Road Running & Cross Country, 2008 all reports by Alan Mead
End of '08 10k, Harrietsham, Kent, 28 December 2008.
Men. 1 S Bradley (Tonbridge) 33:43; 38 P Cross M50 43:22.
Sale H Festive 5, Manchester, 28 December 2008.
Men. 1 M Barnes (Altrincham) 23:49; 4 S Sharp 24:08.
Lauriston/Hercules Wimbledon 7m CC., Wimbledon, 28 December 2008.
Men. 1 A Weir (Thames H&H) 39:03; 2 W Cockerell 39:07.
Women. 1 E Viljoen W35 47:05.
Ribble Valley 10k, Clitheroe, 28 December 2008.
Men. 1 B Lindsay (Aldershot F&D) 29:55; 10 M Pollard 30:47; 20 P Willis 32:28.
Shell Chester Round The Walls 4.5 miles, 26 December 2008.
Women. 1 M Hall (unatt) 29:15; 4 L Cooper 31:31.
Lauriston Paarlauf, Wimbledon, 25 December 2008.
1 R Ward (Hunters BT)/E Saywell (Hercules W) 5m 1759y; 6 W Cockerell (Belgrave)/S Allen (Herne Hill) W 5m 702y.
Ronhill Surrey Classic 10k, Horston Country Park, 21 December 2008.
1 T Doran (Owls) 34:05; 9 M Webb M40 36:44; 172 D Davies M65 54:14.
Bels have the edge
With the Championship race held over our own course, it was good to win for a fourteenth time in the 120 years that the South of the Thames CC Association has been in existence.
Back in 1888 the race was first held over Wandsworth Common and in the early days it was regarded as a championship for "second-class" clubs. The established outfits of Ranelagh Harriers, Thames Hare & Hounds, South London Harriers and Blackheath Harriers had not been too keen on allowing upstart clubs, some of which were attached to Public Houses, to join them in their races so in 1887 a group of the newer clubs of South London asked for permission from the Southern Counties C.C.A. to stage their own event and the South of the Thames Second-Class Inter Club race was the result.
In time the race became one of very high standard and although the field is not as large now as it was in the 60s and 70s, it was no "second-class" race in 2008 as Russell Dessaix-Chin had John McFarlane, Dean Lacy and Will Levett for company early on. But Russell was running comfortably and by the second lap was away and able to enjoy the race unfolding at his own pace.
The early signs were that Belgrave had the edge over Herne Hill in the team race but after a fast start Malachi Byansi was going back through the field while the Hill's men seemed to be waxing in strength - it was going to be close.
James Kelly is in very good form at the moment but a cold hindered him in his preparation and after wrestling with Lacy and Kent's James Connor, he had to settle for a spot just outside the medals. For Neil Speaight a racing schedule that had seen him running a 4:03 mile in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago now had him tackling 12k of cross country and in spite of wearing a set of long spikes that gave him problems on the stony paths Neil was solid inside the top ten. Pete Willis and Will Cockerell were locked together for the entire race in the teens, both running well, so it was just a case of "would Malachi" be able to hold on?
But Mal's drift backwards had been halted and when the discs were collected by the team manager and the points were tallied up it appeared we had held off our rivals to win the Dewar Shield even though they had got seven men home before our sixth. And what now at 12 to score? Tim Weeks was having big trouble with his ankle and limping badly as he lost around thirty places (although never thinking of pulling out). Two newish runners in Andrew Sentance and Ben Hurley both played their part and with Mark Humphrey closing in the dozen at 79, Herne Hill still had two more men to find; the Coleman Cup was also ours.
Many thanks to the Belgrave marshals and to Don Anderson for laying out the course - and to Gordon Biscoe for masterminding the start/finish areas.
Men. 1 R Dessaix-Chin (Belgrave) 40:43; 2 D Lacy (Cambridge H) 41:29; 3 J Connor (Kent AC) 41:33; 4 J Kelly 41:51; ... 9 N Speaight 42:47; 14 W Cockerell 43:26; 15 P Willis 43:37; 38 M Byansi 45:55; 41 K Hegvold M45 46:15; 54 A Sentance 47:09; 58, B Hurley 47:29; 63 R Stannard 47:49; 77 T Weeks 49:14; 79 M Humphrey 49:24; 118 T Hadfield 52:43; 215 finished.
Teams: 6 to score. 1 Belgrave H (1, 4, 8, 13, 14, 36) 76; 2 Herne Hill H (7, 9, 11, 12, 21, 28) 88; 3 Aldershot F&D AC (10, 18, 27, 33, 37, 41) 166; 4 Thames H&H (6, 15, 16, 48, 49, 96) 230; 5 Kent AC (3, 17, 19, 24, 118, 128) 309; 6 Brighton & Hove (22, 40, 43, 66, 67, 76) 314; ... 15 teams closed in.
12 to score. 1 Belgrave H (76 + 39, 52, 58, 63, 77, 79) 444; 2 Herne Hill H (88 + 29, 47, 70, 72, 80, 100) 486, 3 Epsom & Ewell H 1095.
Serpentine Runners Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 19 December 2008.
Men. 1 J Shane (Basildon) 15:16; 18 A Luce M40 18:27; 47 L Rehn M45 19:42.
Women. 1 S Bush (Aldershot F&D) 16:36; 8 H Smethurst W40 20:34.
European Cross Country Champs., Brussels, Belgium, 14 December 2008.
Men. 10k. 1 S Lebid (Ukraine) 30:49; 45 P Wicks 32:32.
U20 Men. 6k. 1 F Carvalho (France) 18:42; 65 N Goolab 20:09.
Hog's Back Road Race, 14 December 2008.
Men. 1 H Raidi 41:38.
Hastings 100th Anniversary Marathon, 14 December 2008.
Men. 1 J Rendall (Tonbridge)2:36:50; 242 P Cross M50 3:34:10.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 13 December 2008.
Men. 1 T Elsey (Herne Hill) 16:59; 4 R Stannard 18:03.
Victory 5 miles, Portsmouth, 7 December 2008.
Men. 1 R Dessaix-Chin (Belgrave) 22:54; 19 H Raidi 25:19; 21 M Trees 1-M40 25:44; 24 K Hegvold 2-M40 26:13; 34 M Byansi 27:20; 363 D Anderson 36:52.
Team: 1 Belgrave H 65; 2 City of Portsmouth 149; 3 Portsmouth Joggers 204.
Women. 1 S Bush 26:53; 17 A Hegvold 3-W40 30:42; 55 R Trees 36:07.
Fukuoka Marathon, Japan, 7 December 2008.
Men. 1 T Kebede (Ethiopia) 2:06:10; 13 M Dent 2:14:46.
Tadley Runners Christmas 5.3 miles Run, 7 December 2008.
Men. 1 M King (unatt) 31:45; 23 P Cross M50 39:23.
Oxford Uni. vs Cambridge Uni., Wimbledon Common, 6 December 2008.
Men. 1 R Franzese (Oxford) 38:33; 3 J Kelly (Camb/Belg) 38:56.
Scottish East CC Champs., Cupar, 6 December 2008.
Men. 1 R Russell (Central) 34:08; 2 D Mulhare 34:47.
Scottish West CC Champs., Irvine, 6 December 2008.
Men. 1 T Mengistab (Shettlestone) 30:00; 4 M Pollard 31:03.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 6 December 2008.
Men. 1 N Stoddart (St. Mary's Rich) 17:13; 4 T O'Neill M55 18:06.
Banstead Woods 5k Time Trial, 6 December 2008.
Men. 1 R Stannard 17:36.
Beddington Park 10k, 30 November 2008.
Men. 1 T Elsey (Herne Hill) 31:47; 2 M Humphrey 35:51.
Crowborough 10k, 30 November 2008.
Men. 1 W Levett (Tonbridge) 33:42; 64 P Cross 44:17.
McCain UK Cross Challenge & European Trials, Sefton Park, Liverpool, 29 November 2008.
Men's 9.8k. 1 A Vernon (Aldershot) 29:34; 6 P Wicks 29:45; 17 R Dessaix-Chin 30:35; 140 J Fairbourn 34:36.
U20 Men's 6.7k. 1 D Forrester Sutton St. Helen's) 20:29; 2 N Goolab 20:36.
Thames H&H v Ranelagh, Roehampton, 29 November 2008.
Men. 1 J McMullen (Thames H&H) 41:26; 12 W Cockerell 46:44.
Veterans AC 5.8 miles CC, Wimbledon, 29 November 2008.
Men. 1 B Attwell (South London) 34:18; 14 R Mann M40 40:07; 32 A Lane M70 57:39; 33 L Mann M65 69:31.
Richmond Pk 5k Time Trial, 29 November 2008.
Men. 1 N Aitken (Clapham) 17:07; 6 T O'Neill M55 18:20.
NCAA Div 1 CC Champs., Terre Haute, Indiana, USA, 24 November 2008.
Men. 1 G Rupp (Oregon) 29:04; 179 K Gauson 31:32.
Leeds Abbey Dash 10k, 23 November 2008.
Men. 1 M Janes (Bedford) 29:32; 35 J Fairbourn 33:04.
Saab Saloman 16k Turbo Cross X, Bordon, 23 November 2008.
Men. 1 R Hope (Saloman) 59:23; 7 K Gadd 1:06:01.
EAS Castle Combe 10k, 23 November 2008.
Men. 1 D Hall (?) 34:25; 40 P Cross M50 42:20.
