fighting but was disappointed with his time; he needn’t be, for we’ve already seen application and determination that will surely take him into our senior teams of the future.

Relishing the thought of a chase, Kris Gauson took over with Newham’s Tom Bilham in close proximity and the two of them set about the field to record a couple of top ten times. Kris has upped his training load this winter and after being a little unhappy with early winter performances, ran a scorcher at the previous week’s Scottish relays and pronounced himself very happy also with his run here at Mansfield.

The Bels were now in 17th but there was still plenty of scope for improvement as Greg Billington tore into the field ahead. Clocking a time just over nine minutes, he overtook eight men before running out of race and having to settle for a final team position inside the top ten and 25 seconds away from the medals.  Greg now plans to tackle the US championships in December. At 17 years of age he has two more winters in the age group and Kris has one – so look for fireworks this time next year!

8th again for the Senior men

Over four stages of 5k (two 2.5k laps for each stage), the aggression shown at the start of the men’s race has to be seen to be believed. A short downhill charge over cropped grassland is followed by a rise and then a further roller coaster down and up again before entering the woods. David Anderson’s progress continues well and he was well up in the leading half dozen with a Staffs Moorlands vest initially at the front before Stockport’s Steve Vernon and Holmfirth’s Nick Goodliffe took over.  Dave handed over to Neil Speaight in 9th spot with few of the eventual top ten placers around him – apart from the ominous presence of Newham & Essex Beagles (4th) and Altrincham (5th). We didn't originally plan to run a B team but Pete Willis was keen to check his fitness and turned up to run first stage.

It was all change on leg two as Jason Ward took Altrincham into the lead and Michael Skinner raised Blackheath’s stock by 17 points to go 2nd.  It was great to welcome “Speaighty” into our team.  Not a huge fan of cross country after an ankle injury earlier in his career, he was nevertheless exuberant at the start before suffering in the middle section of his stint, dropping back out of the top ten … to 13th .. and maybe a couple more places. Then, in the final kilometre on the grass at the top of the course, Neil switched into track mode and pulled back all he had lost and more, moving our colours up to 6th. Great work – and we look forward to seeing him on the road in the spring.

Stage three – and still the ingredients of this exciting race were being mixed. With a quartet that had just four seconds between them, Bedford & County replaced Altrincham at the head of the field while a resurgent Tipton Harriers moved up to second place, Sale Harriers completing the frame.  The only constant in this turnover of colours at the front was the continued presence of the Beagles, never out of the first four. Phil Wicks’ eager return from an injury-induced layoff had gone so well at Sutton Park, but two weeks later and a head cold had kicked in to pull him back again.  He held 6th for as long as he could but eventually had to give way to a couple of opponents, including Aldershot’s Ben Moreau and Mark Husdpith of the Morpeth Harriers who were positioning themselves to slingshot Nick McCormick on the final stage.

All up to Stephen Sharp then – but once again we had given our last man too much to do.  Steve gamely chased McCormick and he pulled back two places to equal our position of 2005.  Andy Vernon pulled AFD into the medals at the expense of Sale, with Tipton dropping from silver to bronze – but it was the Beagles again in front with Mark Warmby now setting his club up for a grand slam of winter titles.

For the first time results were produced using the Champion Chip method with all runners having to wear an ankle tag holding a computer chip with a unique coding that was captured as each runner crossed the line. This enabled the results to be produced to a previously unheard of accuracy in a national cross country race - giving Dave Anderson the huge pleasure of announcing to "Sharpy" that he'd cracked his time by 35/100ths!    

U20 Men's 3 x 3 km. 1 Bristol & West 27:12.95; 2 Owls AC 27:23.35; 3 Liverpool H 27:28.60; 4 Trafford AC 27:31.35; 5 City of Norwich AC 27:33.35; 6 Morpeth H &AC 27:45.75; 7 University of Birmingham 27:48.30; 8 City of Stoke AC 27:52.20; 9 Belgrave H 27:53.95; 10 Notts AC 28:14.35; 71 teams started; 51 teams finished.

J Fairbourn (49) 9:51.60; K Gauson (17) 8:58.45; G Billington (9) 9:03.90.

Fastest: 1 M Mashford (Aldersot F&D) 8:47.55; 2 T Minshull (Trafford) 8:49.10; 3 R Fraser (Owls) 8:49.95; 4 T Bilham (Newham &EB) 8:51.40; 5 A Derricott (City of Stoke) 8:52.55; 6 J Pepper (Uni Birmingham) 8:53.20; ... 11 K Gauson; 14 G Billington.

Senior Men's 4 x 5 km. 1 Newham & Essex Beagles 1:00:42.85; 2 Aldershot F&D AC 1:00:47.20; 3 Tipton H 1:00:54.05; 4 Morpeth H&AC 1:01:03.25; 5 Sale H Manchester 1:01:04.90; 6 Bedford &CAC 1:01:07.55; 7 Altrincham &DAC 1:01:36.00; 8 Belgrave H 1:01:42.35; 9 Owls AC 1:02:00.45; 10 Blackburn H 1:02:18.85; 159 teams started; 132 teams finished.

A team: D Anderson (9) 15:14.35; N Speaight (6) 15:29.75; P Wicks (10) 15:43.55; S Sharp (8) 15:14.70.

B team: P Willis (96) 17:28.65.

Fastest: 1 S Vernon (Stockport) 14:42.65; 2 M Warmby (Newham &EB) 14:44.20; 3 A Vernon (Aldershot F&D) 14:45.60; 4 M Skinner (Blackheath &B) 14:45.90; 5 N McCormick (Morpeth) 14:49.25; 6 5 N Goodliffe (Holmfirth) 14:50.70; ... 21 D Anderson; 22 S Sharp.

Under 17 Men's 3 x 3 km. G Favell 10:42.55.

Algarve Challenge, Portugal, 1 November 2006.

Men. 1 E Malloch (WGwEL) 26:30; 5 W Cockerell 28:51.

London Colleges League, Richmond Park, 1 November 2006.

Men. 1 A Vernon (St Mary's) 28:13; 24 A Marek 31:17.

Barns Green Half Marathon, 29 October 2006.

Men. 1 J Baker (Chichester) 1:09:56; 280 J Pritchard 1:40:20; 467 F Gander M70 1:46:59; 501 D McMillan M55 1:48:10; 879 A Lane M70 2:04:07.

National Trust Snowdonia Marathon, 29 October 2006.

Women. 3 L Cooper 3:16:09.

Noosa 5 km, Australia 29 October 2006.

Men. 1 M Dent 14:10.

Rainforest Foundation Taut 10 km, Regents Park, 29 October 2006.

Men. 1 M Byansi 32:08; 2 J Kimaiyo 32:21.

Women. 1 H Yelling (Winsor SE&H) 34:18; 2 B Dagne 34:23; 3 J Kang'ara 34:50.

Folkestone Rotary Half Marathon, 29 October 2006.

Men. 1 J Creane (Folkestone) 1:12:50; 39 P Cross M50 1:32:52.

Ronhill Surrey Classic 10 km, Nonsuch Park, 29 October 2006.

Men. 1 W Clark (Epsom &E) 32:51; 9 M Webb 35:52; 224 D Davies M65 53:08.

Scottish CC Relays, Cumbernauld, 28 October 2006.

Men's 4 km. Fastest: 1 M Pollard (Inverclyde) 13:17; 6 K Gauson U20 13:38.

Women's 4 km. 1 F Murray (Edinburgh S) 15:12; C Bertram 17:49.

DODDS European Schools CC Champs, Schwetzingen, Germany, 28 October 2006.

Men's 5 km. 1 G Billington 15:48.97.

UK Cross Challenge, Senneleys Pk, Birmingham, 28 October 2006.

Womens 6 km. 1 H Yelling (Windsor SE&H) 22:22; 28 C Wellington 24:29.

Butler Horizon League CC 8 km, Indianapolis USA, 28 October 2006.

Men. 1 S Overall (Butler/Blackheath) 24:53.7; 4 D Gauson 25:36.9.

Bushy Park Time Trial, 28 October 2006.

Men. 1 R Stannard 16:07.

Women. 1 R Disley (Thames H&H) 19:13; 6 S Gailey 20:48; 34 J Moore W45 26:06.

Serpentine Last Friday 5 km, Hyde Park, 27 October 2006.

Men. 1 J Shane (Basildon) 15:59; 31 T O'Neill M50 18:27; 58 L Rehn M40 19:49.

Women. 1 H Wilson (West 4H) 17:58; 4 H Smethurst W40 19:00.

Stroud Half Marathon, 22 October 2006.

Men. 5 M Byansi 1:10:50.

Maidstone Half Marathon, 22 October 2006.

Men. P Hasler (Paddock Wood) 1:13:00; 89 P Cross M50 1:33:48.

Waddington 10 km, Clitheroe, 22 October 2006.

Men. 1 P Freary 31:51.

Ampthill CC Trophy, Ampthill, Beds, 22 October 2006.

Men. 1 H Lobb (Bedford &C) 28:19; 10 M Whiting 32:55.

Croydon 10 km, 22 October 2006.

Men. 1 J Kimaiyo 32:18.

ERRA Women's 4-Stage Road Relay, Sutton Park, 21 October 2006  Full result

1 Birchfield H 59:33; 2 Aldershot F&DAC 59:39; 3 Charnwood AC 1:00:17; 26 Belgrave H 1:05:17; 98 teams started; 78 teams finished.

Belgrave H - S Murphy (44) 16:06; S Gailey (42) 16:57; M Heaton (32) 16:14; C Bryson (26) 16:00.

Fastest: 1 H Clitheroe (Preston) 14:11; 2 J Blizzard (Rotherham) 14:12; 3 C Mutwa (Birchfield) 14:13; 4 H Dean (Hallamshire), J Wilkinson (Bedford &C) 14:18; 6 S Twell (Aldershot F&D) 14:19.

ERRA Men's 6-Stage Road Relay, Sutton Park, 21 October 2006  Full result

Five year run comes to an end

To win five times in a row requires more than talent - it requires the continued generosity of Lady Luck - and in 2006, after favouring the Bels for half a decade, she turned her back on us.  Losing Mark Miles with a cold followed by a chest infection was a big blow but this problem was chased by another when we learned that Jonathan Blackledge's return from an end of season break had been delayed by tendonitis.  And then with race day looming Richard Ward had to pull out with a muscle problem.  All this doesn't just hit the A team of course, it filters down to the Bs as well where, additionally, Mike Trees had picked up a hamstring problem, Hassan Raidi was in Morocco, the Skipper was in Vietnam ... and so it went on through 21 names until it became obvious that we weren't going to be able to complete a B squad.

The Beagles had a top team out but we were pleased with our final line-up, still hoping for medals, and Phil Wicks had a grin that stretched from ear to ear when he found he was back in the A team.

Stage 1

There was some talent on parade on stage one.  Sharpy looked oh! so fit as he took his place on the start line, and as the gun fired and elbows jostled he took station in a leading bunch that remained intact for most of the lap before Birchfield's Burundian John Ndayisenga, 6th behind Milesy's 5th in the Horwich 5k, made a run for it towards the end and broke away.  Michael East headed the bunch for the Beagles but there was really nothing in it as Stephen came through in 4th.

1 J Ndayisenga (Birchfield H) 17:21; 2 M East (Newham &EB) 17:25; 3 D Samuels (Morpeth) 17:28; 4 S Sharp (Belgrave) 17:32; 5 K Heywood (Bristol) 17:35; 6 D Pettit (Peterborough) 17:37; ... 45 J Kimaiyo (Belgrave B) 18:44; 77 teams started.

Stage 2

Paul Freary set off in confident mood and by the foot of the hill was already drifting into the lead as Birchfield began a 24 place crash, Morpeth dropped away and Newham's talented junior Tom Bilham also came back. Paul was still ahead as they ran along the top but he could hear breathing close behind as Bilham came back to give the Beagles a one second lead over Altrincham with Lincoln Wellington and Harrow also squeezing past. Just 12 seconds covered the first five.

1 Newham &EB (+1) 35:15; 2 Altrincham (+7) 35:16; 3 Lincoln W (+7) 35:18; 4 Harrow (+20) 35:26; 5 Belgrave (-1) 35:27; 6 Tipton (+5) 35:35; ... 44 Belgrave B (+1) 37:33.

Fastest: A Bowden (Harrow) 17:17; 2 J Mays (Kent) 17:21; 3 A McLean (Team Soton) 17:21; 14 P Freary 17:55; ... 36 M Byansi 18:49.

Stage 3

Step up Phil Wicks. Originally scheduled for first leg for the Bs, Phil was delighted with the additional excitement of running in the A squad. After weeks of being unable to run because of shin splints, during which he had kept aerobically fit by much swimming and cycling, he was back where he loved to be.  There's no doubt that this was a painful run for him as he struggled to suck in oxygen and felt oh! so tired as the lap unwound; but he moved up a place and clocked a time which showed us that there is an extremely low 17 run due to pop out any time he tackles this circuit with a decent background.

Mark Warmby began to push the chips the way of the Beagles and Jason Ward kept "Alty" in contention but as Lincoln and Harrow's challenge faded, into the frame crept the familiar green and white hooped vest of Tipton, back in contention after a couple of years in the wilderness.

1 Newham &EB (0) 52:30; 2 Altrincham (0) 53:03; 3 Tipton (+3) 53:05; 4 Belgrave (+1) 53:19; 5 Sale (+2) 53:40; 6 Aldershot F&D (+7) 53:52; ... 44 Belgrave B (0) 57:02.

Fastest: 1 M Warmby (Newham &EB) 17:15; 2 D Webb (Leeds C) 17:29; 3 N Burton (Tipton) 17:30; ... 11 P Wicks 17:52; 51 P Willis 19:29.

Stage 4

Tipped for a good run, eighteen year-old Kris Gauson set out on stage four. Altrincham's bid subsided and very soon Kris was into 3rd but, now running on his own, his pace judgement let him down. Undoubtedly extremely fit, he was hitting the early part of the stage too hard and by the time the takeover had been reached a posse of five men had jumped him - Scaife (Morpeth), Frank Tickner (a scintillating 17:03 for Wells City), Cox (Bristol), North (Sale) and Robinson (AFD).  Newham and Tipton seemed to be comfortably in charge of gold and silver while the Bels - and four other teams - were within ten seconds of bronze.

1 Newham &EB (0) 1:10:01; 2 Tipton (+1) 1:10:55; 3 Morpeth  (+4) 1:11:49; 4 Wells C (+12) 1:11:51; 5 Bristol &W (+3) 1:11:52; 6 Sale (-1) 1:11:54; ... 8 Belgrave (-4) 1:11:59; 46 Belgrave B (-2) 1:16:56.

Fastest: 1 F Tickner (Wells C) 17:03; 2 M Geele (Newham &EB) 17:31; 3 D Deed (Bedford &C) 17:39; ... 19 K Gauson 18:40; 50 M Humphrey 19:54.

Stage 5

Nicholls (Tipton) and Vernon (Aldershot) put in the two fastest runs of stage five as the autumnal Sutton Park squalls began bending the trees and showering spectators and racers alike. But third fastest on the road was Simon Jones, reeling in Sale, Morpeth and Wells City, and clocking a time only seven seconds slower than Sharpy on stage one. Quiet in manner and steady in pace Simon's steely determination is proving a real asset to the Belgrave team. 

1 Newham &EB (0) 1:27:44; 2 Tipton (0) 1:28:16; 3 Aldershot F&D (+4) 1:29:20; 4 Bristol &W (+1) 1:29:32; 5 Belgrave (+3) 1:29:38; 6 Morpeth (-3) 1:30:08.

Fastest: 1 P Nicholls (Tipton) 17:21; 2 A Vernon (Aldershot F&D) 17:24; 3 S Jones (Belgrave) 17:39.

Stage 6

With Mo Farah lined up for the last lap, the voyage of the Beagles was all but complete.  Tipton too seemed safe in second - but what could our Davey do in the way of salvaging a set of bronze medals.  He had an eighteen second gap to make up on Aldershot - it seemed possible - but Bristol's last man, setting out a mere six seconds ahead of him, was one Rob Whalley - in good shape and looking to impress the selectors and gain a British Ekiden Relay team slot.

With a way to go to reach top form, David did indeed pull back AFD but Whalley was too big an ask on this occasion.  It was good running from our Vice-Skipper but with luck his best form will be seen in that period the other side of Christmas when National Cross and 12-Stage Relays enter our minds.

It was good to view Tipton back near the top and also to see local rivals Herne Hill make the journey to Sutton Park.  Commiserations to Wells City who lost Adrian Marriott (rumoured to have been hospitalised the day before) and Notts AC whose first leg runner was injured just as the runners were beginning to line up.


1 Newham &EB (0) 1:44:46; 2 Tipton H (0) 1:46:24; 3 Bristol &W (+1) 1:47:01; 4 Belgrave H (+1) 1:47:29; 5 Morpeth H&AC (+1) 1:47:58; 6 Aldershot F&DAC -(3) 1:48:03; 73 teams finished.

Fastest: 1 M Farah (Newham &EB) 17:02; 2 R Whalley (Bristol &W) 17:29; 3 D Bilton (LeedsC) 17:45; ... 5 D Anderson 17:51.

Fastest overall:

1 M Farah (Newham &EB) 17:02; 2 F Tickner (Wells C) 17:03; 3 M Warmby (Newham &EB) 17:15; 4 A Bowden (Harrow AC) 17:17; 5= A MacLean (Team Soton), J Mays (Kent AC), P Nicholls (Tipton), J Ndayisenga (Birchfield H) 17:21; 9 A Vernon (Aldershot F&DAC) 17:24; 10 M East (Newham &EB) 17:25.

SIS Sandhurst Poppy Hill Trail 10 km, 15 October 2006.

Men. 1 T Lambert (Alton) 34:53; 11 P Cross 1st-M50 43:47.

Cumbria Half Marathon, 15 October 2006.

Men. 1 T Abyu (Salford) 1:09:48; 3 J Kimaiyo 1:10:03.

Cabbage Patch 10 miles, Twickenham, 15 October 2006.

Men. 1 S Kasimili (Kenya) 48:37; 9 M Byansi 53:24.

Women. 1 O Kimaiyo (Kenya) 55:46; 2 B Dagne 56:06.

Bushy Park 5 km, 14 October 2006.

Men. 1 W Cockerell 16:18.

NCAA Pre-National Meet 8 kmCC, Indiana USA, 14 October 2006.

Men. 9 S Overall (Butler/Blackheath) 23:53; 100 D Gauson 24:54.

Surrey County Veterans CC Champs, Petersham, 14 October 2006.

M40. 1 P Doyles (Ranelagh) 33:33; 12 S Zealey 38:14; 26 H Corbett M45 43:04; 30 R Walsh 47:54. Teams: 1 Ranelagh 13; 2 South London 21; 3 Hercules Wimbledon 29; 6 Belgrave 68.

M50. 1 B Attwell (South London) 36:18; 12 T O'Neill 40:02; 14 M Nouch 41:02; 19 P Cross 42:29; 24 D Anderson 44:01. Teams: 1 South London 13; 2 Hercules Wimb. 23; 3 Ranelagh 23; 4 Belgrave 45

M60. 1 G Newton (Tadworth) 40:46; 10 F Gander M70 48:56; 99 G Collins M65 52:02; 16 C Henn M75 55:05; 18 A Lane M70 59:04.

Women. 1 C Diss (Herne Hill 22:22; 43 J Moore W45 34:22.

Southend Classic 10 km, 8 October 2006.

Men. 1 C Bloomfield (Billericay) 31:32; 156 P Cross M50 40:41.

Woburn Abbey 10 km, 8 October 2006.

Men. 1 P Freary 31:23.

Surrey Women's CC League, Division One Race 1, Epsom Downs, 7 October 2006.

It's close - but Belles win League opener

Although team managers don't generally like surprises, the ones at Epsom Downs on Saturday weren't just good, they were very good. Having thought the team may be a little low on numbers due to various illnesses and injuries we ended up with a strong squad of eight for the first fixture of the season. Sadly there were no youngsters though, as Megan Evans had been taken ill the night before.