Richmond Pk 5k Time Trial, 22 November 2008.
Men. 2 R Stannard 17:53.
Bushy Pk 5k Time Trial, 22 November 2008.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 16:23; 323 J Hilston 27:34.
London CC Champs, Parliament Hill, 22 November 2008.
Women's 6k. 1 J Heslop (Clapham) 20:07; 2 C Bryson 20:28.
Brooks Brighton 10k, 16 November 2008.
Men. 1 J Blackledge 30:25; 2 S Sharp 30:31; 189 N Stevenson 39:36; 225 P Cross M50 40:15.
Epsom 10 miles, Epsom Downs, 16 November 2008.
Men. 1 B Whitby (Herne Hill) 53:18; 2 H Raidi 53:46.
Preston 10 miles, 16 November 2008.
Men. 1 G Butler (Preston) 54:29; 2 P Freary M40 55:28.
NCAA Great Lakes Regional, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, 15 November 2008.
Men's 10k. 49 K Gauson 32:34.
British Masters CC Champs., Swansea, 15 November 2008.
Men's 8k. 1 T Hartley (Eng) 28:04; 3 J Chaston (Wales) 28:46.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 15 November 2008.
Men. 1 N Stoddart (St. Mary's) 17:58; 2 R Stannard 18:22.
South of the Thames 5 miles Team Race, Lloyd Park, 15 November 2008.
We're beginning to get a nice little bunch of local runners together and when they meet up at a race the prizes are not far away. Mike Trees, Mal Byansi and Tim Weeks battled it out to close in the A team and their rivalry ensured that our fourth (and last) scoring man was ahead of Epsom's, thus earning a set of bronze medals. Tim got shunted out of the four but led home our B team ... where Don Anderson's spirited finish to close in that quartet resulted in the Bels pipping Epsom again at eight to score.
Pete Willis is slowly getting back to form and gave the team a boost by placing 10th (scoring 9th) but for Phil Wicks it was a training run although he had some surprising company in the shape of Newham & Essex Beagle Mark Warmby in a Herne Hill vest for the first lap.
Men. 1 P Wicks 27:01; n/s M Warmby (HHH gst) 27:19; 3 S Connor (Aldershot F&D) 28:42; ... 9 P Willis 30:14; n/s L Eguia gst 31:12; 23 M Trees M45 31:21; 24 M Byansi 31:23; 25 T Weeks 31:27; 46 R Norville 33:32; 59 D Mason 34:51; 102 D Anderson M50 40:23.
Teams (4 to score): 1 Aldershot F&D 45; 2 Herne Hill H 52; 3 Belgrave H 57; 4 Epsom & Ewell H 57; 14 Belgrave H 'B' 232; 24 teams closed in.
(8 to score): 1 Herne Hill H 225; Belgrave H 289; 3 Epsom & Ewell H 291; 7 teams closed in 8 runners.
Above: Pete Willis, Tim Weeks (19), Dave Mason (16), Malachi Byansi (13) and Mike Trees tussle to provide the three Belgrave scorers behind Phil Wicks in the South of the Thames 5 miles Team Race. Photos by Steve Wicks.
McCain's UK Cross Challenge, Sefton Park, Liverpool, 15 November 2008.
Men. 1 M Butter (Netherlands) 28:18; 9 R Dessaix-Chin 29:09.
One lap Race: 1 J Brewer (Cheltenham) 4:49; 9 N Speaight 4:56; 11 S Davies 5:01.
Leatherhead Fire Station 10k, 9 November 2008.
Men. 1 H Raidi 34:38; 5 M Webb M40 36:03.
Bexhill Seafront Poppy Half Marathon, 9 November 2008.
Men. D Anderson (?) 1:14:59 37 P Cross M50 1:35:55.
Lotto CrossCup, Mol, Belgium, 9 November 2008.
Men's 9.5k. 1 D Tasama (Ethiopia) 30:10; 8 P Wicks 31:07; 23 D Mulhare 32:37.
Under 20 Men's 6.4k. 1 J D'hoedt (Belgium) 20:49; 2 N Goolab 20:50.
Surrey Women's Cross Country League Race 2, Lightwater, 8 November 2008.
Women. 1 J Heslop (Clapham) 22:50; 6 S Murphy 24:43; 12 Z Vail 25:24; 18 A Hegvold W40 25:46; 19 M Heaton 25:51; 37 V Goodwin 26:58; 102 J Beecroft 30:16; 130 C Eastham 32:04.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 92; 2 South London H 106; 3 Herne Hill H 112; 4 Ranelagh H 117; 5 Woking AC 135; 6 Dulwich R 183.
Overall: 1 South London 174; 2 Belgrave H 254; 3 Herne Hill H 257; 4 Ranelagh H 262; 5 Reigate Priory 346; 6 Woking AC 347.
Above: A few seconds after the start of the second race in the Surrey League series and Belgrave's Russell Dessaix-Chin (29) has already made his intentions known. Photo by Alan Mead.
"Sweatshop" Surrey Cross Country League Race 2, Wimbledon Common, 8 November 2008.
Better ... and a glimpse back to 1998
There used to be a time when a team could win a Surrey League race with a score of somewhere around 250 and anything less than 200 was exceptional. Nowadays, with Herne Hill Harriers and Thames Hare & Hounds locked in a deadly embrace, trying to annihilate each other in our local league, they monopolise the top thirty places and on this occasion both scored less than 140. It was Thames that just had the advantage, as they did in match one, but there are only seven points between them.
This was a much better performance by the Bels. We just had the measure of "HW", placing 3rd on the day and moving up to 4th overall (from seventh!) - and that was without the assistance of Australian race winner Russell Dessaix-Chin who still has two weeks to go before his two months residence is completed and he is eligible to score for us. Russell made his intentions obvious from the start. He was clear of the chasing pack after 100 metres and had stretched his lead to about a minute by the end. Next week he heads up to Gateshead for a real test in the McCain's UK Cross Challenge.
Six-stage Relay hero Neil Speaight made a very welcome appearance to place 4th, scoring 3rd, and it was great to receive James Fairbourn, Tom Ellacott and Mike Trees back into the "ten" after they have been sidelined for some time. It was Kevin Gadd's first outing for the Bels.; his 42nd place after coming off "nights" was a good start and having sampled the après-race lemon drizzle cake vows he'll be back.
The last time we ran on this Hercules Wimbledon course was November 1998 and some of the names from those days stir the memory. Larry Matthews (Thames) was the winner with Stuart Major (South London) 3rd. Stu' still excels in 2008 - placing 6th. Scoring Belgravians included Clive Gilby, Rob McHarg, Lee Hurst, Ray Foley, Paul Coughlan, our under-20 Captain Kevin Quinn ... and Will Cockerell, our only survivor from that race a decade ago. Will was 75th then and after ten years of occupying a slot mostly in the teens and twenties, was a good 17th this time in spite of suffering from a cold. In those far off days, Thames and Belgrave were fighting for supremacy, Aldershot still contested the Surrey League, Borough of Hounslow AC and Boxhill Runners flourished, and Hercules Wimbledon were just about to spend some time in the lower reaches of the league.
Men. 1 R Dessaix-Chin (Belgrave n/s) 26:01; 2 J McMullen (Thames H&H) 26:57; 3 P Sly (Thames H&H) 27:05; 4 N Speaight 27:14; 18 W Cockerell 28:27; 40 T Ellacott 29:15; 42 K Gadd 29:21; 47 J Fairbourn 29:39; 50 T Weeks 29:49; 52 M Trees M45 29:52; 58 K Hegvold M45 30:16; 71 M Byansi 30:49; 109 J Webb 32:22; 110 R Norville 32:23; 129 M Humphrey 33:31; 130 T O'Neill M50 33:32; 152 M Taylor M45 35:19; 160 P Marsh M50 36:13; 171 P Cross M50 37:21.
Teams: 1 Thames H&H 132; 2 Herne Hill H 137; 3 Belgrave H 393; 4 Hercules Wimbledon AC 398; 5 South London H 541; 6 Ranelagh H 588; 7 Reigate Priory AC 588; 8 Dorking & Mole Valley AC 641; 9 Stragglers 677.
After two matches: 1 Thames H&H 306; 2 Herne Hill H 313; 3 Hercules Wimbledon AC 895; 4 Belgrave H 902; 5 South London H 950; 6 Ranelagh H 969; 7 Stragglers 1185; 8 Reigate Priory AC 1306; 9 Dorking & Mole Valley AC 1364.
Marlow Half Marathon, 2 November 2008.
Men. 1 E O'Gorman (Chiltern) 1:14:42; 2 M Trees M45 1:15:57; 3 P Willis 1:16:18; 16 M Whiting 1:23:52; 492 D McMillan M60 1:54:35.
Women. 1 L Whiley 1:28:20; 16 R Trees 1:40:29.
Rainforest 10k, Finsbury Park, 2 November 2008.
Men. 1 M Byansi 36:19.
Ron Hill Surrey Classic 10k, Nonsuch Park, 2 November 2008.
Men. 1 T Elsey (Herne Hill) 33:51; 3 M Webb M40 35:52; 61 R Mann M40 43:16; 163 D Davies M65 53:15; 226 L Mann M65 1:08:10.
Horizon League CC Champs., Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, 1 November 2008.
Men. 1 A Baker (Butler) 24:55; 4 K Gauson 25:20.
Stevenage Half Marathon, 2 November 2008.
Men. 1 G Saqui (Highgate) 1:11:36; 103 P Cross M50 1:31:38.