New team member Chrissie Wellington kept her running talent hidden to begin with as she'd never tackled a cross country race before and was doing it to build strength for her triathlon races. Not to worry advised the team manager, it's a 2 lap course, take it easy on the 1st lap and then if you're feeling strong on the 2nd, up the tempo. Hmmm, how foolish did the TM feel when she flew past in 3rd place after the first lap looking very comfortable and then managed to pick off the exceedingly talented Emily Nelson of Epsom & Ewell towards the end of the final lap to finish in 2nd place behind Lucy Hassell. Only after did we discover that she'd recently won the World Triathlon Age Group Champs (for all age groups!). Welcome to the team Chrissie, and we're looking forward to seeing more of you over the cross country.

But it wasn't a one person team effort, and following close behind in 8th place was the ever-present Sarah Murphy. Despite still suffering with knee problems this was another outstanding run from Sarah and she was closely followed by our youngest team member, Catherine Bryson, just outside the top 10, in 11th spot.

Tilly Heaton showed she was returning to her previous form with a top 20 finish (19th) and Erica Fogg closed in the team in 22nd place, having driven up from Southampton that morning. A quick tally of the other teams showed that the Belles had taken a good lead ahead of Thames and Ranelagh, although when the final results were published it proved to be a lot closer than originally perceived, with Ranelagh only 5 points behind.

Although a complete B team wasn't fielded, Sarah Gailey continued her ongoing improvement over the longer distances, and Helen Smethurst bravely tackled the cross country despite only just recovering from a foot injury to finish a solid 41st. Louise Cooper, more at home over longer distances still, managed to close in for the Belles in 54th place. It's going to be tough to maintain our lead in the league, but with a number of reliably strong team members absent but planning to be around in the next few fixtures, it's possible that we could wrest the title back from Ranelagh again.

1 L Hassell (Thames H&H) 18:14; 2 C Wellington (Belgrave) 19:16; 3 E Nelson (Epsom & E) 19:23; 8 S Murphy 19:42; 11 C Bryson 20:13; 19 M Heaton 20:54; 22 E Fogg 21:04; 39 S Gailey 22:02; 41 H Smethurst W40 22:07; 54 L Cooper 22:45.

Teams: 1 Belgrave H 62; 2 Ranelagh H 67; 3 Thames H&H 78; 4 Stragglers 165; 5 Herne Hill H 166; 6 Wimbledon Windmilers 167; 7 South London H 209; 8 Epsom & E 215; ... 19 Belgrave H 'B' 467; 36 teams.

Sweatshop Men's Surrey CC League, Division One Race 1, Brockwell Park, 7 October 2006.

Second place at Brockwell Park

“Looks like we’re going to have a picnic,” said Rob Harding, when he showed up with his family and saw the cool bags and cake boxes stacked at the foot of the Belgrave flag.  Afterwards, maybe, but the race was no picnic as Herne Hill slammed all-comers on their home turf.

Several days of heavy rain had failed to do more than encourage the grass to grow, and on the lush Brockwell Park sward, in brilliant sunshine, around 170 runners charged away from the start. The course had been extended a little to make it a full five miles this year.

John Kimaiyo and Malachi Byansi led up the slope but as soon as the top had been gained it was Jermaine Mays, in South London’s colours, in the front – and he stayed there for the next half hour. Dave Anderson chased hard to start with but having just had a cold found himself engulfed in a wave of dizziness that he couldn’t shake off – and wisely came out just before the end of the first lap when lying in second place.

“Sharpy” was not to be found in his normal front rank position. He was using the race as a training run and attempting to keep his heart rate below 175 before letting rip in the last 15 minutes. But not far away was Richard Stannard, World Aquathlon Champion from Lausanne a few weeks back and starting a winter of cross country in a quest to get his 5k time down to 14:30 next summer.  The Skipper and Mike Trees were also in the vicinity so the scoring position wasn’t too bad but it was obvious that Herne Hill were on their way to a win.

Into the second lap then. Stephen Sharp pulled back places but while Malachi and John Kimaiyo held their positions, Richard found himself under attack from Will Cockerell and then Mike Trees, as he faded towards the end of the race. Good to see that Knut Hegvold has shaken off his foot injury – but then a little gap until juniors Alex Bodin (non-scoring) and James Fairbourn came through.  James has recently started at Loughborough University but says he has every intention of getting back for each of the league races.

Soon the leaders were approaching the finish.  Stephen was into 4th … and then 3rd as he overtook McFarlane of Thames but then ran out of race before Herne Hill’s Dave Taylor could be reached.  Each of the others more or less held their positions with another astonishing performance from Malachi.  Completing the ten it was Warren Lynch and - would you believe it – Rob Harding. Apologies to Robert Norville, who ran a good race and went away thinking he’d made the scorers for the first time. 

Among the rest of our 21 starters, Peter Cross made a rare and welcome excursion onto the country, Tim Weeks began his climb back to fitness after months of inactivity and our President Dave McMillan celebrated his election to high office with two energetic laps of Brockwell Park.

As is often the case, we’ve given ourselves a fair old handicap if we have any intentions of winning the league – we were exactly double the winning team’s score.  But if it was a lackadaisical day for the Bels it was doubly so for Thames who found themselves behind Ranelagh for the first time in many seasons.

In the youngsters' race Joseph Taylor-Holland was our sole representative.  We had hoped for more to back him up - but somehow they didn't materialize.  He might have been on his own but as last year's individual U13 winner, Joe looks set to make a big impact in the U15s this time around.

1 J Mays (South London) 25:58; 2 D Taylor M40 (Herne Hill) 26:23; 3 S Sharp (Belgrave) 26:37; 14 J Kimaiyo 27:51; 15 M Byansi 27:57; 17 W Cockerell 28:00; 20 M Trees M40 28:09; 21 R Stannard 28:15; 33 K Hegvold M40 29:05; 47 (guest) A Bodin (U20) 29:48; 57 (scoring 52) J Fairbourn U20 30:15; 68 (62) W Lynch 30:32; 89 (77) R Harding M40 31:37; 97 R Norville 31:57; 99 S Zealey (M40) 32:09; 122 T Weeks 33:56; 128 M Taylor (M40) 34:18; 139 P Cross (M50) 35:36; 140 H Corbett (M40) 35:41; 154 L Rehn (M40) 38:07; 157 D McMillan (M50) 40:08; 162 finished; dnf D Anderson; S Baxendale.

1 Herne Hill H 157; 2 Belgrave H 314; 3 Ranelagh H 378; 4 Thames H&H 395; 5 South London H 452; 6 Stragglers 499; 7 Guildford &G 604; 8 Reigate Priory 607; 9 Dulwich R 689.

Under 15. 1 T Nunn (Ranelagh) 15:44; 6 J Taylor-Holland 16:37.

BUPA Great North Run, Newcastle, 1 October 2006.

Men. 1 H Ramaala (RSA) 1:01:03; 1096 P Cross M50 1:34:19.

Women. 1 B Adere (Ethiopia) 1:10:03; 13 B Dagne 1:14:45.

BMAF Northern Veterans 10 miles, 1 October 2006.

Men. 1 P Freary 52:35.

Highclere Castle Multi-Terrain 10 km, 1 October 2006.

Women. 1 L Cooper 39:48.

George Cummings Relays, Houston, 30 September 2006.

Women. 3x2.7 miles: C Bertram 16:56.

Bushy Park 5 km, 30 September 2006.

Men. 1 A Bodin U20 16:18; 2 W Cockerell 16:22; 22 N Levy 19:42.

Women. 1 C Pauzers (Herne H) 18:36; 3 E Viljoen 19:59.

Bill Dellinger Cross Invitation, "Pre's Trail" 8 km, 30 September 2006.

Men. 1 J Rohatinaky (Byu) 22:58.37; 55 D Gauson 24:28.96.

Bexhill Seafront 10 km, 24 September 2006.

Men. 1 C Illman (Cirencester) 35:17; 21 P Cross 41:28.

Windsor Half-Marathon, 24 September 2006.

Men. 1 T Abyu (Salford) 1:06:25; 2 M Miles 1:07:58.

Women. 1 B Dagne 1:15:07.

Swansea 10 km, 24 September 2006.

BMAF Championship. M55. 1 J Exley (Oxford C) 35:43; 2 C Dickinson 36:08.

Roy Griak Cross Invitation, University of Minnesota, 23 September 2006.

Men. 1 R Cheseret (Arizona/Kenya) 24:22; 115 D Gauson 26:26.

Aldershot Relays inc. SEAA Men’s 6-Stage road Relay, Rushmoor Arena, 23 September 2006

Beagles and Wells beat the Bels

Missing Phil Wicks (injured), Spencer Barden (retired from top level competition), Jonathan Blackledge (on a break), Tim Watson (overseas with the Army) and Alaster Stewart (a long term viral problem) - only Stephen Sharp survived in the A squad from last year's winning outfit.  Others unavailable included Kris Gauson (on a break followed up by being ill), Darren Gauson (at university in the USA) and David Anderson (at a wedding); and yet hopes were still high and a fifth consecutive win was certainly being targeted. On this day, however, it would have taken a superhuman effort to outrun Newham & Essex Beagles - and all credit to Wells City who operated at full strength to take silver medals. Our own run went a little haywire on stage two but many times were down on expectations and with the Beagles in full cry - maybe it was a good day to have a bad day! 

For the first time prize money was available - £250 for the fastest lap with a £100 bonus for breaking the individual course record.

Stage 1

Should we start off with Richard Ward, on his first tour of duty in Rushmoor Arena, or Shugri Omar, fit after a late start to his track season but with no 5k form behind him.  We went with the former – and it worked out right.  Richard was close to his expected time and 7th place was a solid start – but up front another 1500 metre runner of note was making the early pace and came home in second place – Newham’s Michael East.  Stage winner was Poole’s Willard Chinhanhu.

Stage 2

A good run in the previous week’s Bristol Half Marathon cemented Hassan’s place in the team but what we didn’t know was that race day at Rushmoor coincided with the first day of Ramadan and Hassan was fasting.  On his initial lap he slipped back and although he tried to respond to encouragement to pick it up over the second circuit, things did not get any better. Instead of moving up a place or two, Hassan found half a dozen men coming past him and he ran a minute slower than we might have thought.  We were 13th and a minute and a half off the lead.

Newham had moved ahead by a pace or two from Wells City who were already impressing – the Somerset club were second in 2005 and once again they’d managed to attend Rushmoor Arena with a full strength team.  Fastest on the lap was Angus MacLean of Southampton, a second ahead of Kent’s Jermain Mays.

Stage 3

Well, it was all set up for Stephen Sharp with a string of men ahead to pull on.  He felt good – but that speedy time didn’t come.  Stephen was fastest on the stage but his 18:28 was his slowest on this course and he probably has yet to settle down after a change in coaching regime.  Newham’s lesser-known runners were holding up well in front and there was still only a second in it between them and Wells City.  Kent were into 3rd but six clubs had fallen to Stephen’s stride and we were back to 7th – although still just over a minute down.

Stage 4

Paul Freary had been clocking up some good times recently and took the precaution of not running the half marathon the previous week.  It paid off.  He tells us that he’s learned something over the years and that he’s reigning himself in over the early stages of his races these days.  Determined to go through the first kilometre no faster than 3 minutes, he nevertheless hit that mark in 2:50 and as a result still felt that he “blew up.”  Nevertheless, his tussle with Aldershot’s Ben Moreau resulted in a time only one second slower than his best and, more importantly, took us into 3rd place.  Frank Tickner scorched a 17:59 to put Wells 45 seconds ahead but nobody had any thoughts that the race was over, seeing who the Beagles had lined up for their last two stages.

Stage 5

Always our star man, Mark Miles toed the line for stage five but the gaps were too large for us to dream of an advance to silver medals.  Moumin Geele for Newham ripped into the Wells’ lead and just less than 18 minutes later moved a step ahead of Adrian Marriott to regain pole position.  An isolated Mark pulled back 35 seconds on Marriott and gave us a cushion of a minute and a quarter on AFD.  We weren’t going to win but we certainly didn’t want to end up out of the medals.

Stage 6

Mohammed Farah toyed with Wells’ Ben Tickner for a while but then turned on the after-burners to clock an outstanding 17:14 – 7 seconds away from a course record that dates back to 1989.  Our own Simon Jones had come down with a cold after the previous weekend’s effort at Bristol where he had felt very sluggish.  We had considered taking him out of the line-up but he was intent on putting down some sort of mark to be thrown into the National selection process.  Our Skipper gamely took on the job of anchorman for the Bs, ready to switch teams should Simon feel too bad in warm up.  As it turned out, and in spite of suffering somewhat, Simon clocked a respectable time and bronze medals became even more secure.

In this qualifier a top twenty-five placing is required to clinch a place on the start line at Sutton Park.  Our B team were never lower than that mark and came through strongly to finally place 15th with Newham’s B’s 14th and Aldershot’s 16th.  

1 Newham & Essex Beagles 1:49:20; 2 Wells City H 1:50:27; 3 Belgrave H 1:51:48; 4 Aldershot Farnham & D AC 1:53:10; 5 Kent AC 1:54:21; 6 Bedford & County AC 1:54:57; 15 Belgrave H ‘B’ 1:58:47; dnf Belgrave H ‘C’; 91 teams started; 76 teams finished.

A – R Ward (7) 18:31; H Raidi (13) 19:36; S Sharp (7) 18:28; P Freary (3) 18:25; M Miles (3) 18:06; S Jones (3) 18:42.

B – S Omar (13) 18:48;  K Hegvold M40 (24) 20:14; M Humphrey (25) 20:42; M Byansi (18) 19:24; P Willis (17) 20:01; W Cockerell (15) 19:38.

C – J Kimaiyo (16) 19:13; J Fairbourn U20 20:56; A Bodin U20 (36) 20:49; W Lynch (41) 21:33; D McMillan M55 27:24.

Fastest: 1 M Farah (Newham &EB) 17:14; 2 A MacLean (T Southampton) 17:41; 3 J Mays (Kent) 17:42; 4 W Chinhanhu (Poole) 17:53; 5 M Geele (Newham &EB) 17:55; 6 M East (Newham &EB) 17:56; 10 M Miles 18:06; 17 P Freary 18:25; =18 S Sharp 18:28.

Bushy Park 5 km, 23 September 2006.

Women. 2 S Gailey 19:53.

Bristol Half Marathon, 17 September 2006.

Men. 1 P Makau (Kenya) 1:03:37; 4 M Miles 1:05:48; 9 S Jones 1:08:22; 11 H Raidi 1:09:30; 15 M Byansi 1:10:35; 17 J Kipkemoi Kimaiyo 1:10:59.

Teams: 1 Belgrave 39; 2 Bristol & West 159; 3 City of Bath 223; 101 teams closed in.

Women. 1 C Mutwa (Kenya) 1:12:33; 2 B Dagne 1:14:35.

Guardian Copthall 5 miles multi-terrain, Epping, 17 September 2006.

Men. 1 M Humphrey 29:14.

Faversham 10 km, 17 September 2006.

Men. 1 L McMeekin (?) 34:32; 29 P Cross M50 41:18.

IAU 50 km, Winschoten, Holland, 16 September 2006.

Women. 1 Z Morrell (GBR) 3:31:19; 6 L Cooper 3:54:44.

Bushy Park 5 km, 16 September 2006.

Men. 1 R Ward 15:23; 4 A Bodin U20 16:33.

Rye 10 km, 15 September 2006.

Men. 1 J Creane (London Irish) 32:43; 2 M Humphrey 34:14.

Canvey Island 10 km, 10 September 2006.

Men. 1 C Bloomfield (Billericay) 35:05; 32 P Cross M50 42:11.

Cotswold Classic 10 miles, Witney, 10 September 2006.

Men. 1 S Jones 52:30 (course record).

Trafford 10 km, 10 September 2006.

Men. 1 S Hepples (Newham & EB) 30:23; 2 P Freary 30:47; 13 P Willis 33:41.

Experian Robin Hood Half Marathon, 10 September 2006.

Men. 1 S Kasimili (Kenya) 63:52; 9 J Kimaiyo 71:11.

Surrey Road Relays, Wimbledon Park, 9 September 2006.

The season starts with a win

Well, it was a fraught old day as we took on a large share of the organisation of this event and also fielded six teams.  But somehow we got through it – even if half our men’s C team did all have to go off together to get a run after a mix-up on stage 2. We have a few ideas for improved organisation next time – but while we were conscious of the glitches here and there, a whole batch of emails from those representing the 19 clubs that entered and the 82 teams that ran outlined the enjoyment they’d gained from the event. Gordon Biscoe organised the officials, members of Hercules Wimbledon AC marshalled the course and Alan Mead took the entries and produced the results – so thanks to them for keeping this event in the calendar.

It was a gorgeous autumn day, writes Catherine Eastham, and the Belles ensured that it wasn’t only going to be the men who carried the club’s colours around the ups and downs of Wimbledon. Catherine Bryson, is showing continuously improving form and she took on the battle of the first stage with plenty of men around her providing ample support and competition.  Catherine brought the Belles home in second place, just pipped by Ranelagh’s Cilla Pettersson, and clocked the third fastest time of the day behind Pettersson and Epsom’s Emily Nelson. She now owns our second fastest time over this relay course, just behind Angela Walker’s now defunct 2003 course record of 16.44.

Sarah Gailey knocked more than 2 minutes off her previous best with a powerful run that surprised even herself and brought the Belles home in the lead. Following her great form on the track this summer, it looks like it will be a good winter for Sarah too.

Syreeta Stracey took on leg 3 and although she dropped a few places due to a lack of fitness, her time was surprisingly good for someone who hasn’t trained or raced for a few years and we’re sure it won’t take Syreeta long to be back amongst the action!  Tilly Heaton took on leg 4 despite not being at 100% fitness. Having just been diagnosed with anaemia, Tilly is hoping that a swift course of iron will soon help her get back to her old competitive self. A brave effort brought Tilly and the team back in a respectable 5th place, with Ranelagh the champions yet again.

The Belles weren’t a scoring team as Catherine Bryson does not have a Surrey qualification, but despite coming 5th, the Belles clocked their fastest team time over this course, at 73:27, almost a minute quicker than 2002’s previous best effort.

For the men, David Anderson led off for the Bs, checking on his fitness as he works himself back to good form. Approaching the finish some way down on Thames’ John McFarlane, he sped round the oval to hand over with a two second lead, setting the fastest time of the day. We take it he was happy enough as he slid open the window of the results hut to grin and ask whether he’d done enough to claim a “six-stage place!”  Not too far behind was 'A' runner Padraic Buckley, giving our Surrey team a grand start, and he in turn was chased hard by Alex Bodin for the 'C's. Charlie Dickinson gave the M50s a good shot at medals by placing 18th overall and second in the age group behind an already dominant South London Harriers.

The non-scoring 'B' team took a lead of nearly a minute on the second leg as Simon Jones ran what was meant to be the first of two even paced consecutive stages. His next run was due to be for the 'C' team but as they failed to connect, his training session had to be adapted to include a further circuit without a race number. Mark Humphrey was disappointed with his run for the Surrey six but nevertheless, the team moved up to 4th spot.

Two veterans took charge of stage three – Knut Hegvold for the 'A's took us up to second and leaders in the Championship stakes – while two minutes up the road the only team ahead was our non-scoring outfit in the charge of Peter Fallenius.  Should these two ever team up with others (and there are guys around just approaching or past 40) they could form the nucleus of a devastating veteran team.

In great marathon form, McFarlane took to the road again for his second stint in a Thames team (this time their 'B's) and he jumped up a couple of places to split the claret and gold vests.  Will Cockerell felt his blast on the way through but was moving well enough himself and we headed the race for gold medals even though in third place with our own 'B's, in the form now of Jason Webb, still enjoying a one minute advantage over the field.  With the completion of stage four the veteran races came to an end: Terry O’Neill was on a charge, just failing to move our M50s from bronze to silver.