Reigate Priory Relay, 1 November 2008.
Men 6 x 2.5 miles. 1 Herne Hill H 86:33; 2 Tonbridge AC 88:23; 3 Cambridge H 90:19; 22 Belgrave H 108:37.
T Weeks (6) 14:47; K Gadd (4) 14:48; D Anderson M50 (13) 19:19; R Norville (11) 16:11; T Weeks (19) 22:28; D Anderson M50 (22) 21:04.
Fastest: D Lacy (Cambridge H) 13:25; K Quinn (Herne Hill) 13:46; 3 J Hamblen (Walton) 13:55.
Thames H&H v Cambridge University H&H, Wimbledon Common, 1 November 2008.
Men. 1 P Natali (Camb) 38:02; 2 J Kelly (Camb/Belg) 38:49; 8 W Cockerell (Thames/Belg) 41:45.
Wimbledon Common 5k Time Trial, 1 November 2008.
Men. 1 C Parr (Gateshead) 16:20; 5 M Humphrey 17:53.
Back to earth at Mansfield
Belgrave performances at the National Cross Country Relay Championships at Berry Hill Park tend to match the switchback terrain: one year up and the next one down. There's absolutely no margin for any error or weakness as so many clubs can turn out four men to run a fast 5k each. In 1996 we turned up for the first time with Messrs Gerry Adams, Matt Yates, Darren Mead and Gary Staines feeling confident we'd win it. What a shock that turned out to be as we could get no higher than 5th while Bingley and Coventry Godiva both ran 59:56 to set a course record. It took seven years before we turned up again, this time with Steve Sharp, Spencer Barden, Paul Freary and David Anderson, whose 59:36 was a winning time that still stands as the record today. Since then we've managed 2nd, 8th, 8th and 1st.
With many men missing for one reason or another, we were down to only three regular front liners with one more man to be pulled in from the Sutton Park 'B' team to face up to the speedsters, either on first leg or last. Paul Freary eventually got the nod and he opted for first leg. Our aim was a final place in the top ten and if everything went like a dream, maybe a sniff of the medals.
Paul had been storing a special pair of spikes for the day he got back into the cross country relay team. For two years they'd been sitting on a shelf but when the day came they didn't bring him any luck. A position in the 50s was expected with a time somewhere in the high 15s. Ok 75th was down a bit further back than we'd thought ... but Paul's time was way down on what we all hoped for. It was going to be "interesting". As usual, Steve Vernon's yellow Stockport vest had led the field.
Charging through the throng on leg two Stephen Sharp raised our colours a staggering 41 places, overtaking at will on the broader paths and still pulling back places as he approached the end, his eyes scanning the massed crowd of outgoing runners for Nick Goolab who was waiting to slap hands before he took his turn. Forty-one places ... and yet, curiously, it was Steve's slowest ever run on the circuit.
Celebrating the award of an Under 20 England vest for the following week's Lotto Cross Cup race in Belgium, Nick was eager to let rip. It was so difficult to know where we were now as runners were being lapped wholesale. Several times Nick had to bide his time in the woods, unable to get past on the narrow paths and then pushing his foot to the floor when a gap opened. But his was a cracking run and we were up to 17th.
Wells City Harriers were now in charge, going through the takeover area six seconds ahead of Morpeth Harriers. Sadly for them they had been unable to raise a fourth man for their squad and their show was over. The Beagles and Notts AC weren't far behind but, "You know who's going to do this? It's gonna be Bedford." was the opinion of those in the know.
What a courageous run from our master-blaster Phil Wicks, full of head cold but still prepared to give everything he'd got to raise us further still. By now he was among the best clubs on the course ... Tipton, Blackheath, Coventry, Aldershot ... they all fell to his stride. Running 8th best time of the day Phil achieved our aim, taking the Bels into 7th place.
It was a terrific effort and a real achievement but of course it was tinged with a measure of disappointment that on this occasion we'd been unable to reach the heights to which we've been accustomed. And the times were strange, too, surely slowed by the severe wind at the top end of the lap. Interestingly, if we'd front-loaded the team, which was always a possibility, we would have set out on the last leg in first place as Wells fell by the wayside. Would we then have placed 7th? Who knows? But you can't win 'em all ... and getting pushed out of the medals certainly sharpens the appetite for further success.
Men's 4 x 5k: 1 Bedford & County AC 1:01:09.80; 2 Newham & Essex Beagles 1:01:29.20; 3 Morpeth H & AC 1:01:36.60; 4 Notts AC 1:01:43.50; 5 Sale H Manchester 1:02:19.65; 6 Leeds City AC 1:02:24.80; 7 Belgrave H 1:02:57.10.
P Freary M40 16:47.95 (75); S Sharp 15:45.65 (34); N Goolab U20 15:22.50 (17); P Wicks 15:01:00 (7).
Great South 10 miles, Southsea, 26 October 2008.
Men. 1 B Kipyego (Kenya) 46:43; 20 J Blackledge 50:44; 37 K Gadd 56:40; 279 P Cross M50 1:08:26.
Cambridge University H&H v RAF v Eastern Counties, Magog Down, Cambridge, 25 October 2008.
Men. 1 J Kelly (Camb/Belg) 34:18.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 25 October 2008.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 16:19; 18 B Barton M40 17:55; 163 D Anderson M50 22:23.
Wimbledon Common 5k Time Trial, 25 October 2008.
Men. 1 K Kyereme (Shaftesbury Barnet) 15:43; 6 M Humphrey 17:50.
Tadley Runners 10 miles, Hurst, 19 October 2008.
Men. 1 M King (unatt) 55:44; 28 P Cross M50 1:07:48.
Jerry Farnan 5m CC, Phoenix Park, Dublin, 19 October 2008.
Dan Mulhare had to miss the National Relay to race in the Jerry Farnan 5 miles cross country event in Ireland as part of the lead-up to the Euro Cross. He was so inspired to see on our website that the Bels had won without him that he ran a great race the day after to place 5th, coming home ahead of a couple of guys who were on the Irish senior team at the World Cross in Edinburgh and a few others who were on the team for the Europeans last year. As a result he's won an Irish vest for an International in Mol, Belgium on November 9.
Leading home the junior men in the same race, and just 18 seconds behind was Dan's younger brother Michael.
Men. 1 M Christie (Mullingar) 25:12; 5 D Mulhare (North Laoise/Belgrave) 25:44; 9 M Mulhare (1-Junior) 26:02.
Great Cumbrian Half Marathon, 19 October 2008.
Men. 1 D Kirkland (Aln) 70:42; 2 K Tadesse 71:00.
Wimbledon Audi 10k, 19 October 2008.
Men. 1 H Raidi (Belgrave) 31:19.
Cardiff Half Marathon, 19 October 2008.
John Murithi (Kenya) went off like a rocket to grab a big lead but he suffered in the wind and when Simon went after him at 8 miles and then hammered the last mile or so, the African had no answer.
Men. 1 S Jones (Belgrave) 1:07:48.
Cabbage Patch 10 miles, 19 October 2008.
Men. 1 S Overall (Blackheath &B) 48:28; 7 K Hegvold M45 53:50.
Women. 1 M Mukunzi (Kenya) 56:48; 2 B Dagne 57:55.
Above: Celebrating a seventh win in the National 6-Stage Road Relay, all achieved in the last eight years. Left to right (and running order) Stephen Sharp, Nick Goolab, Steve Davies, Simon Jones, Phil Wicks and Neil Speaight. Photo by Alan Mead
ERRA National 6-Stage Road Relay, Sutton Coldfield, 18 October 2008
Seventh heaven in Sutton Park
Don’t you just love the relays!
The traditional 6-stage events come at a funny time of year. Those runners that thrive on the road or country have barely got into their stride in September/October while those whose favoured terrain is the all-weather track are coming off post-summer breaks. This autumnal timing makes for unpredictability and the very best of teams can find it difficult to turn out a strong six.
No such problem for the Bels on this occasion though; they were more preoccupied with trying to squeeze a 12-stage foaming pint of talent into a half-pint 6-stage pot without spilling too much. There were three different faces from our victorious line-up of 2007 – Nick Goolab, Steve Davies and Neil Speaight – but it could so easily have been more had Russell Dessaix-Chin arrived in the UK a few weeks earlier or Dan Mulhare not been involved in following the Irish trail to the Euro-Cross.
The boys were confident of “getting up there” and maybe getting close to the course record – but were all too aware that even this might not be enough to hold off the improving Notts and Bedford teams, the ever-present Beagles, giants of former years Tipton and Blackheath, Southern rivals AFD and of course the massive depth of the machine that is Leeds City AC.
Sutton Park was at its blustery best, although the runners were in no mood to admire golden leaves being plucked from swaying trees and gusted back into their faces. Stage one seemed more loaded than ever as runners undertook their pre-race rituals and our own “Sharpy” sucked in some deep breaths before starting the quest for his thirteenth National team gold medal – never mind the silvers, bronzes and area titles.
“Just come back in as close as you can to the lead, Skipper. Maybe 5th, maybe 12th. Just a good solid start.”
In fact Stephen ended up 11th among a stream of runners with nothing much between them. Ryan McLeod of Elswick headed the bunch but his was a team of just one man while other outfits flattered by being patently “front-loaded”. In 20th place came James Kelly, improving on his recent form and taking our B squad ahead of expected rivals Notts, the Beagles and Aldershot. Leeds, however, were way off the pace in 60th and although they impressively recovered to 6th by the end, they were unable to get back to the real action.
Not yet 19, Nick Goolab was being exposed to the unpredictability of the second stage. Having seen the Skipper heading back towards the end of the first stage inside the top dozen, our spectators out on the course were startled to see Nick’s unmistakable smooth style silhouetted on the ridge and moving into 4th … and then 3rd. Andy Vernon was charging through the field to take Aldershot up 34 places, Pollock of Kent was on a rise of 32 but amidst typical stage two volatility some teams were dropping like stones with Severn plunging no fewer than 63 places! Nick was surfing along at the head of this turbulence and finally ran through the takeover zone in second place having set the fastest time ever by a Belgrave under-20.
But not everybody was enjoying themselves. Mark Pollard’s five-week foray into foreign climes had not gone as planned, a foot injury curtailing his training just when he wanted to get some real miles in. “Polly” on the roads of Sutton Coldfield was not the man we have seen previously picking up team golds or twice winning Scottish cross-country titles. Like the Terminator – he’ll, “be back. No problemo!”
Winchester & District have been making great strides in the South – no doubt due to the efforts of coach Nick Anderson – but the surprise of seeing them at the head of the field after two stages was further increased when they were still to be seen leading the procession a lap later, thanks to Tom Payn; but the Hampshire club were only five seconds up on Aldershot with Bristol & West now in third, the Beagles in fourth and our own Steve Davies in 5th. Only fourteen seconds covered the leading five teams.
Steve sent out Simon Jones, another to have been experimenting with altitude training in Morocco throughout September. At the Great North and even the Chichester 10k he had been experiencing the slump that sometimes comes with a return to home conditions and was hoping that this day would be the one where things improved. Whilst being rock solid and moving the team forward to second again, seven seconds behind Newham & Essex Beagles, Simon still wasn’t happy with his run. But times aren’t always everything and the team was right where it ought to be.
"I need to open it up then ..."
But as Simon was nearing the end of his lap the Team Manager was outlining the state of play to Phil Wicks, due out next:
“This is going to be close. Sim’s going to be very near the front but The Beagles have got Moumin Geele on the last stage – we really need to give Sp8y as much as we can.”
“So I need to open it up a bit then,” was Phil’s understated reply; and then he was away.
How much would we need? What shape was Moumin in? The Beagles manager Bob Smith seemed to think that 30 seconds would be enough for their man to lock onto ours for the final tour of the Park.
The news came back that Phil had moved ahead and was 30 seconds clear – but they were not much more than halfway round – and our own manager peered anxiously towards the distant gap in the trees, looking for a sighting before setting his own watch running. There was Phil. Now, what was the gap? Thirty seconds gone, thirty five … “it’s forty!” And by the time Neil Speaight was away it was a fraction over three-quarters of a minute. A fabulous run Phil – surely our first ever sub-17 – 16:58 or 59 by our calculations – but sadly officially recorded as 17 dead.
Behind Phil, Ian Boneham of Notts had also run well, coming up five places, and Raeside (Notts) and Geele (Beagles) were away on the last leg more or less together. Could they work off each other and reel Neil in, surely not, but we never take anything for granted.
Showing an unusual amount of agitation now, the TM was screaming into his cell phone to Belgrave supporters out in the Park. “Give me some information. What’s the gap? Are they catching him?”
Back came the reply: “They’re approaching the out and back section now and it’s … 47 seconds …”
“What! He’s holding it.” Raeside and Geele seemed to be playing it a little cagey before finally ripping lumps off each other in the dying section of the stage; and all the time these two had been watching each other, Neil had been burying himself over the early part of the leg. “I didn’t want them to even think that they might catch me.” What an attitude and what a team.
Neil had gone through the finish and was receiving congratulations long before Bruce Raeside and Moumin came up the hill, shoulder to shoulder … and then, just at the end, the Beagle faltered … and Notts had the silver medals.
Studying the times after the heat of the battle it was amazing to see the consistency of the Belgrave splits. Five men in the A team had run within fifteen seconds of each other in the mid 17s, only Phil’s outstanding club record of 17:00 being out of the norm. Every other team had strayed into eighteen minute territory. And in the B team, Paul Freary had run 19:09 on three followed by Graeme Hyett just a second slower on four and then Shaun Moralee exactly matching Graeme’s time on five. Will Cockerell, rounding off for the Bs and torn between hanging on to see the outcome of the race and getting his own run under way, was a mere four seconds slower. So there we had five men within 26 seconds. James Kelly’s first B leg of 18:01 was worthy of a spot on any other team in the Park while A runners Phil’s and Nick’s times were superb in the prevailing conditions.
1 Belgrave H 1:45:18; 2 Notts AC 1:45:50; 3 Newham & Essex Beagles 1:45:51; Bristol & West AC 1:46:41; 5 Sale H Manchester 1:47:11; 6 Leeds City AC 1:47:47; … 34 Belgrave H ‘B’ 1:54:19; 79 teams started and 71 teams finished.
A – S Sharp (team position 11, ranking on stage 11) 17:37; N Goolab (2, 7) 17:34; S Davies (5, 10) 17:40; S Jones (2, 6) 17:51; P Wicks (1, 1); N Speaight (1, =3).
B – J Kelly (20, 20) 18:01; M Pollard (40, 57) 19:35; P Freary (39, 39) 19:09; G Hyett (35, 33) 19:10; S Moralee (35, 33) 19:10; W Cockerell (34, 27) 19:14.
Fastest: 1 A Vernon (Aldershot F&D) 16:49; 2 S Overall (Blackheath &B) 16:54; 3 P Wicks (Belgrave) 17:00; 4 K Gerrard (Newham &EB) 17:05; =5 R McLeod (Elswick), T Russell (Bristol &W) 17:06.
Belles maintain a solid record in Sutton Park
The Belgrave record in this event, first tackled in 2001, is pretty solid. In that first attempt we were 7th with what remains our fastest time of 1:01:32. The standard goes up every year and with around 100 teams usually taking part we can be pretty pleased with our record of never dropping out of the top third of the field and usually placing around 20th. So it was again in 2008.
Sarah Murphy was given the role of setting the Belgrave team going and as arms flailed and elbows jabbed in the rush down the initial slope she was giving as good as she got. Things are so tight on this first leg and around 75 teams all finished within three minutes of the leader. Sarah completed her stint in a bunch all sharing the same time and sent Birhan Dagne on her way.
With a stream of runners ahead of her, Birhan set about picking off as many as she could and had reeled in 29 by the end of her run. Now it was time for Tilly Heaton to take her turn before dashing off down south again to visit her dentist for root canal treatment - ooh!
We were now in 26th and last stager Catherine Bryson ran a cracking 15:10, although she'd have been happier if it had been faster, to run the Belles through the line in 20th place, maintaining our solid record in the event - 6th Southern club.
1 Aldershot F&D 57:24; 2 Charnwood AC 59:09; 3 Chester-le-Street &D 59:16; ... 20 Belgrave H 1:03:27; 100 teams started and 81 finished.
S Murphy (team position 46, ranking on stage 46) 16:07; 17 B Dagne (17, 9) 14:51; T Heaton (26, =42) 17:19; C Bryson (20, 6) 15:10.
Fastest: F Murray (Chester-le-Street) 13:50; C Purdue (Aldershot F&D) 13:54; C Hoyte (Arena 80) 14:09.
Pictured right: Sarah Murphy gave as good as she got on stage one. Photo by Pat Mead.
Surrey County Veterans CC Champs., Petersham, 18 October 2008.
Men. 1 D McDonald (Ranelagh) 35:17; 21 S Zealey M40 39:09; 49 M Taylor M45 42:58; 90 A Lane M70 59:27; 91 A Stone M65 62:53.
Wimbledon Common 5k Time Trial, 18 October 2008.
Men. 1 L White (Herc Wimb) 16:56; 3 M Humphrey 17:30.
Silver medals again in the National 10k
In the last seven years Belgrave have claimed silver medals in the National 10k Championship on no less than six occasions - an argent streak broken only by our golden strike of 2003. Tipton, Salford, Morpeth, Wells City, Newham & Essex Beagles and now Bedford have all taken turns as champions over that period - but the one consistent statistic as the race has been held up and down the country is the presence of the Belgrave squad on the podium.
In this year's championship, Simon Jones, Stephen Sharp and Jonathan Blackledge all ran a little slower than they'd have liked - as did James Kelly who was next Belgravian in behind our scoring trio - but up at the front of the race although not yet eligible to score, Russell Dessaix-Chin carried the Belgrave colours to a superb victory in a personal record of 29:38 (he has run 29:15 on the track).
Russell tested the leading group at 2k, hoping to provoke a reaction which might step up the pace to course record lick (29:02) but settled back into the group when he found no takers. Another little tester came at 5k which reduced his companions to just Boneham (Notts AC) and Draper (Bedford) but nobody could respond to the Belgrave man's decisive break at 7k.
As an Australian, Russell has now won three national championships but none of them in his own country - the New Zealand track 10k, the New Zealand Cross Country and the English Road 10k.
Bedford's three scoring men clocked up a total of 90:28 while Belgrave's men were 30:23, 30:48 and 30:54 for a total of 92:05.
Knut Hegvold won his M40 age group with 33:19 while Birhan Dagne was 5th individual in the women's race - 34:51.
Men. 1 R Dessaix-Chin (Belgrave) 29:38; 11 S Jones 30:23; 17 S Sharp 30:48; 19 J Blackledge 30:54; 25 J Kelly 31:30; 45 K Hegvold (1-M40) 33:19.