For the penultimate stage in the senior men’s race young James Fairbourn found himself in the unenviable position of taking off in the lead with Hassan Raidi gunning for him. In one of the best runs of his short career James held up well but inevitably Hassan reeled him in and as they entered the track for the final takeover the 'A's went ahead and order was established. Richard Ward had been regaled with stories of how Herne Hill’s Dave Taylor had run down our leaders on the final lap in the past – but there was no such drama on this occasion and our sixth man did not have to extend himself to make sure of the win.  Almost a minute behind, McFarlane was on his third outing – setting the third out of the five fastest times of the day – to bring the Thames non-scorers in ahead of our own.

Senior Men. 1 Belgrave (1st Surrey) 1:30:19; 2 Thames H&H (n/s) 1:31:15; 3 Belgrave 'B' (n/s) 1:32:02; 4 Ranelagh H (2nd Surrey) 1:33:26; 5 Hercules Wimbledon (3rd Surrey) 1:34:13; 6 South London (4th Surrey) 1:34:24.

A - P Buckley (6) 14:52, M Humphrey (4) 15:27; K Hegvold M40 (2) 15:36; W Cockerell (3) 15:14; H Raidi (1) 14:30; R Ward (1) 14:40.

B - David Anderson (1) 14:05; S Jones (1) 14:31; P Fallenius M40 (1) 15:16; J Webb (1) 15:52; J Fairbourn U20 (2) 16:05; W Lynch (3) 16:13.

C - A Bodin U20 (7) 14:54.

Fastest: David Anderson 14:05; J McFarlane (Thames H&H) 14:07; J McFarlane (Thames H&H) 14:19; J Hamblen (Walton) 14:23; J McFarlane (Thames H&H) 14:24.

M40. 1 South London (1st Surrey) 1:03:00; 2 South London 'B' 1:06:25; 3 Ranelagh (2nd Surrey) 1:06:47; 4 Thames H&H (n/s) 1:07:06; 5 Herne Hill (3rd Surrey) 1:08:36; 9 Belgrave 1:15:45.

S Zealey (8) 16:52; L Rehn (8) 19:09; H Corbett (10) 18:57; D McMillan M50 (9) 20:47.

Fastest: V Maughn (Herne Hill) 15:20; R Marriott (South London) 15:22; C Phelan (South Lonson) 15:36.

M50. 1 South London 1:08:06; 2 Reigate Priory 1:09:05; 3 Belgrave 1:09:08.

C Dickinson (2) 16:19; M Nouch (3) 17:52; Don Anderson (3) 17:57; T O'Neill (3) 17:00.

Fastest: B Attwell (South London) 15:52; C Dickinson (Belgrave) 16:19; K Archer (Reigate Priory) 16:31.

Senior Women. 1 Ranelagh H 1:10:44; 2 Wimbledon Windmilers 1:11:43; 3 Herne Hill 1:12:12; 5 Belgrave 1:13:27.

C Bryson (2) 16:55; S Gailey (1) 17:48; S Stracey (4) 19:44; M Heaton (5) 19:00.

Bushy Park 5 km, 9 September 2006.

Women. 1 F Sams (Ranelagh); 3 E Viljoen 20:38.

Woking 3 miles, 6 September 2006.

Men. 1 M Humphrey 15:05.

Crystal Palace Canter 5 km, 5 September 2006.

Men. 1 M Humphrey 15:50.

Kent Coastal Half Marathon, 3 September 2006.

Men. 1 P Kasler (Paddock Wood) 1:13:59; 41 P Cross M50 1:37:00.

HSBC Cardiff 10 km, 3 September 2006.

Men. 1 P Makau (Kenya) 29:57; 16 M Byansi 32:51.

Hydro Active Women's 5 km, Hyde Park, 3 September 2006.

Women. 1 B Adere (Ethiopia) 15:24; 21 C Bryson 18:31.

Carver Wolverhampton Half Marathon, 3 September 2006.

Men. 1 M Dalkins (Tipton) 71:11; 2 S Jones 71:16.

Shornwood multi-terrain 5 miles, Gravesend, 3 September 2006.

Men. 1 B Royden (Medway &M) 28:27; 5 M Humphrey 29:37.

Bushy Park 5 km, 2 September 2006.

Men. 1 J Trapmore (Shaftesbury B) 16:07; 2 A Bodin U20 16:26.

Hammersmith Riverside 3.3 miles, 29 August 2006.

Men. 1 M Humphrey 17:30.

Arundel Castle 10 km, 27 August 2006.

Men. 1 J Baker (Chichester) 34:22; 61 P Cross M50 44:07.

Telstra Australian 12 km CC Champs, Brighton, Tasmania, Australia, 26 August 2006.

Men. 1 L Troop (Victoria) 36:36; 2 M Dent (ACT) 36:52; 4 E MacRae (ACT) 37:27; 30 A Leane (ACT) 40:04.

Bushy Park 5 km, 26 August 2006.

Women. 1 S O'Sullivan (Thames H&H) 17:13; 6 E Viljoen 20:52.

Serpentine Last Friday 5 km, Hyde Park, 25 August 2006.

Men. 1 R Couzens (London Heath) 15:33; 2 H Raidi 15:44; 8 M Humphrey 16:35; 22 C Dickinson M55 17:27.

Urenco Capenhurst 5 km, Chester, 23 August 2006.

Men. 1 P Freary 15:10.

Burnham Beeches Half Marathon, 20 August 2006.

Men. T Lambert (Alton) 1:06:43; 113 P Cross M50 1:32:58.

Race The Train 14 miles, Tywyn, Wales, 19 August 2006.

Men. 1 G Raven (Sale) 84:05; 8 H Raidi 93:54.

Bushy Park 5 km, 19 August 2006.

Men. 1 S Arusei (Kenya) 14:35; 4 A Bodin U20 16:42.

Burnsall 10 miles, 19 August 2006.

Men. 1 I Fisher (Otley) 52:08; 3 P Willis 56:18.

Poole Runners Summer Series 3.3 miles, Canford Heath, 18 August 2006.

M60. 2 R Bale 20:57.

Haig Hall 5 miles, Wigan, 16 August 2006.

Men. 1 P Freary 25:13.

triandrun Belgrave 5 km, Wimbledon, 13 August 2006.

Men. 1 H Dodwell (Highgate) 15:28; 2 R Ward (1-Surrey) 15:30; 3 J McMullan (Epsom Oddballs) 15:39; 14 P Buckley 16:28; 18 M Byansi 16:45; 22 K Hegvold (2-M40) 16:52; 23 A Bodin U20 17:02; 26 J Fairbourn U20 17:10; 97 H Corbett M40 20:06; 100 L Rehn M40 20:14; 123 J Pritchard 21:02; 176 finished.

Open Team: 1 Stragglers 29; 2 Ranelagh 40; 3 Belgrave 42.

Surrey Team: 1 Belgrave 23; 2 Ranelagh 27; 3 Walton 29.

Women. 1 S Abel (Highgate) 17:18; 3 C Bryson 18:16; 16 T Heaton 20:20; 63 finished.

Newark Half Marathon, 13 August 2006.

Men. 1 S Jones 1:09:19; 2 H Raidi 1:09:28.

Alexandra Park 5 km, Manchester, 13 August 2006.

Men. 1 P Willis 16:14.

Boddington 50 km, Gloucestershire, 13 August 2006.

Women. 1 E Hawker (RRC) 3:23:13; 6 L Cooper 3:46:38.

Bearbrook Joggers 10 km, 13 August 2006.

Men. 1 O Jones (Team Southampton) 32:27; 99 P Cross M50 41:42.

Arncliffe 4 miles, 12 August 2006.

Men. 1 A Jones (Keighley &C) 21:12; 4 P Willis 21:48.

Bushy Park 5 km, 12 August 2006.

Men. 1 R Ward 16:00; 3 A Bodin U20 16:43.

Danson Park 5 km, Bexleyheath, 11 August 2006.

Men. 1 M Humphrey 16:45 (record).

Reebok Manchester Sizzler 5 km, 10 August 2006.

Men. J Ward (Altrincham) 14:23; 6 P Freary 15:13.

Promenade 5 km, Portsmouth, 9 August 2006.

Men. 1 J Blackledge 14:30.

Swansea Bay 5 km, 9 August 2006.

Men. 1 S Jones 14:51 (winner of the Swansea Bay Series).

Horwich Jubilee 5 miles, Rivington, 9 August 2006.

Men. 1 C Mulvaney (Bolton) 25:04; 3 P Freary 25:11.

Harlow 10 miles, 6 August 2006.

Men. 1 N Thatcher (Harlow) 56:44; 90 P Cross M50 1:12:20.

Bushy Park 5 km, 5 August 2006.

Men. 1 K Quinn (RR) 15:28; 3 M Humphrey 16:47.

Joan Rhodes Memorial 5 km, Radcliffe, 5 August 2006.

Men. 1 P Freary 14:51.

Chorley Night Series 4 miles, 2 August 2006.

Men. 1 A Jones (Salford) 19:14; 3 P Freary 19:41.

Woking 3 miles, 2 August 2006.

Men. 1 M Humphrey 15:20.

Crystal Palace Canter 5 km, 1 August 2006.

1 M Humphrey 16:15.

Sri Chinmoy 2 miles, Battersea Park. 31 July 2006.

Men. 2 M Humphrey 10:17.

Luton 10 km, 23 July 2006.

Men. 1 J Critchlow (Watford) 33:37; 62 P Cross M50 43:09.

Bushy Park 5 km, 29 July 2006.

Men. 1 R Ward 15:38; 3 L Greatorex 16:42.

Wedding Day 7 km, Bushy Park, 28 July 2006.

Men. 1 S Overall (Blackheath &B) 22:08; 328 D Davies M65 38:29.

Serpentine 5 km, Hyde Park, 28 July 2006.

Men. 1 R Cousins (London H) 15:37; 3 P Fallenius M40 15:53.

Women. 1 A McKeown (N Herts) 17:54; 9 M Noel W40 21:36.

Sale Sizzler 5 km, Wythenshaw Park, 27 July 2006.

1 P McGlory (Liverpool) 14:29; 5 P Freary 15:29.

Harrock Hill Race, 5.5 miles off road, 26 July 2006.

1 P Freary 31:08.

Gloucester Half Marathon, 23 July 2006.

Men. Men. 1 S Jones 71:03.

Next Generation Ekiden Relay, Woodbridge, 23 July 2006.

10 km leg G Billington 33:50.

Julie Button Elmbridge 10 km, 23 July 2006

Men. 1 S Major (South London H) 32:05; 4 W Cockerell 33:13; 7 M Byansi 34:04; 144 L Rehn M40 42:57.

Women. 1 N Warner (Thames H&H) 35:27; 9 N Neal 39:05; 11 T Heaton 39:39.

Sri Chinmoy 2 miles, Battersea Park, 24 July 2006

Men. 1 M Humphrey 10:31.

Dinosaur 10 km, Deal, 23 July 2006.

Men. 1 M Coleman (Medway &M) 31:44; 69 P Cross M50 44:12.

Bushy Park 5 km, 22 July 2006

Men. 1 R Ward 15:48; 5 M Humphrey 17:08.

Standard Chartered Great City Race 3.5 miles, 20 July 2006

Women. 1 K Ellison (Richards Butler LLP) 18:32; T Heaton 20:01.

Peckham 10k, 16 July 2006

Men. 1 M Humphrey 34:33.

Lord Mayor's City Centre Classic 5k, Norwich, 15 July 2006

Men. 1 M Miles 14:17; 3 S Jones 14:51.

Swansea 5k, 11 July 2006

Men. 1 S Jones 14:40 (course record).

Cliffe Woods 10 km, 9 July 2006.

Men. 1 J Creane (South Kent) 33:07; 64 P Cross M50 42:24.

ASICS Half Marathon, Gold Coast, Australia, 2 July 2006

Martin Dent took out the ASICS Half Marathon in a time of 1:02:57, 34 seconds in front of Japan’s Kurao Umeki (1:03:31) with another Japanese runner, Youchi Watanabe, taking third place (1:04:15).

“It’s probably the biggest race in Australia, and I’ve just been building myself up to qualify for the Australian road race team,” Dent said. “After the 20km mark I was pretty sure I was going to win.”

Men. 1 M Dent 62:57.

Cranleigh 10 km, 2 July 2006.

Men. 1 C Paton (Aldershot F&D) 35:41; 30 P Cross M50 43:30.

Nonsuch 4 x 2.2 miles Relay, Nonsuch Park, Cheam, 6 July 2006

Ten in a row? Nonsuch luck!

Well, all winning runs come to an end eventually, but our series of nine consecutive victories in this low key relay was brought to a finish in an extraordinary way by a couple of Kevin Quinn's composite quartets - the first of which featured three international runners. Kevin was in our first ever winning team in 1997.

Mo' Farah blasted the course record to "Kingdom Come" with a 9:22 run - not much our Will could do about that! The record had belonged to Belgrave's Mark Thompson at 9:55 with the next best 10:04 by Gary Staines. We were obviously now racing for 3rd place but Phil Wicks set out on the last stage determined to do something special - and clocked a superb 9:52 to beat our own club best. The Belgrave team time was our third best ever.

Will and James Fairbourn both hit the road twice to ensure our B team was complete - and with a foursome harking back to the 1970s, our M50 squad gained first place in their category.


Men. 1 Real Runners Ltd 40:36 (M Farah Newham &EB 9:22, M Draper Blackheath &B 10:21, M Skinner Blackheath &B 10:22, K Quinn Aldershot F&D 10:31; 2 Real Runners Ltd 42:42 (T Elsey Dorking &MV 10:48, A Vernon Aldershot F&D 10:33, T Bilham Newham &EB 10:33, J McCullagh Kingston &P 10:48); 3 Belgrave H 43:23 (W Cockerell 11:03, M Humphrey 11:22, L Greatorex 11:06, P Wicks 9:52); 5 Belgrave H 'B' 47:21 (J Fairbourn U20 11:52, J Galley M40 11:33, W Cockerell 11:54, J Fairbourn U20 12:05); 21 Belgrave H 'C' (1st M50) 55:16 (A Binda 12:35; T Austin 14:07, D McMillan 14:37, Don Anderson 13:57); 60 teams finished.

7th Annual "Barrathon", Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides, 1 July 2006

Men. 1 P Freary 1:13:13 (course record).

Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 30 June 2006

Men. 1 R Cousins (London Heathside) 15:23; 3 P Fallenius M40 16:13; 62 H Corbett M45 20:06.

Sri Chinmoy 2 miles, Battersea Pk., 26 June 2006

Men. 1 R Marriott (South London H 10:07; 3 M Humphrey 10:50.

Dysart Dash 10 km, Petersham, 25 June 2006  Full result

Men. 1 S Major (South London) 32:04; 3 M Byansi 33:21; 54 G Reid (15-M40) 38:05; 174 L Rehn (42-M40) 43:59; 336 C Henn M70 (16-M60) 54:16. Teams: 1 Ranelagh 23; 2 Stragglers 28; 3 Hercules Wimbledon 32; 15 Belgrave 203.

Women. 1 J Ronaldson (Ranelagh) 36:33; 5 M Heaton 39:39; 12 C Edis 44:28.

Orpington 10 km, 25 June 2006.

Men. 1 P Tucker (Blackheath &B) 33:50; 61 P Cross M50 42:56.

Below: Simon Jones - second man home
and collecting his first team gold
with the Bels

Horwich Carnival Races, 18  June 2006.

AAA 5k Team GOLD

The AAA 5km Championship is only in its second year and on each occasion it has been held as part of the delightful Horwich Carnival Races - a meeting that also takes in the BMAF 5km Championship, the conclusion of the Countryside Tour of Horwich & Rivington, various cycle races including the British National Elite Men's Circuit Championship and the Carnival Parade complete with beauty queen and the famous Horwich RMI Clog Dancers - all on the same circuit (though not, thankfully, at the same time). 

Local man Paul Freary was in action early, figuring that we had enough fire power in the senior men's race to do without him and electing to run as a Master.  He tucked into the slipstream of Blackheath & Bromley's Dave Taylor who set a ferocious pace and the two were clear of the field after one lap.  But there were two more circuits to go and our man was unable to hang on to Taylor who went on to set an astounding veteran time of 14:38.  Paul won the M35 category but didn't want to make too much of that as two, albeit outstanding, M40s were ahead of him by the time the line was reached. Charlie Dickinson came through as the race progressed - eventually just missing out on M50 medals - while the team race went to our local rivals Herne Hill, headed by Roger Alsop.

In the AAA Championship race Birchfield's men tore away from the start with only Chris Davies (Telford) and Peter Riley (Leigh) getting anywhere near them. But Mark Miles worked hard throughout the race and his final placing of 5th (3rd in the AAA Championship) is a pleasure to record. He was a little disappointed with the time - but what a way to come back in his first race after a long lay-off. To say that we are thrilled to have him back in the team is an understatement.

Simon Jones had reported a minor calf problem but his solid run as tenth Briton was key to our team placing while it was great to see Wardy mixing road success with speedy track runs.  Do you know that as a result of his glandular fever and two years of below par results - Richard Ward is now operating at 3:48 1500m level on 30 miles per week?

In 2005 we missed out on the AAA team title by the narrowest of margins, having equalled Salford's score but got our last scoring man home behind theirs; even that situation had only been reached after some overseas competitors were removed from the scoring (without which we would have won) while others (Birchfield's African stars) were not.  The intervening year had seen us propose that AAA team places should be calculated on accumulated times, therefore obviating the need to decide who should be removed from the scoring and who shouldn't - and this has been accepted as the rule for 2006 onwards.

Another complicating feature of these events is the fact that for an overseas athlete to win a AAA individual medal he or she must have been resident in the UK for nine months - thus ruling out the Birchfield guys - while to score for a UK club an overseas athlete only has to be resident for two months.

Even getting our first three home onto the scoring sheet had not been without problems as Richard Ward had been left off the result and our Team Manager, ensconced in the warmth of the Cafe Marina and doing justice to a post-race minted lamb pie with brown sauce, was dragged off to Race HQ to clear things up after a phone call from Richard outlined the potential setback.

Suffice it to say that at the conclusion of the race we were resigned to the fact that we had placed second team on the day to the awesome onslaught of Birchfield's men, bolstering ourselves with the thought that we were, at least, first "British" team. We went along to the presentation to receive our second set of silver medals, only to fine that Birchfield, though winning the Open Race, were not included in the Championship event.  The golden booty was ours.

Men. Open race: 1 T Shiferaw (Ethiopia/Birchfield) 13:54; 2 P Makau (Kenya/Birchfield) 15:56; 3 C Davies (Telford) 13:56; 4 P Riley (Leigh) 14:01; 5 M Miles (Belgrave) 14:14; 6 J Ndayisenga (Burundi/Birchfield) 14:24; ... 12 A Abdulrahaman (Sudan/Birchfield); 14 S Jones 14:46; 23 R Ward 15:01; 57 P Willis 16:20; A Swearman dnf.

Open Team race: 1 Birchfield 9; 2 Belgrave 42; 3 Oadby &WL 62.

AAA Individual: 1 C Davies (Telford); 2 P Riley (Leigh); 3 M Miles (Belgrave).

AAA Team race: 1 Belgrave 44:01; 2 Oadby &WL 44:47; 3 Leeds City 44:58.

BMAF 5km Championship. 1 D Taylor M40 14:38; 2 D Bilton (Leeds City) 14:55; 3 P Freary (1 M35 Belgrave) 15:05; 77 C Dickinson (4 M50) 17:40.

Women. 1 K Reed (Bristol &W) 15:45; B Dagne dnf.

Dulwich Runners Midsummer 5 km, 21 June 2006.

Men. M Shone (Woodford GwEL) 15:33; 3 A Bodin U20 16:38; 16 W Lynch 17:54; 66 P Cross M50 20:41; 83 S West M40 21:40; 184 L Lucas SW 25:50. Teams: 1 Dulwich R 43; 2 Belgrave 88.

Sri Chinmoy 2 miles, Battersea Pk., 19 June 2006

Men. 1 D Marsden (Sevenoaks) 10:03; 5 M Humphrey 10:30.