Women. 1 C Hoyte (Arena 80) 33:27; 5 B Dagne 34:51.
Northern Veterans 10m Championship, Lytham St. Annes, 12 October 2008.
Men. 1 P Freary 54:51.
Givaudan Ashford 10k, 12 October 2008.
Men. 1 M Coleman (Medway) 30:58; 114 P Cross M50 41:17.
A depleted Belgrave men's team started the series off with a lowly seventh place in Richmond Park while Thames Hare & Hounds and Herne Hill Harriers began what looks as if it will be a regular head to head between them this winter. Phil Wicks was far and away the strongest individual, winning by 42 seconds from Ben Whitby (Herne Hill) and Phil Sly (Thames H&H). Will Cockerell was 11th but with other leading Belgravians resting up for the following day's National 10k Champs at Chichester ... and Richard Stannard unable to find a space in the car park and missing the start ... we struggled somewhat.
Men. 1 P Wicks (Belgrave) 28:01; 2 B Whitby (HHH) 28:43; 3 P Sly (Thames H&H) 28:49; 11 W Cockerell 30:09; 27 P Willis 31:04; 56 L Greatorex 32:40; 59 M Byansi 32:45; 73 T Fordyce 33:39; 81 M Humphrey 33:52; 88 T Weeks 34:05; 106 G Adams M40 35:03; 116 R Norville 35:32; 120 S Zealey M40 35:52; 128 W Lynch M40 36:29; 133 A Luce M40 36:49; 140 M White 37:30; 146 M Taylor M40 37:57; 196 finished.
Teams: 1 Thames H&H 174; 2 Herne Hill 176; 3 Ranelagh 381; 4 South London H 409; 5 Hercules Wimb. 497; 6 Stragglers 508; 7 Belgrave 509; 8 Reigate Priory 718; 9 Dorking MV 723.
How good it was to see Catherine Bryson back in the women's team. After a spell in Australia and trouble with shin splints, Catherine unleashed a great sprint finish to overtake legend Sonia O'Sullivan in the finishing straight and ended up in 3rd spot. Sarah Murphy was 7th, Tilly Heaton 18th and Anne Hegvold showed a strong return to past form in 25th spot. The team finished in 6th on the day and there's plenty to build on for race 2.
Women. 1 F Clark (Reigate) 23:14; 2 G Bruinvels (South London) 23:24; 3 C Bryson (Belgrave) 23:51; 11 S Murphy 25:32; 24 M Heaton 26:27; 31 A Hegvold 26:41; 170 C Eastham 31:38 .
Teams: 1 South London 68; 2 Herne Hill 145; 3 Ranelagh 145; 4 Reigate 149; 5 West 4 158; 6 Belgrave 162 .
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 11 October 2008.
Men. 1 C Walmsley (Stragglers) 17:36; 222 J Hilston 24:39.
Manchester University Relays, 11 October 2008.
Men. Fastest: 1 A Jones (Salford) 10:18; 11 N Goolab 10:37.
Sony Run to the Beat Half Marathon, London, 5 October 2008.
Men. 1 J McFarlane (Thames H&H) 1:10:12; 3 H Raidi 1:11:08; 4 K Tadesse 1:13:03; 6 K Hegvold M45 1:14:30; 7 W Cockerell 1:14:37.
Women. 1 B Dagne 1:18:22; 3 V Knight 1:22:01.
Great North Run Half Marathon, Newcastle to South Shields, 5 October 2008.
Men. 1 T Kebede (Ethiopia) 59:45; 29 S Jones 1:07:31; 1088 P Cross M50 1:33:26.
McAndrew Relays, Glasgow, 4 October 2008.
Men. 3.25 miles G Hyett 16:47.
Belgrave 5k Yacht Handicap, 4 October 2008.
1 B Hurley elapsed time 29:53, delay 12:45, actual time 17:08; 2 J Webb 29:55, 12:20, 17:35; 3 J Beecroft SW 29:55, 7:30, 22:23; 4 M Byansi 30:04, 12:45, 17:19; 5 R Dessaix-Chin 30:04, 15:15, 14:49; 6 D McMillan 30:15, 8:00, 22:15; 7 L McLean 30:23, 4:30, 25:53; 8 M Lesley 30:25, 6:00, 24:25; 9 P Power 30:29, 12:00, 18:29; 10 G Collins 30:34, 4.30, 26:04; 11 T Gray 30:48, 10:00, 20:48; 12 R Mann 30:58, 10:00, 20:58; 13 A Luce 31:01, 12:00, 19:01; 14 W Lynch 31:08, 11:00, 20:08; 15 L Mann 31:56, --:--, 31:56; 16 D Anderson 35:59, 12:20, 23:39.
Great North Run 1 mile, Newcastle, 4 October 2008.
Men. 1 M Farah (Newham &EB) 4:13; 12 S Davies 4:20.
JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge, New York, 4 October 2008.
Men. 1 T Setone (Transnet, RSA) 16:03; 3 P Wicks (Legal & General) 16:08; 79 T Chidgey (L&G) 19:36.
Bridgedale Coniston Sport Trail 5k, Lake District, 4 October 2008.
Men. 1 S Fortnum (Severn) 21:02; 4 P Cross M50 25:37.
Berlin Marathon, 28 September 2008.
Men. 1 H Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 2:03:59; 37 K Tadesse 2:27:08; 6692 L Rehn M45 3:31:47.
Women. 1 I Mikitenko (Germany) 2:19:19; 101 H Smethurst W40 3:09:52; 557 K Reynolds W35 3:36:21.
Folkestone Rotary Half Marathon, 28 September 2008.
Men. 1 S Rigby (Folkestone) 1:15:26; 62 P Cross M50 1:33:14.
What a race - but SEAA title stays with the Bels
The race was all but over and as Phil Wicks cruised down the last Rushmoor slope with that characteristic long loping stride, before turning at the bottom and then tackling the last drag up to the finish, one couldn’t help imagining that his every other step seemed to be matched by a little jabbing punch of the air with a clenched right fist. It had been a terrific race and for Belgrave the result was perfect – a sixth win in seven years – but there had been plenty of drama. Aldershot had made a major bid for victory through Andy Vernon on stage four and with the Bels back in 7th at the beginning of that leg many onlookers must have thought that the Hampshire club were lining themselves up to regain the “Ian Logan Cup” that had last been in their hands after the race of ’99.
A pretty safe bet for a winning Belgrave relay team were elsewhere – “Jonesy” and “Polly” training at altitude in Morocco, “Sp8y” in the USA, Jim Kelly also over the water for a family wedding, Steve Davies taking a break, and then, two days before the race, Jon Blackledge pulling out with a calf problem. It seemed that the chance of retaining our title had probably gone but medals were still a possibility and we certainly had the boys who would fight hard for a “placing”. Of course every hit on the A team shuddered down to the Bs where more bad luck decreed that poor old “Wardy” should pick up a bug or something. After jogging round the block on race morning he had to make a decision to pull out. The odds were now against us getting a second team in the top 25 and thus qualifying a B squad for the Nationals – a bit of a disaster with so many of those absent Belgravians hoping to return for the big one at Sutton Park.
But let’s get to the start line where in the warm late September sunshine ninety men were jostling for a position on the front rank with our own eighteen year-old Nick Goolab and super-vet Knut Hegvold setting their shoulders square against the best of them …
Some very swift men
Both men were steadily away and after a minute or so of running, Nick was around 20th, looking comfortable. Newly installed at Birmingham University our mathematics student had gone easy in “freshers” week and his calculations as to race pace were spot on, for when the runners next appeared in the arena at the end of the first loop, covered in exactly nine minutes, a group of three had broken away including a blue Bedford vest, the red and black of Medway … and Nick’s claret and gold. Hall of Bedford eventually prevailed as Nick, in his own words, “hit a wall halfway round the second lap”, but he held on well to give the Bels an unexpectedly high placing after one stage – 3rd – ahead of a fast finishing Matt Shone (Woodford Green). A fantastic run from the youngest member of our teams. Knut gave the Bs just the start they needed, placing 28th.
Third place and right in the firing line of some very swift men was possibly not a position that sat comfortably with Shaun Moralee. He was almost instantly up into second, gunning down the Medway man, but had the Beagles’ Keith Gerrard, Harrow’s Adam Bowden, Blackheath’s Andy Rayner and Mitch Goose of the CoNAC Boyz homing in on him. Shaun was 9:15 at halfway but faded on the second lap to slip to 9th place and was not at all happy with himself afterwards; and to rub salt into the wound, just a minute behind, the Cockerpillar climbed seven places for the Baby Bs with a time ten seconds faster. Up front the Beagles were now in charge.
An exceptional début
Last man into the A team after Jonathan Blackledge’s injury was Graeme Hyett. This man tells us that the longer and harder and muddier it is, the more he likes it. Roll on the National Cross at Parliament Hill then! But on a benign Rushmoor course fractionally under 6k Graeme was fine, pushing hard over his second lap to gain two places and ducking under 19 minutes. Good work. Yet another change up the front saw Basingstoke move ahead through Steve Rees-Jones. The Bs continued to make good progress thanks to Hassan Raidi, back in Belgrave racing strip after a long injury absence. Hassan claimed five more bodies and our second team was 16th.