Seaford 10 km, 18 June 2006.

Men. 1 G Grey (Seaford) 36:17; 31 P Cross M50 44:09.

Tour of Epsom, George Gosens Handicap, Horton Country Park, 16 June 2006.

Men. 1 J McMullen (Epsom Oddballs) 19:43; 4 L Greatorex 20:44.

Women. 1 R Burbridge (Kingston &P) 23:53; 6 C Eastham 26:40. Overall Positions: 1 R Burbridge (Kingston &P); 116:05; 4 C Eastham 129:37.

Tour of Epsom, Epsom Downs 3.5 miles time trial, 15 June 2006.

Women. 1 R Burbridge (Kingston &P) 20:15; 6 C Eastham 22.18.

Tour of Epsom, West Ewell, 14 June 2006.

Women. 1 R Burbridge (Kingston &P) 24:37; 6 C Eastham 27:39.

Tour of Epsom, Nonsuch Park 4.4 miles, 13 June 2006.

Men. 1 J McMullen (Epsom Oddballs) 22:32; 8 L Greatorex 24:46.

Women. 1 E Nelson (Epsom & Ewell) 26:03; 5 C Eastham 30:49.

Tour of Epsom, Horton Country Park 3.3 miles, 12 June 2006.

Men. 1 J McMullen (Epsom Oddballs) 16:36; 4 L Greatorex 17:26.

Women. 1 E Nelson (Epsom & Ewell) 18:50; 7 C Eastham 22:21.

Wargrave 10 km, 11 June 2006.

Men. 1 P Wicks 31:32.

Tesco 10 km, Ealing, 11 June 2006.

Men. 1 S Omar 33:42; 4 M Byansi 35:10.

City of Norwich Half Marathon, 11 June 2006.

Women. 1 B Dagne 77:17.

Capital Radio Help a London Child 10 km, Hyde Park, 11 June 2006.

Men. 1 H Raidi 32:36; 4 W Cockerell 35:35; 5 J Fairbourn U20 36:23.

Les Golding Memorial 10 km, 11 June 2006.

Men. 1 A Mahiaddine (Invicta) 32:56; 36 P Cross M50 45:29.

Regent's Park 10 km, 10 June 2006.

Men. 1 W Cockerell 34:33.

Ipswich Friday 5 miles, 9 June 2006.

Men. 1 G Billington 25:52.

Bowdon 5km, 7 June 2006.

Men. 1 A Norman (Altrincham) 14:39; 4 P Freary 15:14.

Yateley 10km, 7 June 2006.

Women. 1 S Preston (Aldershot F&D) 36:43; 10 L Cooper 40:59.

Beckenham 10 km, 4 June 2006.

Men. 1 N Kinsey (Blackheath &B) 35:20; 48 P Cross M50 43:29.

Dorking 10 miles, Brockham, 4 June 2006.

Men. 1 I Horrocks (Hercules W) 53:43; 23 M Webb 60:39; 48 G Dunn 63:59; 57 M Humphrey 64:45; 190 L Rehn 75:15. Teams: 1 Ranelagh H 228:38; 2 Stragglers 233:42; 3 Dorking MV 234:92; 14 Belgrave H 264:63.

Women. 1 E Nelson (Epsom & Ewell) 64:12; 4 T Heaton 66:46; 6 T O'Connor 67:44.

Bury Friday 5 miles, Brockham, 2 June 2006.

Men. 1 G Billington 26:18

Plymouth Half Marathon, 28 May 2006.

Men. 1 T Shiferaw (Ethiopia) 63:34; 5 T Watson 70:34.

Canterbury Half Marathon, 28 May 2006.

Men. 1 A Mahiaddine (Invicta) 1:10:34; 55 P Cross M50 1:35:55.

Chorley 10 miles, 28 May 2006.

Men. 1 N Tattershall (Pend) 51:51; 2 P Freary 52:16.

Ropley 10 km, Hampshire, 28 May 2006.

Women. 1 E Fogg 40:07.

Kirton 5 miles, nr Felixstowe, 26 May 2006.

Men. 1 G Billington U20 25:35.

Staines 10 km, 21 May 2006.

Men. 1 C Bettmar (Headington) 32:46; 56 P Cross 41:23; 268 J Moore W45 54:06.

Epsom & Ewell 10 km, Epsom, 21 May 2006.

Men. 1 K Quinn (Aldershot F&D) 32:43; 10 M Webb 36:18; 20 G Reid M40 37:54; 171 D Davies M60 52:49.

BUPA Great Manchester Run 10 km, 21 May 2006.

Men. 1 Z Tadesse (Eritrea) 27:36; 46 P Freary 31:19.

Oxford Town & Gown 10 km, 21 May 2006.

Men. 1 J Blackledge 31:41.

Bognor Prom 10 km, 21 May 2006. Results to be confirmed

Men. 1 M Norminton (Herne H) 32:08; 5 L Greatorex 34:11.

Women. 1 L Spencer (Chichester) 36:12; 6 C Eastham (4 W35) 43:59.

Coombe Hill 5 miles, 14 May 2006.

Men. 1 J Trapmore (Shaftesbury B) 25:26; 15 S Zealey M40 29:02; 50 L Rehn M40 33:51; 159 finished.

Richmond Half Marathon, 14 May 2006.

Men. 1 P Killingley (Ranelagh) 1:10:30; 20 M Humphrey 1:19:35; 30 G Reid M45 1:21:30; 31 R St Clair M40 1:21:52; 113 P Cross M50 1:31:05; 444 C Henn M70 1:51:15.

Bushy Pk 5 km, 13 May 2006.

Men. 1 L Greatorex 16:07.

Vienna Marathon, 7 May 2006.

Women. H Smethurst W40 3:08:42.

Sutton 10 km, Beddington Park, 7 May 2006.

Men. 1 S Major (South London) 31:56; 21 M Humphrey 36:44; 38 R St Clair M40 38:01.

Dorking Fun Run 10k, Denbies Estate, 7 May 2006.

Men. 18 P Cross M50 46:59.

Bushy Pk 5 km, 6 May 2006.

Women. 9 C Eastham 20:32.

Dave Clarke 5 km, 4 May 2006.

Men. 1 K Quinn (Aldershot F&D) 15:48; 2 A Bodin U20 16:07; 36 P Cross M50 20:59.

TH&H Parkland 4 x 3 miles CC Relay, Richmond Park, 3 May 2006.

Men. 1 Belgrave 1:03:07 - L Greatorex 15:18 (3), M Humphrey 16:07 (1), J Fairbourn U20 (1) 16:22, Will Cockerell 15:20 (1); 2 Sheen Shufflers 1:06:18.

Barry Jones 5 miles, Wimbledon Pk, 1 May 2006.

Women. 1 C Edis 34:32.

Bluebell 10 km, nr Worthing, 30 April 2006.

Men. 1 J Baker (Chichester) 33:51; 32 P Cross M50 43:06.

Bushy Pk 5 km, 29 April 2006.

Men. 1 M Pierson (St. Mary's) 15:37; 2 R Ward 15:40.

Women. 1 C Eastham 20:42.

Serpentine Last Friday 5 km, Hyde Pk, 28 April 2006.

Men. 1 O Edwards (Shaftesbury B) 15:34; 3 R Ward 15:45.

Civil Service 10 km, 26 April 2006.

Women. 1 A Allen (HASSRA) 36:57; 3 H Smethurst W40 39:03.

Flora London Marathon, 23 April 2006.

Belles in the medals More

Men. 1 F Limo (Kenya) 2:06:39; 62 J Clarke 2:30:31; 78 S Jones 2:33:04; 140 J Wolf 2:37:33; 160 M Byansi 2:38:18; 187 T Hadfield 2:39:30; 658 B Barton M40 2:53:17; 700 R St. Clair 2:54:04; 932 S Zealey M40 2:57:40; 1194 D Patel M40 3:00:40; 3689, L Rehn M40 3:26:28; 4743 P Cross M50 3:33:41; 4799 T Weeks 3:34:09; 7234 S Connor 3:48:45; 10521 A Porteous 4:04:30; 11152 M Barren 4:08:10; 12866 E Asiedu M40 4:17:34; 17260 P King M50 4:44:06; 21604 M Graham M55 5:36:31; 22370 T Newell M70 6:01:04; 22416 G Beecham M75 6:03.43. Teams: 1 Salford H 6:57:33; 2 Thames H&H 7:02:58; 3 Cardiff 7:17:10; 4 Belgrave 7:41:53 (Clarke, Jones, Byansi).

Women. 1 D Kastor (USA) 2:19:36; 18 B Dagne 2:49:48; 29 N Neal 2:54:19; 53 V Clarke 2:57:19; 79 L Cooper 3:00:55; 188 M Heaton 3:12:08; 560 M Noel W40 3:29:42. Teams: 1 Newcastle 8:43:31; 2 Serpentine R 8:46:47; 3 Belgrave 8:52:33 (Neal, Clarke, Cooper).

Mini-Marathon: Bromley - Girls 11-12. 4 K Galley 18:35.

Bolton 10 km, 23 April 2006.

Men. 1 R Birchall (Notts) 31:24; 2 P Freary 32:24.

VAC 5 miles, Battersea Park, 18 April 2006.

Women. 1 M Noel W40 35:08.

West Wight Three Hills multi-terrain, Isle of Wight, 17 April 2006.

Women. 1 E Fogg 57:02.

Rotary Quarter Marathon, Poole, 17 April 2006.

Men. 1 W Chinhanhu (Poole) 34:01; R Bale 3-M60 44:41.

Halton 5 miles, Runcorn, 16 April 2006.

Men. 1 P Freary 26:45.

Southport Good Friday 4 miles, 14 April 2006.

Men. 1 R Berry (Southport) 19:29; 3 P Freary 20:10.

Maidenhead 10 miles, 14 April 2006.

A fabulous breakthrough came from Phil Wicks, winning the Maidenhead 10 miles for the third consecutive year - in a time of 48:34.  He went through 5 miles in 24:07 - a pb - 6m in 28:55 and 7m in 33:49.  A 15:10 was needed for the last three miles to enable him to crack 49 minutes (his pre-race target had been to break 50) and he turned on a magnificent 14:44.

Men. 1 P Wicks 48:34; 5 M Trees 1-M40 54:55; 7 J Wolf 55:21. Team 1 Belgrave.

Lexus Croydon 10 km, 9 April 2006.

Men. 1 I Lockett (Herne Hill) 31:24; 2 R Ward 31:59; 11 M Humphrey 35:00; 104 J Pritchard 42:13.

Reading Half Marathon, 9 April 2006.

Men. 1 S Kasimili (Kenya) 1:04:51; 16 L Greatorex 1:13:14; 776 P Cross M50 1:33:45; 3287 D McMillan M55 1:50:55; 8837 finished.

Women. 1 C Mutwa (Kenya) 1:12:10; 20 L Cooper 1:26:10; C Eastham 1:38:54.

ERRA Women's 6-Stage Road Relay, Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, 8 April 2006.

Belles well satisfied with top twenty placing

With the nationals being pulled ahead of the marathon for the first time ever the team was looking forward to racing the course on considerably fresher legs than usual.

With the exception of young Catherine Bryson it was very much a case of the 'old' girls doing their bit. The average age of the Belles (at 33) is considerably higher than the boys managed, but with age comes experience and this team used that experience to deliver a top 20 position as predicted.

Stage 1

Team captain, Juliette Clark, took the first leg challenge on knowing that it would be a competitive battle over a blustery course. In good shape in the lead up to London. Jules clocked the Belles fastest leg of the day bringing the team home in the top 30 as planned. Up front Hattie Dean clocked the fastest overall leg of the day on 16.16.

Stage 2

Helen Smethurst took over leg 2 and having run well on the roads of late was expecting another strong performance. Unfortunately something wasn't quite right and Helen came back still in 28th spot but hugely disappointed with her performance. Checking her pulse rate the following morning saw a huge leap in bpm suggesting that an underlying cold or bug had been to blame for the unusually slow run.

Stage 3

Catherine Bryson is making a steady return to full fitness having being out of action throughout most of 2005 with stress fracture injuries. Despite her youthful appearance Catherine is a steely determined runner and shows a mature approach to race tactics. Clocking the Belles second fastest leg of the day Catherine also managed to pull the Belles up an extra 4 places into 24th spot.

Stage 4

Based in the Midlands means we don’t get to see much of Victoria Edwards over the winter season, however, she’s still putting in the hard training and competing regularly at triathlons. Worried about her speed over a short course Vicky took over on leg 4 with some trepidation. There was no need to worry though as Vicky maintained the Belles position and posted a solid sub-20 min performance in her first 6-stage outing.

Stage 5

This is the first time Louise Cooper had tackled the 6-stage without a marathon in her legs and despite her own concern that her time would be no quicker with fresh legs, Louise set off on leg 5 to bring the Belles home another 2 places further up and close to the coveted top 20 position. Her time was also her quickest to date showing the damage the marathon does to tired legs.

Stage 6

Another marathoner, Tilly Heaton took over the glory leg for the Belles. The top 3 positions had looked settled after the 5th leg but Chester-le-Street played a blinder putting Dixon on the last leg and with a 16.31 leg she pulled back a 45 second deficit to win by 30 seconds from Winchester’s Jo Kelsey. Bristol and West, missing many of their usual squad, just missed silver but were clear bronze medal winners. Although times were slower due to the windy conditions, the leaders still finished almost 10 minutes ahead of the Belles. However, Tilly had more than achieved our objective for this year and brought the Belles home in 17th spot with our 3rd fastest leg of the day.

1 Chester-Le-Street 1:44:12; 2 Winchester &D 1:44:42; 3 Bristol &W 1:44:49; 4 Shaftesbury B 1:45:41; 5 Telford 1:46:30; 6 Liverpool 1:47:20; 17 Belgrave 1:53:59 (J Clark (28) 18:03, H Smethurst (28) 19:28, C Bryson (24) 18:27, V Edwards (24) 19:57, L Cooper (22) 19:09, M Heaton (17) 18:55; 63 teams started, 45 teams finished.

Fastest. 1 H Dean (Hallamshire) 16:16; =2 M McDonnell (Chester Le Street) and L Elliott (Winchester) 16:18; 4 J Clague (Liverpool) 16:19; 5 S Abel (Highgate) 16:29; 6 A Dixon (Chester Le Street) 16:31.

ERRA Men's 12-Stage Road Relay, Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, 8 April 2006.

Out of the chaos - bronze medals 

This was no occasion for the faint of heart. An Achilles tendon injury took out long stager Hassan Raidi three days before the race but we were already concealing the fact that David Anderson had been unable to run at all since the previous Friday due to a calf muscle problem. We hoped against hope that he would recover in time and in the event, David ruled himself ok with two days to go. We breathed again as, already missing the talents of Spencer Barden, Kevin Nash and Mark Miles, we were desperately short of long stage backup. In spite of all of this, an undoubtedly good and excitingly young team hoped to secure another National win.

Then, only half an hour before the start, we were hit by the shock that our planned first stage runner was not going to be allowed to run.

Unaccountably it seemed that Paul Freary's name had been left off of the list of 72 names from which our A and B teams could be selected.  There is no doubt that it was our own mistake and the Team Manager was absolutely "gutted" by his oversight. An appeal to the Race Referee met with a stone wall response. "You cannot run him - if you do then you will be disqualified."

While struggling to cope with this the TM then found that Richard Ward's name was also not on the declaration list. This seemed unbelievable - but reference to a photocopy of our entry showed that Richard HAD been entered.  Another audience with the Referee was needed: "Ok, if you can prove that you did enter him then he can take part."

Our response: "But surely you can now see how a minor administrative error can be made by either party.  Surely an athlete should not be penalised for such an oversight."

Sadly, there was no softening of attitude.  It seemed that the official line was to be more accommodating with their own mistake than with ours.

Chaos ensued as the team order was hastily changed to bring in a reserve, and then changed again to avoid running him when it was suggested that an appeal against the Referee's decision might be worth pursuing.  A couple of long stages and five short stages were brought forward to give breathing space during which time we hoped the decision could be changed.  In the end it was not to be and, in hindsight, it was probably the right decision.  Imagine the slating we would get if allowed to medal - or perhaps win - with an un-entered runner. 

The day was as windy as we can ever remember at Sutton Park, becoming very cold and finishing with a hail storm and freezing rain.

Stage 1

Karl O'Connell, the man due to start off the Bs was at first drafted in to take Paul Freary's place but the need not to bring in a reserve until we knew the decision had gone against us changed that plan, and with a minimum warm-up, A-team member Tim Watson came forward a leg. He'd arrived at the hotel in the small hours of the morning having finished work at 10pm in Dartmouth, Devon! Tough these Marines - and he was fired up too, running well and only ten seconds off the lead as the pack returned from the far end of the park. Sale H Manchester were rumoured to be at full strength and looking for the win, and through Stuart Stokes they made an early bid to complete the initial stage 12 seconds clear.  Tim suffered from stitch on the last section of the lap, probably brought on by the upset in his eating schedule through coming on early, and he lost 30 seconds in the final mile or so. But 12th was a good start and all our expected rivals were close by, with the exception of the Beagles - back in 25th.

1 S Stokes (Sale) 26:21; 2 M Lole (Coventry G) 26:33 3 M Scaife (Morpeth) 26:35; 4 B Raeside (Notts) 26:41; 5 M Hilton (Leeds) 26:41; 6 D Norman (Altrincham) 26:42; 12 T Watson 27:03; 61 J Fairbourn 'B' 30:34.

Stage 2

On his favourite second stage, Richard Ward was on song, his sub-15 bringing us up 5 places as he was chased all the way by Aldershot's Chris Bolt.  Ex-Belgravian Rick Hayman kept Sale's colours near the front while back down the field Karl O'Connell, who by this time had worn more race numbers than contained in the Sutton Coldfield telephone directory, thanks to the team switches, had a great run for the Bs, moving past a dozen rivals.

1 Coventry (+1) 41:18; 2 Morpeth (+1) 41:24; 3 Sale HM (-2) 41:26; 4 Derby (+4) 41:32; 5 Leeds C (0) 41:38; 6 Sunderland (+5) 41:49; 7 Belgrave 'A' (+5) 41:59; 49 Belgrave 'B' (+12) 46:08. 

Fastest: 1 J Mellor (Liverpool) 14:33; 2 R Weir (Derby) and B Jones (Coventry) 14:45; 9 R Ward 14:56; ... K O'Connell 'B' 15:34.

Stage 3

We were playing a stronger hand than bargained for at this stage of the race and Simon Jones pushed things along even more, pulling back two more places and keeping very good company with the likes of Andy Vernon (Aldershot) and Rob Birchall (Notts). National cross country champions Leeds City were now making the pace and were race favourites in the eyes of many but Bob Smith's Beagles were coming back - now in 11th.

If the Bels felt that bad luck had dogged them at all on this day, consider the sorry state of affairs for Bedford & County.  Having lost a handful of runners before the race, a thief visited their tent and stole items which deeply upset another of their number who lost the will to race.  He was replaced by a reserve - who then badly pulled a calf muscle but somehow kept going to the end of the stage to hand over in 63rd and last place.  

It was now obvious that the blustery conditions were having a huge effect.  Not one long stage runner had gone below 26 minutes at this point.

1 Leeds C (+4) 1:07:54; 2 Coventry G (-1) 1:08:58; 3 Morpeth (-1) 1:09:04; 4 Altrincham (+5) 1:09:06; 5 Belgrave (+2) 1:09:08; 6 Aldershot F&D (+2) 1:09:10; 51 Belgrave 'B' (-2) 30:51.

Fastest: 1 D Webb (Leeds C) 26:16; 2 A Sutton (Preston) 26:23; 3 P Sly (Thames H&H) 26:24; 10 S Jones 27:09; ... M Byansi 'B' 30:51; M Kinnane (Swansea/2nd-Cl Belgrave) 31:57.