So what would new man Dan Mulhare do? With an 8:04 3000m on his CV (set during the Cork City Sports this summer) and 8th place in the BUSA Cross Country Champs. just ahead of James Kelly, our hopes were high. What followed was extraordinary and set the race up for a grandstand finish. Aldershot’s Andy Vernon set out in 6th with the Bels in 7th just three seconds down and Kent’s Jermaine Mays in 8th a further four seconds back. As Vernon tore through the field, Dan followed in his wake … and Jermaine tried desperately to catch the Belgrave man. Lapped runners and the five teams at the head of the race were equally rocked by the turbulence as the AFD man burst into the lead and Dan ran himself almost into oblivion to claim second place with an exceptional 17:58 début. The Beagles clung on to third with the redoubtable Jermaine right on their heels before he walked away shaking his head in disbelief that he'd actually lost ground to the courageous and "unknown" Dan, now lying on the tarmac gasping for air.
Not to be denied
Over to The Skipper for stage five, nursing an oncoming cold but determined, as captain, not to let the team down. Beagler Dan Pettit made up ground on “Sharpy” and the two were locked together for much of the stage, working off each other as they slowly pulled back Aldershot’s colours, carried by Eliot Robinson. No change in the order then but the medals had been sorted as Stephen judged his effort to perfection, moving away from Pettit on the second lap and making inroads into AFD’s advantage. “Come on ‘Sharpy’, give me a little bit more,” muttered our anchor man Phil Wicks as he made his way to the take-over area.
Keeping hopes alive for the Bs, Mal Byansi and Pete Willis both ran well on stages four and five. We were 21st and needed our last man, a far-from-his-best Mark Humphrey, to run out of his socks. The stage was set for excitement for both our teams.
No mean runner, Ben Moreau for Aldershot, set out with 11 seconds in hand over Phil who is still not training at anything like full intensity due to his knee niggles; but our man was not to be denied. The gap came down, the inevitable happened, and the Bels went clear on the first circuit. It was over, barring accidents, and by the time photographer Mark Shearman clicked his shutter for the winning photo, jauntily addressing our TM with the words, “So the Bels are not dead and buried then”, the 11 second deficit had been reversed. Well done Phil – third fastest on the day and up to second on our all-time list for the course, sandwiched neatly between Mark Miles and Marty Dent.
What a fabulous race, with the Aldershot and Belgrave men fighting to the end. And then came the icing on the cake – Mark Humphrey had yielded just one place in his two lap struggle and the Bs were into the National.
1 Belgrave H 1:50:24; 2 Aldershot F&D AC 1:50:35; 3 Newham & Essex Beagles 1:52:03; 4 Winchester & D AC 1:52:41; 5 Kent AC 1:53:25; 6 Woodford Green wEL 1:53:38; ... 22 Belgrave H 'B' 1:59:26; ... 90 teams started; 74 finished plus 1 more disqualified.
A – N Goolab (team position 3, ranking on stage 3)18:12; S Moralee (9, 18) 19:17; G Hyett (7, 9) 18:58; D Mulhare (2, 2) 17:58; S Sharp (2, 5) 18:18; P Wicks (1, 1) 17:41.
B – K Hegvold M45 (28, 28) 19:34; W Cockerell (21, 14) 19:07; H Raidi (16, 13) 19:13; M Byansi (20, 34) 20:36; P Willis (21, 16) 19:42; M Humphrey (22, 45) 21:14.
Fastest: 1 S Overall (Blackheath & B H) 17:26; 2 A Vernon (Aldershot F&D AC) 17:36; 3 P Wicks (Belgrave H) 17:41; 4 D Mulhare (Belgrave H) 17:58; 5 N Hall (Bedford &C AC) 18:00; 6 K Gerrard (Newham & Essex Beagles) 18:01; ... 14 N Goolab 18:12.
Bloomberg 10 x 1 mile, City of London, 25 September 2008.
Men. Fastest: S Overall (Blackheath &B) 4:21; 8 P Wicks 4:31; 9 T Chidgey 4:32.
Beckley 10k, Rye, 21 September 2008.
Men. 1 A Keeley (1066 Joggers) 38:22; 11 P Cross 1-M50 43:18.
Building Industry Windsor Half Marathon, 21 September 2008.
Men. 1 K Tadesse 1:09:33.
Women. 1 L McAlister (Bristol &W) 1:16:16; 2 B Dagne 1:18:37.
R4W Windsor 8k, 20 September 2008.
Women. 1 C Bryson 28:33.
Cairns Cup 5k, Greenock, 20 September 2008.
Men. 1 G Hyett 15:02.
Cardiff Blackweir Park 5k Time Trial, 20 September 2008.
Women. 1 L Newing (Bristol &W) 19:22; 49 R Basford 28:41.
Bushy Pk 5k Time Trial, 20 September 2008.
Men. 1 W Cockerell 16:29.
Bramhall Pk 5k Time Trial, 20 September 2008.
Men. 1 P Freary 16:46.
Bristol Half Marathon, 14 September 2008.
Men. 1 T Payne (Winchester) 1:05:48; 33 K Gadd 1:16:57; 697 P Cross M50 1:33:36.
Women. 1 B Dagne 1:14:18.
Ashtead 10k, 14 September 2008.
Men. 1 D Moore (Thames H&H) 39:31; 3 M Webb M40 39:53.
Robin Hood Half Marathon, 14 September 2008.
Men. 1 E Cherop (Kenya) 65:28; 8 K Tadesse 69:23.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 13 September 2008.
Men. 1 D Symons (Thames H&H) 16:55; 16 B Barton M40 18:39.
Tesco Grand Prix, Prague, Czech Republic, 13 September 2008.
Men. 1 V Rybak (Ukraine) 29:45; 4 P Wicks 30:07; 10 N Speaight 31:11.
A double win in the Surrey Relays
Don't we runners love it. The slight chill of the early morning gives way to a pleasantly warm afternoon and we've arrived at that point in the racing calendar when the Surrey Road Relays also give hint to proximity of Autumn and the "winter" season to follow.
This was Will Cockerell's 10th Anniversary of running for the Bels. Our "Surrey" outfit back on 12 September 1998 was reported as, "... a mixture of lads from Middlesex, Kent, New Zealand and Morocco ..." and yet we still didn't quite complete a team. Thankfully we've moved on a bit.
As has been the custom of recent years, the Bels competed strongly in the men's race, pulling off a comfortable win - even though last leg man James Kelly went off course and ran for 20 seconds before deciding that he was in unfamiliar territory and had better return to the designated route. Luckily we were well clear and there was no risk of losing the gold medals but James did have to forfeit the honours for the fastest lap of the day. Had he not added the extra distance he would probably have been faster than his clocking of 2007 - 14:12 - and instead of being just one second faster than last year as a team, we would surely have gained a fairly rare sub-90 clocking.
The opening stage saw five Belgravians in action, all of them veterans, and hero of the day was undoubtedly one of those senior members - Knut Hegvold. Just short of his 47th birthday Knut set up the senior men with an outstanding second place on stage one, only six seconds off the lead. He then spent 30 minutes composing himself before setting out again to anchor the M40s, overtaking two men to bring our veteran team home in first place.
Maybe next year we can make a foray into the M50 category as well - we have the men to do it.
The senior men's B team, admittedly not a bona fide Surrey outfit, also got into the action, just gaining second spot at the end of leg four, and it was good to get a women's team on the road when that possibility at one point seemed unlikely.
Many thanks to all those who continue to help keep this event on the fixture card - our normal Team Manager who acts as Race Secretary and produces the results, our own officials including Gordon Biscoe who pulls together the technical bods, Tom Pollak and members of Hercules Wimbledon AC who mark and marshal the course, and of course our stand in Team Manager Hazel Mead - apparently the "old boy" is in danger of getting the sack.
Runners marked * are not Surrey qualified.
Men. 1 Belgrave H 1:30:28; 2 South London H 1:32:41; 3 Herne Hill H 1:33:15; 7 Belgrave H 'B' 1:36:33; 21 teams finished.
'A' - K Hegvold M45 (2) 14:54, L Greatorex (1) 15:07, R Ward (1) 14:53, T Weeks (1) 15:48, W Cockerell (1) 15:00, J Kelly (1) 14:46.
'B' - M Trees M40 (9) 15:46, P Willis* (4) 15:14, J Webb (7) 15:56, M Byansi (2) 15:44, M Humphrey (6) 16:27, R Norville (7) 17:26.
'C' - D McMillan M60 (24) 21:44.
Fastest: 1 J Simpson (South London) 14:26; 2 J Hamblen (Walton) 14:38; 3 J McMullen (Thames H&H) 14:43; 4 J Kelly; 7 R Ward; 8 K Hegvold 14:54; 13 W Cockerell; 16 L Greatorex; 19 P Willis.
Men Over 40. 1 Belgrave H 1:04:52; 2 The Stragglers 1:05:01; 3 South London H 1:05:37; 7 teams finished
J Galley (2) 16:19; G Adams (3) 16:38, S Zealey (3) 16:44, K Hegvold (1) 15:11.
Fastest: 1 K Hegvold (Belgrave) 15:11; 2 G Nicolaci (The Stragglers) 15:42; 3 R Reeder (The Stragglers) 15:42; 8 J Galley.
Women. 1 South London H 1:10:32; 2 Hercules Wimbledon AC 1:12:34; 3 Ranelagh H 1:14:15; 17 Belgrave H 1:27:15; 20 teams finished.
M Noel* W45 (10) 20:01, C Shanklyn (12) 21:34, J Beecroft (16) 23:36, C Eastham 22:04.
Fastest: 1 G Bruinvels (South London GH) 16:39; 2 M Jenkins (South London H) 17:25; 3 P Rutherford (W Windmilers) 17:28.
Great Scottish Run Half Marathon, Glasgow, 7 September 2008.
Men. 1 E Mutai (Kenya) 1:01:10; 25 H Raidi 1:11:13.
Women. 1 W Tula (Ethiopia) 1:01:00; 6 B Dagne 1:13:59; 26 H Smethurst W40 1:27:06.
HSBC Cardiff 10k, 7 September 2008.
Men. 1 T Humphries (C&S) 29:45; 6 K Tadesse 31:09.
adidas Women's 5k Challenge, Hyde Park, 7 September 2008.
Women. 1 M Defar (Ethiopia) 15:01; 16 C Bryson 17:21.
Kent Coastal Half Marathon, 7 September 2008.
Men. 1 N Smith (Anster) 1:19:04; 33 P Cross 1-M50 1:37:10.
Wimbledon Common 5k Time Trial, 6 September 2008.
Men. 1 L White (Hercules Wimb.) 17:03; 2 W Cockerell 17:05; 17 M Humphrey 18:51; 19 R Norville 18:54.
London Nike+ Human Race 10k, Wembley, 31 August 2008.
Men. 1 J Clark (?) 31:55; 9 J Fairbourn 33:49; M Whiting 39:47.
Women. 1 L Andreucci (?) 36:22; J Beecroft 58:50.
City to Surf 12k, Perth Western Australia, 31 August 2008.
Men. 1 M Dent 35:31; 2 R Dessaix-Chin 36:19.
Arundel Castle 10k, 31 August 2008.
Men. 1 J Baker (Chichester) 35:19; 96 P Cross 44:46.
Wimbledon Common 5k Time Trial, 30 August 2008.
Men. 1 A Penney (Herc. Wimb) 16:53; 4 M Humphrey 18:01.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 30 August 2008.
Men. 1 P Tulba (Basingstoke &MH) 15:42; 14 G Adams M40 18:08.
Pewsey Vale Half Marathon, 24 August 2008.
Men. 1 M Blackmore (Bitton) 1:14:35; 105 P Cross M50 1:43:35.
Banstead Woods 5k Time Trial, 23 August 2008.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:26; 5 G Adams M40 18:20.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 23 August 2008.
Men. 1 G Smith (unatt) 16:21; 173 D Anderson M50 22:39.
Capenhurst 5k, 20 August 2008.
Men. 1 P Freary M40 15:59.
Burnham Beeches Half Marathon, Farnham Common, 17 August 2008.
Men. 1 P Tucker (B&B) 1:10:01; 5 A Stewart 1:14:46; 132 P Cross M50 1:32:15.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 16 August 2008.
Men. 1 B Osborn (Stragglers) 17:11; 9 T O'Neill M55 19:05.
Radcliffe AC 5 miles, Radcliffe, 14 August 2008.
Men. 1 D Norman (Altrincham) 26:24; 4 P Freary M40 27:25.
VAC 5k Champs, Battersea Pk, 12 August 2008.
Men. 6 T O'Neill M55 18:48.
Bearbrook Joggers 10k, Aylesbury, 10 August 2008.
Men. 1 S Rees-Jones (Basingstoke) 31:37; 77 P Cross M50 41:39.
Runners Daily Belgrave Bolt 5k, 10 August 2008.
Men. 1 J Simpson (South London) 15:36; 2 R Ward 15:48; 5 J Fairbourn 16:08; 7 P Willis 16:16; 20 T Weeks 17:08; 23 W Cockerell 17:14; 39 J Webb 18:25; 67 A Barden M40 19:36; 94 J Pritchard 21:06.
Women. 1 J Heslop (Clapham Chasers) 17:02; 41 M Evans 23:16.
Yateley 10k, 6 August 2008.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 33:56.
Sturminster Half Marathon, 3 August 2008.
Men. 1 W Chinhanhu (Poole) 1:08:41; 84 P Cross M50 1:33:49.
Wimbledon Common Time Trial 5k, 2 August 2008.
Men. 1 G Garnier (Thames H&H) 16:47; 33 H Corbett M50 21:13.
Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Pk, 29 July 2008.
Women. 83 M Noel W40 21:28.
Down Tow Up Flow Thames Towpath Half Marathon, 27 July 2008.
Men. 1 M Bradfield (unatt) 1:25:27; 14 P Cross M50 1:38:31.
BUPA Great Wales 10k, Cardiff, 27 July 2008.
Men. 1 E Wendimu (Kenya) 27:45; 22 S Jones 30:37.
Tenby 10k, 27 July 2008.
Men. 1 J Chaston 32:36; 2 M Chaston M40 34:47.
Self Transendance 10k, Battersea Pk, 26 July 2008.
Men. 1 G Saqui (Highgate) 33:09; 2 H Raidi 33:47.
Wimbledon Common Time Trial 5k, 26 July 2008.
Men. 1 M Gaunt (Serpentine) 16:42; 21 P Cross M50 20:34.
Bushy Park Time Trial 5k, 26 July 2008.
Men. 1 D Norman (Altrincham) 15:46; 17 T O'Neill M55 18:17; 33 B Barton 19:19.
Self Transendence 1 mile, Battersea Park, 21 July 2008.
Women. 1 O Balme (Dulwich) 5:49; 3 M Evans U17 5:56.
BUPA Great Capital Run 10k, 20 July 2008.
Men. 1 M Kigh (Kenya) 28:42; 20 H Raidi 35:01.
Elmbridge 10k, 20 July 2008.
Men. 1 K Tadesse 32:19; 171 L Rehn 42:34.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 19 July 2008.
Men. 1 O Laws (Newham &EB) 15:32; 2 M Trees M40 16:10; 10 T O'Neill M55 18:12.
Wimbledon Common 5k Time Trial, 19 July 2008.
Men. 1 D Symonds (Runnymede R) 17:08; 7 G Adams M40 19:18.
Standard Chartered 5k, London, 17 July 2008.
Men. 1 P Wicks 14:18; 8 A Stewart 15:58.
Women. 1 D Luna (JP Morgan) 18:21; 6 K Swanson 19:23.
TVARC Summer 5k, Windsor, 15 July 2008.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 16:48.
Sri Chinmoy 2 miles, Battersea Park, 14 July 2008.
Men. 1 T Docanto 10:14; 4 M Humphrey 10:54.
Felstead 10k, 13 July 2008.
Men. 1 B Powell (Woodford Gn) 32:08; 64 P Cross M50 40:46.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 12 July 2008.
Men. 1 J Trapmore (Shaftesbury B) 15:32; 3 W Cockerell 16:17.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 12 July 2008.
Men. 1 T O'Neill M55 18:18.
Wimbledon Common 5k Time Trial, 12 July 2008.
Men. 1 J Savage (?) 16:36; 23 H Corbett M50 21:11.
Reebok Manchester Sizzler 5k, Wythenshawe Park, 10 Jul 2008.
Men. 1 J Martin (Sun R) 14:55; 3 P Freary M40 15:34.
JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge, Battersea Park, 10 July 2008.
Men. 1 P Wicks 16:16.
Reigate Priory Summer 10k, 9 July 2008.
Men. 1 T Elsey (Herne Hill) 33:50; 47 P Cross M50 42:52.
Swansea Bay 5k, Swansea, 8 Jul 2008.
Men. 1 S Jones 15:09.
Gold Coast Half Marathon, Queensland, Australia, 6 July 2008.
Men. 1 M Shelley (?) 62:27; 3 M Dent 63:55.
Asics British 10k, London, 6 July 2008.
Men. 1 S Baldini (Italy) 30:06; 6 K Tadesse 32:34; 30 D Mason 35:54.
Tadley Runners Summer 10k, 6 July 2008.
Men. 1 D McCarthy (Aldershot) 32:30; 32 P Cross M50 41:02 (3rd in Southern Area Post Office Champs, held in conjunction, 1st M50).
Lord Mayor's City Centre 5k, Norwich, 5 July 2008.
Men. 1 S Jones 15:02.
Women. 1 B Dagne 17:02.
Richmond Park Time Trial 5k, 5 July 2008.
Men. 1 S Bush (SW unatt) 17:26; 5 T O'Neill M55 18:20.
Bushy Park Time Trial 5k, 5 July 2008.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 16:12; 2 W Cockerell 16:15.
Caldervale Village Supper Run 4 miles, Garstang, 3 July 2008.
Men. 1 S Littler (Wesh) 19:34; 2 P Freary M40 20:13.
Portsmouth Promenade 5k, 2 July 2008.
Men. 1 J Baker (Chichester) 15:10; 3 T Watson 15:50.
Forest Park Ladies 5k, Warrington, 2 July 2008.
Women. 1 C Davies (Spec) 18:46; 2 L Cooper 19:14.
Rochdale 10k, Springfield Park, Lancs., 1 July 2008.
Men. 1 I Grime (Newham &EB) 32:32; 2 P Freary M40 33:16.
Nonsuch Park 4 x 1.9 miles relay, 3 July 2008.
An exciting race saw Legal & General and Belgrave sharing their runners as Tim Chidgey (Belgrave) opened up vs. Phil Wicks (L&G). Phil grabbed a large lead which L&G then held through to stage three. All the while, Epsom & Ewell were solid in second spot and threatened to steal the show in spite of the efforts of our own Lee Greatorex and Will Cockerell. Then for the final leg it was Phil Wicks (Belgrave) vs. Tim Chidgey (L&G). Showing no sign of having already run 8:29 for fastest of the day, Phil ran 8:33 to clinch a win for the Bels.