Stage 4

Last man into the SEAA team at Milton Keynes, Pete Willis was raided from the Bs here at Sutton Park to plug the gap caused by the removal of Paul Freary from the line-up. Obviously we were expecting to go back here as Pete was dropped into a bubbling cauldron but, just as two weeks earlier, he raised his game accordingly.  Only three positions were lost by the Belgravian and two of these were caused by scorchers from Jackson (Sale) and Hepples (Newham &EB).  Pete had done an absolutely brilliant job and the success of the Tom Osment coached squad was added to by eighteen year-old Joe van der Toorn who took the Bs up six places.

1 Leeds C (0) 1:23:04; 2 Sale HM (+5) 1:23:36; 3 Morpeth (0) 1:23:53; 4 Aldershot F&D (+2) 1:24:01; 5 Newham &EB (+6) 1:24:07; 6 Coventry G (-4) 1:24:33; 8 Belgrave (-3) 1:24:42; 45 Belgrave 'B' (+6) 1:32:48.

Fastest: 1 S Hepples (Newham &EB) 14:18; 2 E Jackson (Sale HM) 14:23; 3 J Mays (Kent) 14:30; ... P Willis 15:34; J van der Toorn 15:49.

Stage 5

At this point the 'B' team became disqualifiable as Paul Freary set out under the name of Stephen Zealey, taking them up 11 places.  But eight minutes up the road Will Cockerell had played his Captain's role well, moving up to a long stage to let in the short stage reserve Pete Willis, and running several seconds faster than his first stage effort of last year, run in more benign conditions.  Well done Will!

Our problems had probably cost us 50 seconds - maybe a minute. We were 2 minutes 19 seconds off the lead - still Leeds - but more ominously 1:17 down on the Beagles; we had a great line-up to come but, frankly, so did they.

1 Leeds C (0) 1:50:15; 2 Newham &EB (+3) 1:51:07; 3 Altrincham (+7) 1:51:13; 4 Notts (+5) 1:51:18; 5 Sale HM (-3) 1:51:26; 6 Bristol &W (+1) 1:51:37; 9 Belgrave (-1) 1:52:34; 34 Belgrave 'B' (+11) 2:00:08.

Fastest: J Ward (Altrincham) 25:56; 2 N Talbot (Notts 26:04; 3 N Leighton (Bristol &W) 26:57; 10 P Freary (Belgrave 'B') 27:20; ... W Cockerell ('A') 27:52.

Stage 6

The wind was now atrocious; and as a club tent opposite our own was ripped from the ground and deposited in the branches of an obliging tree, Darren Gauson toured the short stage in our first of only two fastest stages of the day.  By now aware of what the East London club had to come, most supporters were tipping the Beagles for the win (AW correspondent Martin Duff still persisted with the thought that it would be Leeds) but we pulled back half a minute on both of them thanks to Darren.  All was not yet lost.

1 Leeds C (0) 2:05:32; 2 Sale HM (+3) 2:06:20; 3 Newham &EB (-1) 2:06:24; 4 Bristol &W (+2) 2:06:46; 5 Notts (-1) 2:07:09; 6 Aldershot F&D (+2) 2:07:11; 7 Belgrave (+2) 2:07:23; 33 Belgrave 'B' (+1) 2:16:24.

Fastest: 1 D Gauson (Belgrave) 14:49; 2 J Bailey (Sale HM) 14:54; 3 S Ablitt (Aldershot F&D) 14:55; ... J Webb ('B') 16:16.

Stage 7

It was Stephen Sharp's first attempt at a long stage and one would have liked to have thought that the extra distance to be covered by our speedster might give us the chance to recover some ground.  Not so!  Mark Warmby of the Beagles took nearly half a minute out of Leeds but he in turn was being chased down by Bristol's Rob Whalley.  Still in 7th, it was going to be an almighty battle for the Bels to reach the medals.

1 Leeds C (0) 2:32:09; 2 Newham &EB (+1) 2:32:34; 3 Bristol &W (+1) 2:32:50; 4 Sale HM (-2) 2:33:02; 5 Altrincham (+3) 2:33:46; 6 Aldershot F&D (0) 2:33:52; 7 Belgrave (0) 2:34:08; 34 Belgrave 'B' (-1) 2:46:44.

Fastest: 1 R Whalley (Bristol &W) 26:04; 2 M Warmby (Newham &EB) 26:10; 3 A Norman (Altrincham) 26:15; 8 S Sharp 26:45 ... M Humphrey 30:20.

Stage 8

Long time leaders Leeds were under severe pressure now.  Chris Thompson ran the fastest time of the day to bring Aldershot up into the frame for the first time but also pulling back ground, if only one place, Chris Moss ran our fastest short stage so far.  The final top six had now been established and all of them went through the take-over zone in less than one minute - but which would be the three to gain the medals?

1 Leeds C (0) 2:47:38; 2 Newham &EB (0) 2:47:41; 3 Aldershot F&D (+3) 2:47:54; 4 Bristol &W (-1) 2:48:08; 5 Sale HM (-1) 2:48:12; 6 Belgrave (+1) 2:48:35; 33 Belgrave 'B'  (+1) 3:04:39.

Fastest: C Thompson (Aldershot F&D 14:02; 2 C Moss (Belgrave) 14:27; 3 D Robinson (Stroud &D) 14:31; ... R Poulter ('B') 17:55.

Stage 9

"Oh Yes!" shouted Mo Farah, unable to contain his exhilaration when the announcer indicated that the incoming runner from Newham & Essex Beagles was only 3 seconds down on the leaders.  And his excitement was not in vain, for this was where the gold medals were decided.  Also going into action, for the Bels, was Phil Wicks. Just 22 years of age and with only four years of running on the clock, Phil's 26:35 was superb - and again, in spite of the conditions, nearly half a minute faster than the previous year. Mo's was far and away the day's fastest long stage and the Beagles went into the last quarter of the race with over one and a half minutes to spare over Sale, who, together with Leeds, were now within striking distance of both Aldershot and Belgrave.

An interesting thought at this point: but for our team entry problem, Mossy might have given Phil the task of setting out alongside Mo Farah at the start of this stage!

1 Newham &EB (+1) 3:13:08; 2 Sale HM (+3) 3:14:41; 3 Leeds C (-2) 3:14:51; 4 Aldershot F&D (-1) 3:14:54; 5 Belgrave (+1) 3:15:10; 6 Bristol &W (-2) 3:15:44; 49 Belgrave 'B' (-16) 3:42:07.

Fastest: 1 M Farah (Newham &EB) 25:27; 2 G Cornish (Sale HM) 26:29; 3 P Wicks (Belgrave) 26:35; ... H Corbett M45 ('B') 37:28.

Stage 10

By now there was sleet and hail in the air. Kris Gauson may be 18 but he has some extraordinary racing times behind him, having in his two years of  membership already relieved John Gladwin of his Youth club records for 800m and 1500m. His 15:15 cemented our position in the top four and now made medals a strong possibility.  Newham's Stuart Major has had a patch of poor health and while not in the best of form, he was as solid as a rock and with Dave Mitchinson to come, nobody was going to get back to the Beagles.

A final brush with officialdom came when we offered an additional and final runner to the 'B' team's complement - D. Anderson. "Have you cleared this with the Referee?" came the retort when the name was declared. (A Belgravian of very similar name had just finished the 11th stage for the As.) "No.  And we don't intend to!  This is Don Anderson."

1 Newham &EB (0) 3:28:20; 2 Sale HM (0) 3:29:39; 3 Leeds C (0) 3:30:00; 4 Belgrave (+1) 3:30:25; 5 Aldershot F&D (-1) 3:30:52; 6 Bristol &W (0) 3:31:09; 50 Belgrave 'B' (-1) 4:01:24.

Fastest: 1 M Bond (Sale HM) 14:58; 2 A Osbourne (Leeds C) 15:09; 3 S Major (Newham &EB) 15:12; 4 K Gauson (Belgrave) 15:15; ... Don Anderson ('B') 19:17.

Stage 11

The gap to Leeds, and bronze, was 25 seconds; the gap to Sale, and silver, was a further 21 seconds.  Anything could happen here.

Well, something did happen; yet another twist in an extraordinary day.  David Anderson set out looking pumped up but when spotted by our supporters at the top of the hill they noted the lack of fluency in his running.  David was in trouble.  That calf muscle had almost immediately tightened and in trying to isolate the muscle and restrict its use to avoid further damage and pain, the hamstring and gluteal muscles also tightened.  We've no doubt that pulling out was not an option in his mind - and somehow, David held the gap to Leeds and clocked equal fourth fastest on the stage. An heroic run - but now our man faces yet more rehabilitation before getting back to his athletic career.

1 Newham &EB (0) 3:55:08; 2 Sale HM (0) 3:56:31; 3 Leeds C (0) 3:57:24; 4 Belgrave (0) 3:57:49; 5 Bristol &W (+1) 3:58:25; 6 Aldershot F&D (-1) 3:58:38.

Fastest: 1 D Mitchison (Newham &EB 26:48; 2 D Augustus (Sale HM) 26:52; 3 C Nicholson (Bristol &W) 27:16; =4 D Anderson (Belgrave) 27:24.

Stage 12

It had always been felt that the race for first place could be tight over the final stage.  In fact it didn't turn out that way - but, for the first time in his road relay career at Sutton Park, Jonathan Blackledge set out in full cry with a runner in sight. One had to feel sorry for the Leeds City team.  They'd led from stages 3 to 8 and then occupied third place for stages 9 to 11, only to have one the country's most voracious young athletes unleashed on their tail, eager to feed on the scraps left over by the Beagles.

Jonathan brought us into the bronze medal position and such was his pace that even the smell of Sale blood was in his nostrils at the race end.  He was fastest on his stage and third fastest of the day in spite of the worsening conditions; and but for those conditions we may have been close to our third ever sub-14 clocking by a Belgravian.

Don't know about you - but this writer felt pretty shattered by the end of all this, until the realisation dawned: this young team had responded tremendously to the setbacks ... they have years of relay racing ahead of them in which some really exciting events should unfold ... our medal streak has extended to six years ... a young man had come along not dreaming that by the end of the day he'd be going home with a National medal ... we'd all received a jolt to remind ourselves what a tough job it is to get everything in winning order ... and we are even more hardened and determined to face the road battles ahead in Sutton Park.

1 Newham &EB (0) 4:10:08; 2 Sale HM (0) 4:11:39; 3 Belgrave (+1) 4:12:09; 4 Leeds C (-1) 4:12:31; 5 Bristol &W (0) 4:13:04; 6 Aldershot F&D (0) 4:13:55; 66 teams started, 62 teams finished.

Fastest: 1 J Blackledge (Belgrave) 14:20; 2 R Bugden (Bristol &W) 14:39; 3 A Robinson (Newham &EB) 15:00.

Fastest stages:

Long - 5.38 miles. 1 M Farah (Newham &EB) 25:27; 2 J Ward (Altrincham) 25:56; =3 R Whalley (Bristol &W) and N Talbot (Notts) 26:04; 5 M Warmby (Newham &EB) 26:10; 6 A Norman (Altrincham) 26:15.

Short - 2.995 miles: 1 C Thompson (Aldershot &F) 14:02; 2 S Hepples (Newham & EB) 14:18; 3 J Blackledge (Belgrave) 14:20; 4 E Jackson (Sale HM) 14:23; 5 C Moss (Belgrave) 14:27; 6 J Mays (Kent) 14:30.  

Paddock Wood Half Marathon, 2 April 2006.

Men. 1 P Hasler (Paddock Wood) 1:11:07; 294 P Cross M50 1:36:46.

Ackworth Half Marathon inc. Inter-County Champs, 2 April 2006.

Women. 1 O Kimaiyo (KEN) 1:15:36, 2 B Dagne (Surrey) 1:16:17 (CAU Champ). Team 1 Surrey 4:11:58.

Kingston Breakfast Runs, 2 April 2006.

Men's 8.2 miles. 1 P Wicks 40:15 (record); 3 L Greatorex 45:06.

Women's 8.2 miles. 1 A Emmerson (Sigma) 47:58; 18 C Eastham 58:50.

Men's 16 miles. 1S Barrett (Serpentine) 1:29:45; 24 M Byansi 1:39:52; 37 S Zealey 1:43:26; 40 T Weeks 1:43:38; 341 L Rehn M40 2:03:08; 540 D Wilkinson 2:10:01.

Women's 16 miles. 1 A Hibbs (unatt) 1:48:20; 4 E Fogg 1:50:42.

IAAF World Cross Country Champs., Fukuoka JPN, 1-2 April 2006.

Men's 4 km: a 1 K Bekele (Ethiopia) 10:54; 42 M Dent (Australia) 11:28.

Men's 12 km: b 1 K Bekele (Ethiopia) 35:40; 45 M Dent (Australia) 37:36.

U20 Men's 8 km. b 1 M Ndiwa (Kenya) 23:53; 80 K Gauson 27:32.

Scottish 6-Stage Road Relay Champs., Livingston, 1 April 2006.

Darren Gauson was a member of the winning City of Edinburgh team, clocking second fastest time of the day, with ex-Belgravian Roger Alsop also in the winning team, timed at 16:26.

3.15 mile lap. 1 1 R Toole (Kilbarchan) 15:39; 2 D Gauson (City of Edinburgh) 15:41.

Frimley Park Hospital 10 km, 26 March 2006.

1 G Watkins (?) 33:51; 58 P Cross M50 45:41; 300 finished.

SEAA Men's 12-Stage Road Relay, Milton Keynes, 26 March 2006.

Bels on their toes - a fifth consecutive SEAA 12-Stage win

Is there anything more exciting than a 12-Stage road relay?  Well, possibly, when one's favourite team have a nigh-on seven minute advantage.  Maybe watching Milton Keynes' fabled concrete cows at their grazing would run it close! But get one thing straight, don't expect it to be like this at Sutton Park in less than two weeks time.

Don't know what it was ... runners off to Japan for the World Cross, runners in Algiers for the World Students' Cross, runners in Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games ... maybe it's because it was Mother's Day ... but whatever, a quarter of an hour before start time few people seemed to be about. In the end 42 teams made the complete journey - eight fewer than last year. The Bels were well up to par with a final time our fourth best ever - but there was no pressure from the opposition on this occasion.

The weather was blustery, becoming colder and with rain beginning to fall as the race ended.

Stage 1

Undoubtedly very fit, Andrew Swearman, had a nightmare run on leg one.  Recently back from three weeks training in Kenya he'd gone through 10k in 31 minutes the previous week in the AAA Half Marathon before pulling out, having overcooked it. No worries, a mere 5 miles at that pace would do us nicely - but Andy got a bit caught up in Keith Cullen's slipstream and Karl O'Connell, running for the Bs, was in before him, having run a more circumspect opening section. Karl's run was our fastest ever B long stage outside of Justin Chaston's 23:55 - the year he showed up on holiday from the USA, unannounced an un-entered.

1 K Cullen (Highgate) 23:32; 2 Kojo Kyreme (Shaftesbury B 24:18; 3 A Moses (Reigate P) 24:39; 16 K O'Connell (Belgrave 'B') 25:47; 20 A Swearman (Belgrave 'A') 26:08; 48 M Taylor M40 (Belgrave 'C') 30:30.

Stage 2

When Andy didn't show up in the top 10, Will's heart rate went up a notch or two; when the top 15 were home and a Belgrave vest hove into sight - Karl's - the Skipper's pulse went into overdrive; and by the time he was away in 20th spot and 2 minutes 36 seconds down on the lead, his vital organs were screaming - and he'd barely started.

An absolutely cracking run followed. Over half a minute came off his best time for the lap as nine teams fell to the Cockerpillar and the deficit was brought down to just over two minutes.

Eighteen year-old Joe van der Toorn is training like a demon in his quest for a 1:50 800 metres this summer but he took time out to reduce his best time by a similar margin.

1 Highgate H (0) 41:31; 2 Shaftesbury B (0) 42:09; 3 Herne H (+3) 42:39; 11 Belgrave 'A' (+9) 43:31; 16 Belgrave 'B' (0) 44:18; 45 Belgrave 'C' (+3) 50:26.

Fastest: 1 G Amos (City of Norwich) 17:11; 2 W Chinhanhu (Poole) 17:15; 3 W Cockerell ('A') 17:23; 22 J van der Toorn ('B') 18:31; 38 C Dickinson ('C') 19:56.

Stage 3

Highgate hung on to their lead on stage three while the ubiquitous Jermain Mays brought Kent AC up to within a quarter of a minute of the lead with the day's second fastest long stage. But while Jermain is well known on the roads and tracks of the South, the Bels wheeled out a new face to bring us to the quarter distance.  A Welshman named Jones with the initial "S" and designs on the marathon has got to be worth watching - and true to his moniker, Simon Jones burnt tarmac to go under 25 minutes.  He's just had two weeks out due to a leg problem - so expect a bit more in two weeks time.

Only a minute and a half adrift now - and the Bs were also steadily rising; into the top twenty now, thanks to a strong run from another would-be-marathoner - Tom Hadfield - with a 24-miler written into his training diary the previous day! 

1 Highgate (0) 1:06:50; 2 Kent (+6) 1:07:16; 3 Shaftesbury B (-1) 1:07:48; 6 Belgrave 'A' (+5) 1:08:25; 16 Belgrave 'B' (0) 1:11:04; 46 Belgrave 'C' (-1) 1:20:52.

Fastest: 1 J Mays (Kent) 23:57; =2 D Deed (Bedford &C) & P Sly (Thames H&H) 24:13; 4 S Jones ('A') 24:54; 19 T Hadfield ('B') 26:46; 45 C Smith ('C') 30:26.

Stage 4

Pete Willis had tried everything to ensure that he got an A team berth, trying to run away from Will in the National Cross, running a tough 5 miler the previous weekend in an attempt to impress - and he got his wish.  After all this, imagine our joy, then, at seeing Pete clawing his way up the finish slope in 3rd place, having given absolutely everything!  He was very hard on himself afterwards, having hoped to have run 15 or 20 seconds faster; but a timely reminder that the game is actually about trying to win the race and that he'd made a vast contribution to bring us up three more places to a position 47 seconds behind leaders made him feel better.

Jason Webb removed around 20 seconds from last year's time and was 15th fastest on the stage

1 Kent (+1) 1:25:22; 2 Highgate (-1) 1:25:38; 3 Belgrave 'A' (+3) 1:26:09; 17 Belgrave 'B' (-1) 1:29:46; 45 Belgrave 'C' (+1) 1:40:06.

Fastest: 1 S Hepples (Newham &EB) 16:33; 2 S Maxwell (Woodford GwEL) 17:24; 3 P Willis ('A') 17:44; 15 J Webb 18:42; 30 T Lines ('C') 19:54.

Stage 5

Another who's spent the winter injured was Hassan Raidi. Drafted into the dozen after a solid run at Eastleigh the previous week, Hassan has only had a few weeks of proper training behind him but nevertheless went well sub-25 to take us into a four second lead.  Bedford's new signing Eddie Ernest-Jones - a Brit from the USA looking for a big marathon performance - was breathing down his neck and brought Tony Forrest's team up into the frame for the first time. With the Beagles slipping into third, the leading contenders were slotting into familiar roles.

Moving up to 16th, another marathoner, Warren Lynch, ran his fastest ever long stage on tired legs, having postponed his 30-miler until Monday. And what about Harry Corbett who took nearly three minutes from his previous best for the Cs.

1 Belgrave 'A' (+2) 1:50:57; 2 Bedford &C (+4) 1:51:01; 3 Newham &EB (+4) 1:51:55; 16 Belgrave 'B' (+1) 1:56:30; 44 Belgrave 'C' (+1) 2:12:02.

Fastest: 1 E Ernest-Jones (Bedford &C) 24:12; 2 H Raidi ('A') 24:48; 3 L Jones (Newham &EB) 25:03; 15 W Lynch ('B') 26:44; 46 H Corbett M45 ('C') 31:16.

Stage 6

With the Bels in front and some heavyweights to come, Stephen Sharp took on the role of chief "undertaker" and deftly went into action, knocking the first nail into the coffin-lid of this race.  Clocking fastest short stage run of the day, Steve was hammering like a good-un until the end but was far from flat out, remembering that he had a race in Ireland coming up a few days later.

Last year's anchor man, Knut Hegvold, has been suffering from a foot injury, but it was great to see him on the road again, albeit around 40 seconds slower but picking up another position for the Bs.

1 Belgrave 'A' (0) 2:07:25; 2 Bedford &C (0) 2:09:06; 3 Newham &EB (0) 2:09:14; 15 Belgrave 'B' (+1) 2:14:50; 44 Belgrave 'C' (0) 2:34:20.

Fastest: 1 S Sharp ('A') 16:28; 2 T Snow (Woodford GwEL) 16:52; 3 L Cox (Aldershot F&D) 17:10; 11 K Hegvold M40 ('B') 18:20; 46 N Brown ('C') 22:18.

Stage 7

With a 1:41 advantage Tim Watson smoothly ran our third sub-25 long lap - his fastest ever. A period of training in South Africa has done our Royal Marine bandsman a power of good and a challenge from Newham's Kairn Stone had little effect. Wells City's Ben Tickner was fastest on the stage but could only bring the West Country men up from 10th to 7th.

1 Belgrave 'A' (0) 2:32:17; 2 Newham &EB (+1) 2:33:46; 3 Bedford &C (-1) 2:35:00; 16 Belgrave 'B' (-1) 2:43:30; 43 Belgrave 'C' (+1) 3:04:45.

Fastest: 1 B Tickner (Wells C) 24:15; 2 K Stone (Newham &EB) 24:32; 3 T Watson ('A') 24:52; 32 J Galley M40 ('B') 28:40; 40 R Poulter ('C') 30:25.

Stage 8

Seemingly a veteran of our relay teams, one has to remind one's self that Jonathan Blackledge is still only only 21. Another nail was driven home as Jonathan posted his third all-club all-time top 40 short stage clocking.  Stephen Sharp might have the greatest National medal haul in history but if we can hold things together as a team, the "Kid" has a great chance of surpassing him one day.

And what a stage it was for short lap runs as Lee Greatorex ran his best ever for no less than 6th fastest on the stage.  The Bs were an unprecedented 14th 

1 Belgrave 'A' (0) 2:48:50; 2 Newham &EB (0) 2:52:15; 3 Bedford &C (0) 2:52:44; 14 Belgrave 'B' (+2) 3:01:52.

Fastest: 1 J Blackledge ('A') 16:33; 2 S Ablitt (Aldershot) 17:12; 3 S Herring (Bedford &C) 17:44; 6 L Greatorex ('B') 18:22.

Stage 9

In the form of his life, and having earned an under-23 international vest during the winter, Phil Wicks opened the lead up to a massive five minutes plus to become our fourth fastest ever on the long stage. Only legends Paul Evans, Marty Dent and Justin Chaston have beaten his 24:04.

But all this excitement was too much for the Team Manager who fell apart at this stage. Having given B runner Bruce Barton an incorrect number, Bruce correctly ignored the attempts of the marshals to send him on a short stage while poor Robert Norville, running for the Cs, should have run short stage 8 but ended up running the full monty; he didn't find out he was "going long" until half way round the lake!  Sorry guys.

1 Belgrave 'A' (0) 3:12:54; 2 Bedford &C (+1) 3:18:13; 3 Kent (+2) 3:19:17; 15 Belgrave 'B' (-1) 3:30:33.

Fastest: 1 P Wicks ('A') 24:04; 2 N Pollock (Kent) 24:29; 3 J Ellis (Aldershot F&D) 25:27; 29 B Barton ('B') 28:41; R Norville ('C') 31:42.

Stage 10

With Paul Freary suffering from his previous week's Veterans' World Half Marathon victory, Tom Ellacott came into the team again. What a sub!  His 18:00 was fourth fastest on the stage and the lead increased to getting on for six minutes.

1 Belgrave 'A' (0) 3:30:54; 2 Bedford &C (0) 3:36:15; 3 Aldershot F&D (+1) 3:36:45; 17 Belgrave 'B' (-2) 3:30:18.

Fastest: 1 M Ashton (Aldershot F&D) 16:34; 2 D Russell (Shaftesbury B) 17:53; 3 B Hope (Woodford GwEL) 17:54; 4 T Ellacott ('A') 18:00; 22 M Whiting ('B') 19:45.

Stage 11

The biggest task for Dave Anderson, setting out with a lead of well over a mile, was to work up enough excitement to give himself a "workout". With just under three months running under his belt since his return at the beginning of the year our Vice-Cap'n stormed the circuit to go fifth fastest Belgravian of all time, just a few ticks behind young Phil's effort.  Heaven knows what he'll run around Sutton Park with another two weeks behind him.

A heavy fall out by the lake robbed Malachi Byansi of what probably would have been his best time.  

1 Belgrave 'A' (0) 3:55:02; 2 Bedford &C (0) 4:01:49; 3 Aldershot F&D (0) 4:03:14; 15 Belgrave 'B' (+2) 4:17:28.

Fastest: 1 D Anderson ('A') 24:08; 2 A Morgan-Lee (Southampton R) 24:46; 3 K Murphy (Woodford GwEL) 25:14; 14 M Byansi ('B') 27:10.

Stage 12

A little excitement was generated on the final leg by Newham's Andy Robinson pulling back the Aldershot man to go into bronze medal position.  Our own Wardy was on cruise control with Bedford's runner, in second, clocking an identical time and the winning margin remained a huge 6 minutes 47 seconds.

And still the Bs persisted. Mark Humphrey pushed to the end and their final placing of 14th would have made our A teams of the '90s very happy.

1 Belgrave (0) 4:12:38; 2 Bedford &C (0) 4:19:25; 3 Newham &EB (+1) 4:21:14; 14 Belgrave 'B' 4:36:13; 51 teams started; 42 teams finished.

Fastest: 1 A Robinson (Newham &EB) 16:44; 2 A Cross (Bedford &C) 17:36; 3 R Ward ('A') 17:36; 9 M Humphrey ('B') 18:45.

Fastest stages:

Short stage (5,506m): 1 S Sharp (Belgrave) 16:28; =2 J Blackledge (Belgrave) & S Hepples (Newham &EB) 16:33; 4 M Ashton (Aldershot F&D) 16:34; 5 A Robinson (Newham &EB) 16:44; 6 T Snow (Woodford GwEL) 16:52; 12 W Cockerell 17:23; 19 R Ward 17:36; 21 P Willis 17:44; 34 T Ellacott 18:00.

Long stages (7,978m): 1 K Cullen (Highgate) 23:32; 2 J Mays (Kent) 23:57; 3 P Wicks (Belgrave) 24:04; 4 D Anderson (Belgrave) 24:08; 5 E Ernest-Jones (Bedford &C) 24:12; =6 D Deed (Bedford &C) & P Sly (Thames H&H) 24:13; 17 H Raidi 24:48; 18 T Watson 24:52; 20 S Jones 24:54; 48 K O'Connell (Belgrave 'B') 25:47.

SEAA Women's 6-Stage Road Relay, Milton Keynes, 26 March 2006.

No medals this time

At the beginning of the week the Belles looked like possible medal contenders with strong A and B teams for the Southern 6-stage. But as is usual with the relays those early team plans didn't materialise and as athletes became ill, injured and more, the team changes began to happen on an hourly basis – leading right up to the start of the race!

Stage 1

Following their Reigate relay head to head, Sarah Murphy for the As and Heidi Cayzer for the Bs set off on the first leg. Team entries appeared down on recent years, possibly because of the weather, international duties and the mothers day clash. By the end of the first stretch reports came back that Sarah Murphy had taken the lead and was running strong, but the pace set was too high and although Sarah posted the Belles fastest time of the day the team were now in 10th spot. Having injured her ankle at a cross country race earlier in the season Heidi was only just returning to fitness and found the fast paced opening leg hard going.

1 M Lee (Marshal MK) 19:08; 2 F Cliff (Chelmsford) 19:36; 3 B Yff (Serpentine R) 19:40; 10 S Murphy (Belgrave 'A') 20:26; 25 H Cayzer (Belgrave 'B') 23:36.

Stage 2

Catherine Bryson took over the baton for the As somewhat relieved that she didn’t have to start off with the lead spot. Another superb runner, Catherine is also returning to form following a long-term injury. Having modestly estimated her abilities over the distance Catherine more than justified her selection for the A's, maintaining the Belles 10th spot. Trooper Sarah Gailey improved on her last year’s time, despite the blustery winds and will take the strength from the roads and cross country back onto the track for 400m races.

1 Winchester &D (+6) 38:32; 2 Marshall MK (-1) 40:09; 3 Woodford GwEL (+6) 40:49; 10 Belgrave 'A' (0) 41:57; 23 Belgrave 'B' (+2) 47:28.

Fastest: L Elliott (Winchester &D) 18:30; 2 F Kennedy (Ealing S*M) 20:24; 3 B Pritchett (Woodford GwEL) 20:30; 10 C Bryson ('A') 21:31; 22 S Gailey ('B') 23:52.

Stage 3

The ever improving Helen Smethurst took over for leg three and showed her road running ability spans the range from 5km to marathon. A strong and consistent 20:53 was an excellent posting for Helen and she was delighted to maintain the Belles position, bringing the gap between 6th and 10th spot down to 10 seconds. Christine Bertram had swapped from the A team into the B team concerned about a niggle she was carrying. Maybe it was the lack of pressure on her and the ability to relax and enjoy her run, but Christine’s time was the fastest B string of the day and worthy of an A team position.

1 Winchester &D (0) 58:33; 2 Woodford GwEL (+1) 1:01:12; 3 City of Norwich (+5) 1:01:27; 10 Belgrave 'A' (0) 1:02:50; 20 Belgrave 'B' (+3) 1:09:24.

Fastest: 1 R Proctor (City of Norwich) 19:36; 2 E Patel (Winchester &D) 20:01; 3 K Philp (Garden C) 20:07; 10 H Smethurst W40 ('A') 20:53; 15 C Bertram ('B') 21:56.

Stage 4

Tilly Heaton has shown consistent form over the winter but observers may have spotted that she’s been missing a bit of that spark from recent years. She's still extremely competitive and loves to chase people down and Tilly's leg was significant in bringing the Belles up 3 places into 7th. Team manager Catherine Eastham put herself on the line for the B team and was pleased to clock a PB over the course.

1 Winchester &D (0) 1:19:12; 2 Bedford &C (+3) 1:21:09; 3 Woodford GwEL (-1) 1:21:25; 7 Belgrave 'A' (+3) 1:24:08; 19 Belgrave 'B' 1:32:33.

Fastest: 1 R Gibbs (Bedford &C) 19:32; 2 G Greenhalgh (Woodford GwEL) 20:13; 3 K McBride (Marshall MK) 20:23; 8 M Heaton ('A') 21:18; 21 C Eastham 23:09.

Stage 5

The team leaders had settled into position and it didn’t look like the order would change with Winchester’s lead increasing over each stage. Caroline Shanklyn, who's shown considerable promise over the cross country and in training with Charlie Dickenson's group, set off on her first southern relays for the Belles. The wind was beginning to pick up and the first drops of rain were starting but Caroline fought on and although pipped by Highgate's Svenja Abel who clocked the fastest leg of the stage, brought the Belles back a respectable 8th. 800m runner Vicki Goodwin, with her distinctive track runners style, took over for the B's and using the race as an endurance speed session kept the Belles in the top 20. Sadly, with no-one to handover to, that is where the B team's battle ended. It’s frustrating that we've not completed a B team in the 6-stage yet, especially as we were the leading B team by the end of stage 5.

1 Winchester &D (0) 1:39:43; 2 Bedford &C (0) 1:40:42; 3 Woodford GwEL (0) 1:41:27; 8 Belgrave 'A' (-1) 1:46:18; 19 Belgrave 'B' (0) 1:56:39.

Fastest: 1 S Abel (Highgate) 18:52; 2 N Sykes (Bedford &C) 19:33; 3 I Thornburgh (Marshall MK) 19:57; 12 C Shanklyn ('A') 22:10; 18 V Goodwin ('B') 24:06.

Stage 6

Vicky Clarke took on the last leg last year and just narrowly missed out on bringing the Belles home with a gold medal. Starting off in 8th spot it was too much of an ask for her to get anywhere near the medal positions this time round, but Vicky is another gutsy runner who likes to chase and set off intending to do battle. Despite clocking the 5th fastest leg of the stage and the Belles 2nd fastest leg of the day, the gap was just too great and the team's position was maintained with the Belles home in a solid 8th position.

1 Winchester &D (0) 1:58:58; 2 Bedford &C (0) 2:00:56; 3 Woodford GwEL (0) 2:01:58; 8 Belgrave 'A' (0) 2:07:01; 28 teams started; 21 teams finished.

Fastest: 1 K Hazlitt (Winchester &D) 19:15; 2 A Critchlow (London H) 20:09; 3 S Morris (Bedford &C) 20:14; 5 V Clarke ('A') 20:43.

Fastest all stages (5,506m):

1 L Elliott (Winchester &D) 18:30; 2 S Abel (Highgate) 18:52; 3 M Lee (Marshall MK) 19:08; 4 K Hazlitt (Winchester &D) 19:15; 5 R Gibbs (Bedford &C) 19:32; 6 N Sykes (Bedford &C) 19:33.

Clapham Common 10 km, 19 March 2006.

1 M Tuckett (?) 32:51; 119 P Cross M50 45:20; 310 finished.

Bath Half Marathon, Liverpool, 19 March 2006.

1 C Mutwa (Kenya) 1:12:45; J Clark 8-W40 1:24:41; H Smethurst 10-W40 1:25:40.

B&Q Eastleigh 10 km, inc CAU Inter-County Champs, Eastleigh, 19 March 2006.

In spite of a strong headwind on the outward leg of the journey, 5k came up in 14:55 with Mays (Kent AC), Wardle (London Irish), Maclean (Team Southampton) and Phil Wicks making up the leading bunch.  Richard Ward was suffering though - he'd bought a new pair of shoes at one of the race stalls and found them much too tight;  wisely he called it a day.  Maclean got away around the final loop but Phil was on for a great run, pulling back Mays right to the finish and clocking a huge personal record.

Jonathan Blackledge had been feeling "low" since the 4k World Cross Trial seven days earlier (he is second reserve for Fukuoka) but in spite of a week off, he also ran to a best ever time, chased by Tim Watson - back from a few weeks in South Africa.

Hassan Raidi has missed almost an entire winter due to a back problem but a few weeks training have seen him come on quickly - while down the field our 400m hurdles star Ryan Dinham was bested by M60 Rex Bale!  Ok, so Ryan, sponsored by B&Q, was out for a Sunday jog - but he still goes onto the ranking list.

1 A Maclean (Team Southampton) 29:47; 2 J Mays (Kent AC) 30:00; 3 P Wicks 2nd I-C 30:02; 7 J Blackledge 30:31; 8 T Watson 30:43; 14 H Raidi 31:28; 211 R Bale M60 41:45; 215 R Dinham 41:50; R Dinham 41:54; R Ward dnf; 720 finished

Teams: 1 Belgrave 32; 2 Team Southampton 60; 3 Kent AC 102; 20 teams closed in. Inter-County: 1 Surrey 15; 2 Hampshire 19; 3 Lancashire 20.

Fleet Half Marathon, 19 March 2006.

Women. 1 D Coslett (17 P&M) 1:18:47; 4 N Neal 1:24:05.

South Leeds Stadium 5 miles, 19 March 2006.

Men. 1 M Warmby (Newham &EB) 24:29; 3 P Willis 26:43.

Men's AAA Half Marathon, Silverstone, 19 March 2006.

Men. 1 D Mitchinson 1:07:08; 9 W Cockerell 1:12:54; 11 T Hadfield 1:13:44; 13 J Wolf 1:14:06; 15 W Lynch 1:14:45; 39 M Humphrey 1:20:27. Teams: (unofficial) 1 Shaftesbury Barnet; 2 Newham & Essex Beagles; 3 Belgrave H.

Women. 1 J Craft (Herdington) 1:20:36; 7 L Cooper 1:27:42.

Women's AAA Half Marathon, Liverpool, 19 March 2006.

1 B Dagne 1:15:01.

World Masters Athletics Championships, Linz, AUT, 19 March 2006.

M35 Half-Marathon. 1 P Freary 1:08:21.

Tom King Half Marathon, Nashville TN USA, 18 March 2006.

1 C Berry 1:16:11.

Hastings Half Marathon, 12 March 2006.

Men. 1 M Coleman (Medway &M) 1:06:40; 480 P Cross M50 1:36:21; 3410 finished.

Women. 1 B Dagne 1:15:50.

Milton Keynes Half Marathon, 12 March 2006.

1 M Muriithi (unatt) 1:07:30; 3 A Swearman 1:10:50; 1818 finished.

Brentwood Half Marathon, 12 March 2006.

1 C Bloomfield (Billericay) 1:10:50; 2 J Clarke 1:11:20; 10 M Humphrey 1:17:14; 1034 finished.

Inter-Counties/World Cross Trials/UK Cross Challenge, Wollaton Park, Nottingham, 11 March 2006.

Dramatic Inter-County win for Greg Billington

Threatened snowfall failed to materialise and it was a benign Wollaton Park, with sunny periods and little wind, that welcomed cross country fans for the final major fixture of the season.

U20 Men's 8 km

The very first race saw Belgrave action as Kris Gauson, running for Scotland East and gunning for a GBR World Cross team place, was prominent from the very start of the Under 20 Men's 8k.  Kris spent the initial lap in the front rank but when Lee Carey and Adam Hickey's duel for the victory got serious, the pack broke up and Kris found himself hanging on in around 6th place.  He was never in danger of slipping further and as the race drew to a conclusion he was as strong as anyone and closing on fourth and fifth positions.  He must now wait to see whether he gets a nod from the selectors.

U20 Men's 8 km. 1 L Carey (Warwickshire) 26:07; 6 K Gauson (Scotland East/Belgrave) 26:40.

Senior Women's 8 km

As befits her consistent high placing in every race throughout the winter, Sarah Murphy contributed greatly to Surrey's cause in the Senior Women's race. Hattie Dean of Oxfordshire stormed away, with our adopted member Gemma Phillips holding on to fourth this time, as opposed to her "National" placing of 2nd.

1 H Dean (Oxford) 28:52; 4 G Phillips (Cumbria) 29:20; 87 S Murphy (Surrey) 32:22. Teams: 1 North East 206; 2 Yorkshire 235; 3 Nottinghamshire 296; 8 Surrey 365.

Senior Men's 4 km

Jonathan Blackledge had been tipped as an outsider in the pre-race review - putting a little more pressure on his young shoulders - but as the UK Cross Challenge 4 km winner in Cardiff, there certainly was the chance of an upset.  In fact three Belgravians - Jonathan, Chris Moss and Darren Gauson - were heavily involved in the race, and Alasdair McLean-Foreman wasn't far away either.  In spite of eventually winning at Cardiff, Jonathan had let the leaders gain an advantage in the middle section of the race but, gaining in confidence, that didn't happen here, and into the last kilometre it was impossible to say who would win.  With only 200 metres to go Essex Beagle Mark Warmby, now advised by our own Gary Staines, gained mastery, with Aldershot's Chris Thompson fighting to get into the top six.  Jonathan's hard won fifth place was superb - his best race yet - and although we only expect three from this race to gain World Cross selection, it only wants a couple of dropouts from the pre-selected middle-distance boys in Melbourne to send him searching for his passport.  Poor "Mossy" gave everything and lost several places on the run in.

1 M Warmby (Newham &EB) 12:23; 5 J Blackledge (Belgrave) 12:26; 15 C Moss 12:48; 17 D Gauson (Scotland/Belgrave) 12:52; dnf? A McLean-Foreman (Belgrave).

U17 Men's 6 km

What a dramatic race!  Sixteen year-old Greg Billlington has been unbeaten in Europe and the UK this winter - and gave a terrific account of himself in a race in the USA where he was way among the youngest in his race.  Here at Wollaton Park he was back in the 20s - maybe 30s - after climbing the first hill, then worked his way through the field ... into the top four ... and then the top two as he fell in behind Ricky Stephenson (North East).  It was commented by onlookers that Greg seemed to fall away each time the hill was tackled, but nevertheless, he always got back.  At 5k the hill was ascended for the last time before the runners disappeared behind a clump of trees and at this point, it has to be said, Stephenson looked as if he was going to claim the victory as the gap reached its largest extent - about six metres.

What we didn't know was that Greg's coach Mick Graham had advised him to hold back on the hills - take them as comfortably as possible - and then burst back at the top to hurt his opponent while he was feeling the effort.  It worked a treat.  That last kilometre saw Greg take a lead that Stephenson could do nothing about - and as the Belgrave man stretched away, the North-Easterner faded - and then dramatically collapsed with only a couple of hundred metres remaining.  He didn't finish in the top ten and we have a feeling that he didn't finish at all.  He had literally run himself to a standstill in an effort to break away.

Greg's winning margin was 12 seconds - and he seemed quite at ease in spite of this titanic struggle.  Mick was delighted with his protege - and Suffolk had claimed their first ever male win at the Inter-Counties in a time which equalled the course record. 

1 G Billington (Suffolk/Belgrave) 20:30.

Senior Men's 12 km

David Anderson got the call-up from his North East Counties Team Manager while Phil Wicks donned the "old gold" colours of Surrey.  A powerful start by Phil saw him in 18th place when the field settled into the first circuit, with David just inside 30.  Tom Humphries of Staffs made most of the running in the middle of the race with the experienced Dominic Bannister alongside Phil prior to working his way slowly towards the front - and an eventual win.  Phil dropped a couple of places with each lap and didn't look quite right.  It transpired that he was suffering from a bad blister and while Phil's position climbed into the 20s, David slowly came forward - sprinting past to become our first man home in the final straight.

1 D Bannister (North East) 38:12; 23 D Anderson (North East/Belgrave) 39:34; 27 P Wicks (Surrey/Belgrave) 39:41. Teams: 1 Yorkshire 144; 2 Lancashire 235; 3 North East 264; 4 Surrey 287.

Science In Sport 10 km, Dunsfold, 5 March 2006.

1 P Freary 32:16; 77 P Cross M50 43:36; 465 finished.

London Heathside 5 miles, Finsbury Park, 5 March 2006.

1 K Cullen (Highgate) 24:25; 6 M Humphrey 28:02.

Berkhampstead Half Marathon, 5 March 2006.

1 A Reeves (Serpentine) 74:36; 4 W Lynch 76:16; 8 B Barton 2nd-M40 78:49.

BMAF CC Champs, Bournemouth, 5 March 2006.

1 G Hull (Leeds) 24:57; 18 R Alsop 26:34.

16th Armagh International 5 km Road Race, Armagh, N. Ireland, 2 March 2006.

The 16th Armagh International 5 km Road Race lived up to its name with six Russians, five Americans and a South African in the first twenty. In a setting described as unparalleled in Northern Ireland, on a course run on the Mall in the city centre park, the Russian Vyacheslav Shabunin had the beating of two Americans with Bristol & West's Rob Whalley first home for Britain in 6th, 14:14.  A terrific personal record came from Simon Jones, working hard towards the up and coming London Marathon. He was 4th Briton home with Stephen Sharp just eight seconds in arrears, separated from his team mate by another Russian.

1 V Shabunin (RUS) 14:09; 10 S Jones 14:21; 12 S Sharp 14:29.

Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon, 26 February 2006.

1 J Rendall (Tonbridge) 1:13:56; 301 P Cross M50 1:41:01; 1089 finished.

National CC Champs., Parliament Hill, London, 26 February 2006.

National Cross Country - a satisfactory day 

All in all, the 2006 edition of the "National" was a satisfactory affair. Parliament Hill is a tough course and its tendency to degenerate into a quagmire after half a dozen races, together with the long uphill start, has meant that it has never been a favourite for our teams in spite of it being "local". But the mud is nothing like as bad as in days of yore - a view reinforced by warriors from the '60s who invariably gather around our tent, mulling over old battles - and although the last time we raced the "National" here our men placed a lowly 28th - this time around, both our men and women maintained good team placings and we had a record turn-out of runners.

At an hour known only by milkmen and early rising sparrows, our tent party gained the prime car parking position on Highgate Road. Eight am saw claret, gold and blue canvas flapping in the raw, blustery breeze - and by 9am it was bacon sandwiches and a brew, al fresco at the bandstand cafe.  All was under control.

A missed chance for Greg - but Kris shines

There had been great hopes for Greg Billington in the Under 17 Men's race. Our young East Anglian has not been beaten this winter, but as race time neared, neither he nor coach Mick Graham had arrived.  It transpired that Greg and his family were stuck on the M11 after it had been controversially closed due to an accident. Greg's race at the final UK Cross Challenge, which doubles as the Inter-Counties Championship, now becomes even more meaningful.

Next up it was Kris Gauson in the U20 Men's race.  Having erased two of John Gladwin's famous club bests from our record books, Kris doesn't have to prove himself to Belgravians but his name is obviously still unfamiliar to the announcer at Parliament Hill who reeled off the names of the contenders as they completed the first lap but referred to Kris as "the Belgrave man."  The race distance of 10k was a long way for Kris - who recently ran 4:11 for an Under 18 indoor mile in Boston - but he held up well for a final placing of 8th and has two more years in the age group.  Could we be looking at a future Scottish winner of the English U20 Championship? Most of the guys ahead of him will not be eligible for the World Cross Championships and with the confidence gained from this run, Kris has everything to go for when it comes to the trial at Nottingham in two weeks time.

Another solid placing from the Belles

It's only in the last few years that we have seen our women completing teams in the National and much of this is down to Team Manager Catherine Eastham - who celebrated another solid team performance by closing in the quartette herself.  The men's Team Manager is keen to make it known that he has no intention of trying anything similar!

Again Sarah Murphy was first home, resulting in a 100% record in our Women's Cross Country Plate Competition - 120 points out of 120.  Tilly Heaton and Helen Smethurst preceded Catherine, with Louise Cooper out of the scorers for a change, suffering from a foot problem that we hope will be clear by Marathon time.  Sarah Gailey, who races everything from 400 metres upwards, seemed unperturbed by the mud and two laps of the all-weather oval will never seem so hard after this.

There was great interest at the front end of the field as well.  Gemma Phillips, Mark Miles' girlfriend, had a storming run and was truly delighted with her second place.  Belgrave congratulations go to her!

Young lions gain experience

And so to the men. It was always going to be unlikely that we'd be able to turn out a winning team but yet another position well inside the top ten shows that we still have the potential to repeat our 2004 win and there is a tremendous will within the squad to "do it again."  It surely will come.

Going "over the top" held no terror for our courageous young lions Darren Gauson and Phil Wicks, and as the 1,300 field climbed the shoulder of Kite Hill, led by Salford's Andi Jones, both these Belgravians were in the 'teens.  After a couple of miles things had settled down and one of the pre-race favourites Peter Riley of Leigh had grabbed the lead.  Phil was in the early 30s, Darren ten places in arrears, and David Anderson keeping an eye on both, just a few seconds behind.  Tim Watson had run an uninspired 4th in the Inter-Services Champs. the previous day but back on the Heath where he has run so well before, he was having a good day in the 60s, thirty places up on a Paul Freary who seemed below par.  And then it was Pete Willis making up the six with the Skipper close behind.

Sadly Lee Greatorex was already out of the action.  Having returned from a calf injury and a cold, a bad spike wound to his heel put an end to his race.

Setting out on the second lap Phil and Darren had both slipped a few places while our next three men were making ground, most notably David Anderson, even though he was suffering from a shoe that was viciously biting into the back of his foot.

The team race was already over as Leeds City had packed their entire team into the top sixty.  It was by no means clear which squads would fill the remaining medal positions - Notts, Bedford, Altrincham?  It wasn't going to be the Bels though, as our tally was around the 420 mark. Will had now pushed Pete Willis out of our scoring six but with Tom Ellacott and Tom Hadfield going well, our nine to score chances were looking more hopeful.

While Riley continued on his winning way to the very end, the leading Belgrave duo suffered.  Phil held on to win the Parker Bowl as first Belgravian home and at not quite 22 years of age he must be one of its youngest ever winners.  But he was being closed down by Vice-Captain Anderson all the way to the funnel and what a pleasure it is to see him back in action and enjoying his racing again.  Tim Watson had also run well and had moved ahead of a Darren Gauson who later said that at every hill and with every blast of wind, he felt himself getting knocked back - at any painful point in any future middle-distance race he'll be able to tell himself it is nothing as compared to his first run on "Parly Hill."

A very satisfactory team performance then, all things considered. As we chew over the results things are looking good for the future.  We have some young men eager to make their mark in the sport and with the exception of Wells City's Frank Tickner (22 years of age), who placed second, the remainder of the top six were over 26 with three in their 30s.  It takes more than courage for a high placing in the National.  It takes experience and our team certainly gained some of that. 

Senior Men. 12 km. 1 P Riley (Leigh H&AC) 38:53; 2 F Tickner (Wells City H) 39:10; 3 S Vernon (Stockport H& AC) 39:37; 4 R Whalley (Bristol & West AC) 39:42; 5 B Noad (Highgate H) 39:52; 6 K Cullen (Highgate H) 40:00; 41 P Wicks 41:38; 44 David Anderson 41:43; 60 T Watson 42:07; 70 D Gauson 42:19; 92 P Freary 42:58; 134 W Cockerell 44:05; 166 P Willis 44:54; 180 T Ellacott 45:13; 192 T Hadfield 45:23; 223 M Byansi 45:57; 278 W Lynch 46:54; 935 Don Anderson M50 58:27; 979 H Corbett M45 59:08; 1085 S Baxendale 1:01:43; 1290 finished.

Teams at 6 to score: 1 Leeds CAC 234; 2 Salford H&AC 348; 3 Altrincham &DAC 361; 4 Notts AC 367; 5 Shaftesbury Barnet H 377; 6 Bedford &CAC 387; 7 Belgrave H 437; 8 Sale H Manchester 456; 9 Bristol &WAC 524; 10 Wells City H 531; 99 teams closed in.

Teams at 9 to score: 1 Leeds CAC 566; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet H 837; 3 Bedford &CAC 848; 4 Belgrave H 966; 5 Salford H&AC 983; 6 Sale H Manchester 1073; 45 teams closed in.

U20 Men. 10 km. 1 A Vernon (Aldershot F&DAC) 32:49; 2 A Hickey (Southend-On-Sea AC) 32:55; 3 K Gerrard (Manx H)33:19; 8 K Gauson 34:15; 177 finished.

U17 Men. 6 km. 1 L Carey (Nuneaton H) 21:52; dnf T Barry; 282 finished.

Senior Women. 8 km. 1 E Hall (Herts Phoenix AC) 32:12;2 G Phillips (Kendal AAC) 32:45;3 T Krzywicki (Charnwood AC) 32:52;4 J Clague (Liverpool H&AC) 32:59;5 S Thomas (Sale H Manchester) 33:13; 6 J Potter (Charnwood AC) 33:19; 47 S Murphy 36:26; 88 M Heaton 37:57; 116 H Smethurst W40 39:18; 180 C Eastham 41:28; 211 L Cooper 42:47; 260 S Gailey 44:37; 444 finished.

Teams 1 Charnwood AC 68; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet H 148; 3 Highgate H 154; 4 Bristol &WAC 179; 5 Sale H Manchester 206; 6 Telford AC219; 15 Belgrave H 427; 47 teams closed in.

Inter-Services Champs, Tweseldown Racecourse, Aldershot, 24 February 2006.

Men. 9.6 km. 1 T Lowe (Army) 30:02; 4 T Watson 30:48.

Serpentine Last Friday 5 km, Hyde Park, 24 February 2006.

Men. 1 M Almond (Rugby &N) 15:31; 6 K O'Connell 16:15; 7 J Webb 16:44.

Women. 1 S Musson (Tonbridge) 20:00; 5 M Noel W40 21:35.

Brighton Half Marathon, 19 February 2006.

Men. 1 R James (Lewes) 1:12:26; 136 A Porteous 1:28:27; 420 P Cross M50 1:36:53; 927 D McMillan M55 1:45:41; 2462 R Partridge M40 2:10:27; 3122 finished.

Bramley 20 miles, 19 February 2006.

Men. 1 J McFarlane (Thames H&H) 1:46:14; 6 T Hadfield 1:55:12; 14 J Wolf 2:01:13.

Women. 1 H May (City of Bath) 2:02:52; 10 H Smethurst 4th W40 2:18:12.

Valencia Marathon, ESP, 19 February 2006.

Men. P Fallenius M40 2:34:09.

Scottish Cross Country Champs, Callendar Park, 18 February 2006.

Senior Men's 12 km. 1 S Plummer (Southampton) 39:10; 2 D Gauson 39:42.

U20 Men's 8 km. 1 A Hay (Central) 24:52; 4 K Gauson 25:55.

Sidcup 10 miles, 12 February 2006.

Men. 1 M Boucher (Aldershot F&D) 54:09; 110 P Cross M50 1:09:07.

Women. 1 M Pannett (Tonbridge) 58:17; 77 H Smethurst W40 (6 Woman) 1:06:19; 353 L Lucas 1:38:46.

Wokingham Half Marathon, 12 February 2006.

Men. 1 H Lobb (Bedford &C) 1:06:07; 3 S Jones 1:06:27; 486 L Rehn M40 1:38:18; 870 D McMillan M55 1:48.71; 1681 finished.

26.2 Winter 10 km, Chessington, 12 February 2006.

A change in the weather brought rainy conditions that were not conducive to fast times but as the field tore out of the Chessington World of Adventures car park and onto the A243, Richard Ward and Phil Wicks had already grabbed a 15 metre lead on Stuart Major of SLH.  After 2k the runners faced a climb to the highest point of the course ... and at 3k Phil went clear. The late Ed Prickett's course record of 30:17 was not under threat, thanks to the weather, but Phil's winning 30:51 looked very easy and his best of 30:29 will surely be revised before too long.

Richard was pleased with his own performance.  He's still suffering from a hangover of the glandular fever which has kept him well below par over the last couple of years, a continuing chest problem which means that he's taking a course of antibiotics, but it looks as if we'll see him right back to his best this coming spring and summer.

The conditions did not hold back Catherine Eastham who took a full minute off her best ever for the distance.

Men. 1 P Wicks 30:51; 2 R Ward 31:25.

Women. 1 S Branney (City of Glasgow) 37:22; 14 C Eastham 42:52.

Love Run 10 km, Battersea Park, 11 February 2006.

Women. 1 V Clarke 37:15.

University Relays, Hyde Park, 11 February 2006.

Men. 5.164 km. Fastest: J Blackledge 14:53.

Women. 3.464 km. R Powell 13:30 and 13:51.

Bushy Park 5 km, 11 February 2006.

1 R Ward 15:13.

Metropolitan CC League, Horsenden Hill, 11 February 2006.

Our Special Correspondent Bob Smith of Newham & Essex Beagles tells us that a gang of four broke away in the last of the Met League races.  A guesting Dan Dalmedo of Bedford &C got away for the win with Shaftesbury's Tom Bedford 2nd but Shukri Omar gave a very good account of himself, finishing 13 seconds down on the Shaftesbury man. 

1 D Dalmedo (Bedford &C gst) 25:51; 3 S Omar (Belgrave gst) 26:18.

Ashford & District 10 km, 5 February 2006.

Men. 1 J Creane (Folkestone) 33:24; 88 P Cross M50 42:18; 508 finished.

Regents Park 10 km, 5 February 2006.

Men. 1 S Barrett (Serpentine) 33:12; 4 P Fallenius M40 34:10.

Longleat 10 km, 5 February 2006.

"This has got to have been the toughest 10k I've ever done," Paul told us afterwards. It was all bl**?@ hills. But the man also told us he's in good form and is looking forward to the "National".

1 P Freary 32:38; 1069 finished.

Watford Half Marathon, 5 February 2006.

1 K Kyereme (Shaftesbury B) 1:08:05; 7 T Hadfield 1:13:29; 50 M Byansi 1:21:23; 1929 finished.

Scottish East District League, Livingston, 5 Feb 2006.

1 R Russell (Central) 25:26; 2 D Gauson 25:59.

Chichester 10 km inc. AAA Championship, 5 February 2006.

Belles upgraded to GOLD in AAA 10k

With our men's team collapsing around our ears as the race neared, any hopes of medals for a fifth successive year seemed to slip away - Hassan Raidi pulled out with a bad back and Al Stewart was ruled out by the onset of a cold.  But we still had three men, even though Stephen Sharp's journey down to Chichester was marred by a puncture and a slight calf muscle problem was bothering Richard Ward, who tried himself out the day before with a nippy 5k in Bushy Park. Aucklander Karl O'Connell made up the bare minimum required for a team.  We had four women in the race but with two of them having run in the previous day's cross country league medals here were not even thought of.

But if we had problems then so did others.  Highgate were without Ben Noad, the Beagles lost a couple - including the previous week's SEAA Cross winner Dave Mitchinson who was racing on the continent, Team Southampton were down to two men - and so it went on.

It was a classy race, nevertheless, with the real eye-opener being Kent AC's Jermain Mays, stepping up in distance to claim third place.  Team of the moment Wells City had obviously romped it and Altrincham had the Norman brothers right near the front (but were missing Jason Ward racing at Dewsbury).  Amazingly, when the times were added up, we realised that we had maintained our five year streak of medalling in this event.

What a debut for Karl O'Connell - closing in our team in his first race for the Bels. and picking up a AAA gong.

Birhan Dagne found herself in trouble, suffering from the return of a knee problem, but with it being a one lap course there was no point in pulling out. She slowed but kept going forward, completing the race two minutes slower than in 2005.  What a good job she did, for with 'Jules' Clark and Tilly Heaton finishing not too far behind, the team were amazed to find that they had snaffled silver medals - and were a mere seven seconds behind the winners, Arena 80.  But there was more drama to come as two days later it became clear that the results showed an ineligible runner among Arena 80's squad and the Belles were upgraded to GOLD!

Men. 1 P Riley (Leigh) 29:02; 2 K Cullen (Highgate) 29:24; 3 J Mayes (Kent) 29:40; 11 S Sharp 30:09; 29 R Ward 31:51; 40, K O'Connell 33:27; 840 finished.

Teams: 1 Wells City 1:31:14; 2 Belgrave 1:35:27; 3 Newham &EB 1:36:34.

Women. 1 H Yelling 32:31; 2 N Harvey (South L) 33:53; 3 J Wright (Shaftesbury B) 33:57; 10 B Dagne 35:47; 19 J Clark 2nd-W40 37:57; 31 M Heaton 38:58; 88 C Eastham 44:49; 534 finished.

Teams: 1 Belgrave 1:52:42; 2 Brighton &H 2:03:18.

U23 International CC, Neukirchener Cross, Dusseldorf,  GER, 4 February 2006.

8.5 km: 3 T Humphries (Cannock &S) 27:39.23; 7 Phil Wicks 27:55.23; Team 1 ENG 1:51:51.39

BUSA CC Champs., Stirling, 4 February 2006.

4.5 km: 1 J Blackledge 11:37.

11.3 km: 1 F Tickner (Birmingham/Wells) 31:47; 22 K Gauson (Edin/Belgrave) 34:00.

Bushy Park 5 km, 4 February 2006.

1 R Ward 15:17.

"Sweatshop" Surrey Cross Country League, Race 4, Coulsdon, 4 February 2006.

Little Joe takes U13 league title

There was no drama on Farthing Downs and Herne Hill Harriers, who have turned out winning teams right through the series, made certain of their first Surrey League win in a generation.

For the Bels there were two gems.  First of all Joseph Taylor-Holland ran an inspired race to take an Under 13 win - and combined with his forward placings in the previous three races this gave him the title of best individual in his age group.  Well done to him!

The other was the pleasure of seeing David Anderson in racing mode once again.  He tore away from the start, heading up the long slope to the cafe on the hill, with Mike Trees in tow, as if he meant to break away from the field. On the return to complete the first lap, Reigate's Paul Rodgers was two metres ahead of David while our second scorer was still Mike, 20 metres ahead of the Skipper.  But Mike was already suffering: due to race a duathlon the following week he ran the first part of the race very fast to simulate a 5k followed by a bike ride.  Will and Tom Ellacott were making up much ground now while up front Rodgers had got away from David, who then found himself being attacked by Herne Hill's Ian Lockett.

And so we ran out fourth - and ended up third overall. Our new Vice Captain David Anderson seemed a little disappointed - but with only a month's training behind him it hinted at huge possibilities for the big events on the horizon.  Will's claim on the Cross Country Plate is now unassailable and he doesn't even have to turn out for the "National" to hold on to his prize - though we'll bet he does.  Truly, nobody seems to be able to beat the Cockerpillar and his triumphant tour around Parliament Hill will be his 30th consecutive "Plate Run."

1 P Rodgers (Reigate P) 27:59; 2 D Anderson (Belgrave) 28:07; 3 I Lockett (Herne H) 28:13; 14 W Cockerell 29:18; 20 M Trees M40 29:38; 22 T Ellacott 29:43; 26 P Willis 30:03; 41 T Weeks 31:01; 43 W Lynch 31:07; 53 M Humphrey 31:37; 59 J Webb 31:59; 84 S Ryan 33:40; 86 M Taylor M40 33:58; 98 J Lynch 35:31; 105 R Norville 36:04; 118 H Corbett 38:45; 124 L Rehn 40:56.

Teams: 1 Herne H 151; 2 Thames H&H 262; 3 South L 313; 4 Belgrave 343; 5 Guildford &G 474; 6 Reigate P 550; 7 Kingston &P 550; 8 Walton 597.

Final League positions: 1 Herne H 684; 2 Thames H&H 949; 3 Belgrave H 1351; 4 South L 1416; 5 Guildford &G 1892; 6 Reigate P 2034; Kingston &P 2206; 8 Walton 2428.

Under 13. 1 J Holland-Taylor 17:21.

Women's Surrey Cross Country League, Race 4, Petersham, 4 February 2006.

1 J Bleasdale (Thames H&H) 20:51; 2 R McNicholas (Herne H) 21:14; 3 J Ronaldson (Ranelagh) 21:20; 6 S Murphy 21:33; 11 C Shanklyn 22:14; 14 J Clark W40 22:22; 17 H Smethurst W40 22:45; 37 L Cooper 23:51; 70 C Eastham 25:03; 155 finished.

Teams: 1 Ranelagh H 35; 2 Belgrave H 85; 3 South L 114; 4 Wimbledon W 114; 5 Thames H&H 127; 6 Stragglers 165.

Final League positions: 1 Ranelagh H 196; 2 Belgrave H 332; 3 South London H 566.

Royal Navy Champs, HMS Raleigh, Tor Point, 2 February 2006.

Just five days after winning our Endurance Cup as first man home in the "Southern", Royal Marine Tim Watson won his first Royal Navy CC Championship.  The race distance was 6 miles and Tim defeated the holder Mark Croasdale (30:11) by running away from him over the last lap.  It was the first time that 30 minutes hade been beaten on this course.

Men. 1 T Watson 29:50.

Romsey 5 miles, 29 January 2006.

Mike Trees found that he had Belgrave company in the form of Kevin Nash for his local 5 miler. Hoping to get into shape to make the A team for the SEAA 12-Stage, our veteran World 10k Champ from a couple of years back hung on to Nasher for as long as he could, just fading away over the last part of the race.  Both were disappointed with their times, hoping for something a minute faster - but the blustery wind put paid to that.

Men. 1 K Nash 25:10; 2 M Trees M40 25:41.

Barretts Canterbury 10 miles, 29 January 2006.

Men. 1 B Royden (Medway &M) 53:31; 22 M Kazimierski 1:00:55; 110 P Cross M50 1:12:31; 563 finished.

Women. 1 K Mackenzie (Barnsley) 1:04:02; 9 A Walker 1:08:23; 299 finished.

Epsom Oddballs Perch V 10.05 km, 29 January 2006.

Men. 1 S Ablitt (Aldershot F&D) 33:58; 7 M Webb 36:55.

Scottish Champs., Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, 29 January 2006.

Men. 1 S Plummer (WGwEL) 11:48; 3 D Gauson 11:59.

SEAA CC Champs., Bicton Park, Devon, 28 January 2006.

A race too far!

As usual, when it comes to the "Southern" we seem to find difficulty in turning out teams; and when the venue is nigh on 200 miles from London the task is even harder. The Belles did manage, it with a foursome that travelled by train on the day. Sarah Murphy ran her normal aggressive race to lead them home and a respectable 13th team place was their lot. Catherine Eastham had a particularly good run.

In the men's 15 km - the full distance this time - we had just three.  Tim Watson protested that he was not really that fit but nevertheless claimed 27th place and took our Endurance Cup as first Belgravian home.  For Will Cockerell a nine mile jaunt around the Devon hills was a break from driving from London to Cumberland (taking the silly route) and he was chased hard by Warren Lynch who ran an excellent four or five miles before sagging in the second half.

Men's 15km. 1 D Mitchinson (Newham &EB) 49:19; 2 W Levett (Bedford &C) 49:24; 3 K Heywood (Bristol &W) 49:25; 27 T Watson 52:16; 58 W Cockerell 54:16; 129 W Lynch 57:56; 551 finished.
Teams: 1 Bedford &C 165; 2 Newham &EB 218; 3 Herne Hill 223.

Women's 8 km. 1 L Elliott (Winchester &D) 28:42; 2 J Wright (Shaftesbury B) 29:42; 3 K Hazlitt (Winchester &D) 30:06; 31 S Murphy 32:26; 96 L Cooper 36:39; 102 M Heaton 37:01; 115 C Eastham 37:36; 231 finished.
Teams: 1 Winchester &D) 36; 2 Shaftesbury B 37; 3 Woodford GwEL 88; 13 Belgrave 344.

Bushy Park 5 km, 28 January 2006.

Men. 1 R Ward 15:57.

Serpentine Last Friday 5 km, Hyde Park, 27 January 2006.

Men. R Cousens (RSA) 15:41; 2 R 5:46; 4 P Fallenius M40 16:16; 5 T Hadfield 16:27; 170 J Hall M55 25:44.

UK Cross Challenge Meeting Four, Cardiff, 22 January 2006

Two winners in UK Cross Challenge

Belgrave supporters were treated to some fine running at the main UK event of the weekend, the UK Cross Challenge, in Blackweir Park, Cardiff.

The 4 km race saw three Belgravians sprinting for forward placings at the start and occupying these positions to the halfway point where Birchfield's Tom Payn was making the running with Jonathan Blackledge and Rob Birchall (Notts AC) no more than a stride in arrears and Aldershot's Chris Bolt and our own Alasdair McLean Foreman and Shukri Omar completing the leading bunch. Payne and Bolt got away during the next kilometre, the gap to Jonathan going up to perhaps 30 metres at one point.  But if there's one thing we've learned, JB never gives up hope. Feeling confident that he could close the leaders down, the gap shrank during the final stages of the race and just before the turn into the 150m finish stretch he burst into the lead - and then survived a renewed attack from Chris Bolt as the finish was reached. Both were given the same time.

Maybe twenty runners fought for the head of the field in the 9 km race, Stephen Sharp and Darren Gauson being among them.  For perhaps 3000m it remained thus, but when Highgate's Ben Noad upped the pace no-one could respond and as the field stretched, Stephen found himself fighting to retain a top ten place with Darren just outside the dozen. It was good to see both of them committing themselves in this high standard race.

Last race of the day was our first chance to see young Greg Billington in action.  He had won both of his previous outings in the UK Challenge but as there had actually been three races, he was headed in the points table by Cwmbran's Ieuan Thomas.  Almost immediately these two broke away from the field and when the first of the three laps were over it was obvious that the winner must come from this pair. The loping stride of Thomas contrasted with the quicker cadence of the Belgrave man who looked so confident as he waited for the challenge to subside.  Into the second lap and Greg was away.  Five metres became twenty, and as the final circuit was tackled the lead had grown to 120 metres and was still growing as the race ended.  This guy really is something else - and we can't wait to see him in action on Parliament Hill in a few weeks.

Senior Men's 9 km. 1 B Noad (Highgate) 27:15; 11 S Sharp 28:02; 13 D Gauson 28:04.

Senior Men's 4 km. 1 J Blackledge 11:25; 4 A McLean-Foreman 11:35; 8 S Omar 11:48.

U17 Men's 6 km. 1 G Billington 18:31.

Shell Four Villages Half-Marathon, Helsby, 22 January 2006.

Men. 1 A Norman (Altrincham) 1:05:56; 2 P Freary 1:08:21.

Women. 1 D Mason (Tipton) 1:14:28; 14 L Cooper 1:26:17.

Merton Schools Champs, Morden Park, 21 January 2006.

U15 Girls. 1 M Evans 14:18.

Avon & Somerset CC Champs., Glastonbury, 15 January 2006

On a visit home from Boston, Alasdair McLean-Foreman, tackled his county championships and came home with a 30 second winning margin.  A GB international a couple of years back at 800m and 1500m and a heavy points scorer in our NJAL teams, Alasdair is still only 24.  He ran in the Belfast International race the previous weekend and plans to run in Cardiff in the 4 km race next weekend.

Senior Men's 12 km. 1 A McLean-Foreman 34:18.

Suffolk CC Champs., RAF Barnham, 15 January 2006

U17M. 1 G Billington 20:52.

Wendover Multi-Terrain 5 miles, Chiltern Hills, 15 January 2006

1 R Elmore (Leighton B) 24:26; 83 P Cross 40:53; 268 finished.

Great Edinburgh International, 14 January 2006

4 km. 1 N McCormick (Morpeth) 12:16; 17 D Gauson 12:59; 23 K Gauson 13:13.

Middlesex CC Champs., Wormwood Scrubs, 14 January 2006

In spite of three laps of a boggy, sticky Wormwood Scrubs being on the menu, Stephen Sharp reported that he "felt wicked." He led from the outset, followed closely by Dalmedo and our own Shugri Omar but was always in control and pulled away over the last circuit for his first County Cross Country Championship win. Steve will race over 9 km at Cardiff while Shugri will tackle the 4 km event.

Senior Men's 12 km. 1 S Sharp 38:51; 2 D Dalmedo (Hillingdon) 38:55; 3 S Omar 39:37; 8 R Ashe.

"Sweatshop" Surrey CC League Division One, Race 3, Newlands Corner nr Guildford, 14 January 2006

Fourth on the Surrey Hills - but there's magic in the air

Newlands Corner is wonderful place for a picnic - in June - but it's no place for a tea-party in mid-winter with the light failing and the wind and rain sweeping across the Surrey Hills from the Weald!  The chalky soil was so slippery that even the team manager had to decide what length spikes he was going to wear as he handed out soggy numbers.

Having received the call to run for England in an Under-23 international vs. Germany in three weeks time, Phil Wicks was in determined mood and looking forward to squaring up to the victor in the previous week's Surrey County Championships. Sure enough, with only 400 metres of the race gone, three men had already gained a 30 metre break - John McFarlane of Thames, Alistair Moses of Reigate and our own Phil.

After 14 minutes of running the three were still locked together with Surrey Champion McFarlane making the running and Phil tucked in close behind.  Three minutes later, in the woods, it was equally tight but now the Belgrave man had inched ahead and was beginning to force the pace.  Slowly he opened a gap and when the steep slippery climb was tackled for the second time he pressed on to increase his advantage - and it was all over. It was Phil's second league win of the series and he clearly heads the individual competition and the race for our own Cross Country Plate - but the final match falls on the very weekend that he'll be in Germany.

A bout of winter colds had knocked Kevin Nash's training for six since his "Hog's Back" win but a promise to turn up to cheer the lads on turned into an offer to "jog round" - and before you could say "Nasher" we had an unexpected 8th scoring place.  He was well pleased - as was veteran Mike Trees who spends as much time jetting to and from Japan as he does in England. Mike narrowly had the beating of The Skipper (wearing a hopelessly short set of spikes) and suddenly, with news of others returning to training or featuring highly in other races, one feels the winter has been put behind us and the AAA 10km, the "National," the half marathon and the Relays are beginning to figure in our conversations again.

A special welcome to two newcomers in the cross country squad: eighteen year-old James Fairbourn eased into the scoring ten - and one who didn't score but donned a Belgrave shirt for the pleasure of running across the Surrey turf was International Race Walker Darrell Stone.

Once again Tom Barry and Joseph Taylor-Holland made their presence felt in the younger age-groups.  Tom placed 3rd in the U17 category while Joseph again had a powerful finish to overtake rivals as the funnel was reached. 

Senior Men's 8 km. 1 P Wicks 25:42; 2 A Moses (Reigate Priory) 25:55; 3 J McFarlane (Thames H&H) 26:05; 8 K Nash 27:05; 20 M Trees M40 28:07; 21 W Cockerell 28:11; 41 T Weeks 29:27; 44 W Lynch 29:33; 45 E Lyne 29:37; 57 L Greatorex 30:24; 59 D Stone n/s 30:27; 78 J Fairbourn U20 31:52; 87 T O'Neill M50 32:53; 114 M Taylor M40 36:35; 119 L Rehn M40 38:17; 123 P Beaumont M40 39:26; 130 finished.

Teams: 1 Herne Hill H 170; 2 Thames H&H 250; 3 South London H 348; 4 Belgrave H 372; 5 Reigate Priory 439; 6 Guildford & Godalming AC 482; Kingston & Poly H 562; 8 Walton AC 618.

League positions: 1 Herne Hill H 533; 2 Thames H&H 687; 3 Belgrave H 1008; 4 South London H 1103; 5 Guildford &G 1418; 6 Reigate Priory AC 1484; 7 Kingston & Poly H 1656; 8 Walton AC 1831.

U17M 1 P Humphrey (South London H) 15:53; 2 D Altnorff (South London H) 16:08; 3 T Barry (Belgrave) 16:17.

U13B 1 J Puttock (Guildford & Godalming AC) 17:28; 2 S Honey (South London H) 17:55; 5 J Taylor-Holland (Belgrave H) 19:47.

Women's Surrey CC League Division One, Race 3, Newlands Corner nr Guildford, 14 January 2006

No change in Women's league - Belles are second to Ranelagh yet again

"A true cross country course," is how home team Guildford & Godalming described their route across the Surrey Hills, "It had it all - mud, hills, multi-terrain ...."  Well, we're not going to disagree with that! But if the terrain was different the result wasn't and for the third time in a row it was a Ranelagh-Belgrave one-two. One has to say that barring an almighty upset - that's the way it'll be at the end of the league series.

Sarah Murphy went great guns to lead home the team, her post injury come-back going nicely to plan. With the AAA 10k in her sights a couple of weeks off, Captain Juliette was third veteran home, just three places up on the ever-consistent Tilly Heaton.  University life in Scotland is obviously suiting Christine Bertram who was breathing down Tilly's neck and the team was closed in by Louise Cooper, not neglecting her speed work as she clocks up the pre-marathon miles. Not content with team managerial duties, Catherine Eastham made sure that we had a 'B' team presence.

For the U13's Megan Evans had yet another great run despite being tired at the end. Her cross country schedule for the past two weeks has included no fewer than four races - luckily the tougher it is, the more she likes it!

1 C Nicholson (Stragglers) 20:33; 2 B McNicholas (Herne Hill) 20:43; 3 B Hopewell (Thames H&H) 20:47; 5 S Murphy 21:04; 12 J Clark W40 21:26; 15 M Heaton 22:07; 16 C Bertram 22:09; 35 L Cooper 23:16 60 C Eastham 24:25; 133 finished.

Teams: 1 Ranelagh 51; 2 Belgrave 83; 3 South London H 123;4 Stragglers 130; 5 Wimbledon Windmilers 207; 6 Reigate Priory AC 224

U13G 1 E Gorecka (Guildford &G) 11:36; 5 M Evans 12:02

Tadworth Ten, Epsom, 8 January 2006

1 I Boneham (Notts AC) 56:43; 4 C McMillan 59:36; 97 R St.Clair M40 1:13:35; 105 P Cross M50 1:14:00; 163 J Pritchard 1:17:01; 291 D McMillan M55 1:23:24; 467 D Davies M65 1:33:36; 639 finished.

Garstang 10k, Lancashire, 8 January 2006

Mustn't race organisers love GPS!  Paul finished this race and a quick check on his global positioning system showed that the distance was actually 6.38 miles - representing about 40 seconds of additional running - a fact backed up by others in the race.  It goes on the rankings "as is" but the man is obviously getting into good nick for the National, now only six weeks away.

1 P Freary 31:16.

Belfast International CC Races, Stormont, 7 January 2006

Senior Men. 1 B Kosgei (Kenya) 28:05; 36 A McLean-Foreman 31:21.

Sussex CC Champs., Lancing, 7 January 2006

Senior Men's 12 km. 1 B Warren (Hailsham) 41:28; 40 F Ward M45 49:56.

Surrey County CC Champs., Lloyd Park, 7 January 2006.  Full Results

Low key again at Lloyd Park

Ten winters have now passed since Belgrave's men last won the Surrey County title.  Our women have, of course, won much more recently, but the 2006 edition of the Championships at Lloyd Park was like so many others in the last decade - low key.

Megan Evans ploughed a lonely furrow in the Under 13 Girls' race, placing 8th as our only representative.  Well done to her!

Just two of our senior women were available to tackle 8km of slippery conditions.  Sarah Murphy made a fast start and held on well to finish just outside the top dozen and Tilly Heaton, as ever, was not far behind.

The men did at least have a team for the 12km event, which pleased the Skipper, and in Phil Wicks it was felt that there was a good chance that we might even provide the individual winner.

Phil set off hard aiming to take the lead early unless someone else provided a hot pace.  He did lead, on and off, over the first 2km but John McFarlane of Thames, twice previously in Phil's slipstream this winter, was on form this time and pressing to move away himself. By the end of the first lap the Thames man was away and Phil was struggling, now having to fight for a place in the top five.

In the end it was a brave run from Phil.  Things were not right and he had to dig deep simply to keep in the bunch. A change in working and training hours during the previous week had not helped and on this occasion that ferocious start put him under great pressure.

Skipper Will Cockerell looked more and more solid as the race progressed - as did Warren Lynch, while Tim Weeks stepped up a gear, running well for half the distance before suffering towards the end.  And thanks to plucky Don Anderson, always on hand should we ever need an extra body, we did at least close in a team. 

Women's 8 km. 1 G Gardner (Guildford &G) 33:09; 13 S Murphy 35:20; 18 T Heaton 36:08; 79 finished.

Under 13 Girls' 3.25 km. 1 E Gorecka (Dorking MV) 12:55; 8 M Evans 13:50; 58 finished.

Senior Men's 12 km. 1 J McFarlane (Thames H&H) 41:41; 2 K Kyreme (Shaftesbury B) 42:14; 3 R James (South London) 42:23; 5 P Wicks 42:39; 15 W Cockerell 44:14; 33 W Lynch 46:35; 44 T Weeks 47:41; 65 T Fordyce 49:46; 134 M Humphrey 55:40; 138 Don Anderson M50 56:15; 201 P Beaumont M40 72:04; 204 finished.

Teams: 1 Herne Hill 61; 2 Thames H&H 123; 3 South London H 139; 7 Belgrave H 299; 18 teams closed in.

New Year's Day 10 km, Hyde Park, 1 January 2006.

Men. 1 M Geele (Leicester) 31:08; 4 W Cockerell 33:08.

Women (overall positions). 22 B Pritchett (Wood Green) 37:19; 312 N Christou W35 54:44; 422 finished.

Portabello Promathon, 4 miles, Edinburgh, 1 January 2006.

1 M Draper (Windsor SE&H) 19:10; 2 D Gauson 19:51; 4 R Alsop M40 20:39; 284 finished.

Home   -   Back to top of page   -   Contact Belgrave Harriers at belgraveharriers@btinternet.com