1 Belgrave H 'A' 37:14 - T Chidgey 9:33 (3), L Greatorex 9:35 (3), W Cockerell 9:33 (3), P Wicks (1) 8:33; 2 Epsom & Ewell H 37:27 - 9:35, 9:19, W Clarke 9:07, P Sanger 9:26; 3 Legal & General 38:12 - P Wicks 8:29 (1), A Roberts (1) 9:59, S Major (1) 9:21, T Chidgey (3)10:23; Belgrave H 'B' - D McMillan M60 13:00; D Cockerell SW 10:40, D Anderson M50 12:42; W Cockerell.
Dysart Dash 10k, Ham, 29 June 2008.
Men. 1 S Major (Newham &EB) 32:42; 105 P Cross M50 41:27.
Clapham Common 10k, 29 June 2008.
Women. H Smethurst W40 39:55.
Richmond Park Time Trial 5k, 28 June 2008.
Men. 1 M Holden (West 4) 18:26; 2 T O'Neill M55 18:43.
Reebok Manchester Sizzler 5k, Wythenshawe Park, 26 Jun 2008.
Men. 1 T Humphries (C&S) 14:53; 5 P Freary M40 15:56.
Dulwich Runners Midsummer 5k, Dulwich Park, 25 June 2008.
Men. 1 T Elsey (Herne Hill) 15:24; 23 W Lynch 18:14; 42 P Cross 2-M50 19:30; 56 L Rehn M45 20:05; 133 M Culshaw M40 22:46.
Women. 1 V Knight 17:54; 7 M Evans U17 20:51; 11 N Anderson U17 21:30.
Weald of Kent 10 miles, 22 June 2008.
Men. 1 P Hasler (Paddock Wood) 55:52; 34 P Cross 1:10:52.
Richmond Park Time Trial 5k, 21 June 2008.
Men. 1 T O'Neill M55 18:24.
Bushy Park Time Trial 5k, 21 June 2008.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 16:40.
Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 20 June 2008.
Men. 1 P Killingley (?) 16:05; P Marsh 3rd M55 19:10.
Women. 1 C Imrie (Serpentine) 19:04; 4 H Smethurst W40 19:37.
Chichester Midsummer 5 miles, 18 June 2008.
Men. 1 J Baker (Chichester) 25:34; 2 T Watson 26:44.
He Runs She Runs Bluewater 10k, 15 June 2008.
Men. 1 A Margessa (Ethiopia) 29:53; 3 K Tadesse 32:38; 90 P Cross M50 42:13.
Women. 1 R Gessesse (Ethiopia) 33:43; 3 B Dagne 34:32.
Bushy Park Time Trial 5k, 14 June 2008.
Men. 1 J Goullis (Stragglers) 15:47; 2 M Trees M45 15:49.
Cardiff Blackweir Park Time Trial 5k, 14 June 2008.
Men. 1 A Friend (Cardiff) 16:06; 2 A Bodin 16:28.
Richmond Park Time Trial 5k, 14 June 2008.
Men. 1 J Flood (unatt) 18:28; 2 T O'Neill M55 18:31.
TVARC Summer 5k, Hurley, 10 June 2008.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 16:15.
Self Transcendance 2 miles, Battersea Park, 9 June 2008.
Women. 1 C Imrie (Serpentine) 12:26; 3 M Evans U17 13:24.
Mizuno Blaydon Race, 5.7 miles, 9 June 2008.
Women. 2 B Dagne 32:05.
Southend Half Marathon, 8 June 2008.
Men. 1 C Coleman (Windsor SE&H) 1:11:13; 72 P Cross M50 1:30:18.
Ergebnis Einlauf, Neuss, Germany, 7 June 2008.
Men. 1 E Hedrit (Germany) 14:22; 7 S Jones 14:32.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 7 June 2008.
Men. 1 A Vandenberg (unatt) 18:05; 3 T O'Neill M55 18:33.
Great Ormond Festival of Running 5k, Battersea Pk, 5 June 2008.
Men. 1 D Ibbotson (Jersey Spartan) 16:28; 6 I Ball 19:18.
D-Day 10k, Portsmouth, 4 June 2008.
Men. 1 J Baker (Chichester) 32:19; 3 T Watson 33:49.
Poole 10k, 1 June 2008.
Men. 1 W Chinhanhu (Poole) 29:59; 9 K Tadesse 32:42.
Women. 1 B Dagne 33:25.
Dorking 10 miles, 1 June 2008.
Men. 1 B Whitby (WSE&H) 53:28; 5 L Greatorex 55:47; 33 M Webb M40 1:01:26; 101 P Cross M50 1:07:59.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 31 May 2008.
Men. 1 P Gordon (unatt) 17:43; 6 T O'Neill M55 18:37.
Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 30 May 2008.
Men. 1 D Dickinson (Havering) 15:47; 42 P Marsh M55 19:21.
TVARC Summer 5k, Burnham, 27 May 2008.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 16:42.
BUPA London 10k, 26 May 2008.
Men. 1 M Kogo (?) 28:08; 98 E Smith 40:21; 384 P Cross 44:35.
Women. 1 I Mikitenko (Germany) 32:02; 4 B Dagne 33:52.
Reebok Manchester 5 miles, 26 May 2008.
Men. 1 A Jones (Salford) 24:01; 6 P Freary M40 26:14.
Canterbury Half Marathon, 25 May 2008.
Men. 1 A Whittingham (Altrincham) 1:17:55; 33 P Cross 1st-M50 1:33:33.
Wimbledon Common 5k Time Trial, 24 May 2008.
Men. 1 M Halman (Wilmslow) 16:06; 49 Don Anderson M50 23:21.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 24 May 2008.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 16:07.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 24 May 2008.
Men. 1 N Rothwell (Stragglers) 18:19; 4 T O'Neill M55 18:57.
Town & Gown 10k, Oxford, 18 May 2008.
Men. 1 O Edwards (Shaftesbury B) 31:53; 2 A Stewart 32:03.
Manchester 10k, 18 May 2008.
Men. 1 G Weidlinger (Austria) 28:10; 21 S Jones 29:41.
Southampton 10k, Royal Victoria Park, 18 May 2008.
Men. 1 K Hegvold M45 32:56.
Bognor 10k, 18 May 2008.
Men. 1 P Rodgers (Crawley) 31:32; 6 L Greatorex 34:11; 121 P Cross M50 40:05.
Gothenburg Half Marathon, 17 May 2008.
Women. 1 M Kirsten (Norway) 1:10:19; 7 V Knight 1:20:48.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 17 May 2008.
Men. 1 N Stoddart (Richmond) 17:08; 7 T O'Neill M55 18:57.
Parklands 4x3 miles CC Relay, Richmond Pk, 14 May 2008.
Men. 1 Thames H&H 1:00:25; 2 Belgrave 'A' 1:02:06 (L Greatorex 15:09, K Hegvold M45 15:15, D Mason 16:24, W Cockerell 15:18); 4 Belgrave 'B' 1:05:36 (T Docanto 15:52, T Weeks 15:35, S Badgery gst 17:20, Lucy Hasell gst 16:49).
TVARC Summer 5k, Wargrave, 13 May 2008.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 16:29.
Richmond Half Marathon, 11 May 2008.
Men. 1 J Lawler (?) 1:12:43; 121 P Cross M50 1:32:00; 760 C Henn M65 2:11:14.
Frinton Half Marathon, 11 May 2008.
Men. 1 K Harper (?) 1:23:45; 4 R Merrick 1:27:45.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 10 May 2008.
Men. 1 J Stacey (Ranelagh) 17:08; 4 T O'Neill M55 18:40.
Wimbledon Common 5k Time Trial, 10 May 2008.
Men. 1 A Vandenberg (unatt) 17:41; 16 P Cross M50 20:16.
Chriselton 5k, 9 May 2008.
Women. 1 N Archer (Vale R) 16:38; 14 L Cooper 19:57.
Sale H 5k, Wythenshawe Park, 5 May 2008.
Men. 1 M Barnes (Altrincham 15:00; 2 P Freary M40 15:39.
Whitstable 10k, 5 May 2008.
Men. B Royden (Medway) 33:18; 58 P Cross M50 40:34.
Keswick Half-Marathon, 4 May 2008.
Women. 1 L Cooper 1:32:28.
Haagse Beemdenloop 15k, Breda, The Netherlands, 4 May 2008.
Men. 1 B Biwott (Kenya) 45:21; 6 S Jones 47:13.
Sutton 10k, Wallington, 4 May 2008.
Men. 1 K Tadesse 32:12; 78 P Cross M50 41:31.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 3 May 2008.
Men. 1 J Hutchins (Bas &MH) 15:09; 3 M Trees M45 16:10.
Women. 1 E Dews (Thames Turbo) 17:49; J Moore W45 27:20.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 3 May 2008.
Men. 1 D White (TPC Tri) 17:58; 6 T O'Neill M55 18:48.
Dave Clarke 5k, Morden Park, 1 May 2008.
Men. A Bodin 16:19; 20 P Cross M50 20:15.
Lever Park 10k, Rivington, 30 Apr 2008.
Men. 1 P Freary M40 33:57.
Bracknell Half Marathon, 27 April 2008.
Men. P Adams (St. Albans) 1:13:49; 44 P Cross M50 1:30:59.
Sheffield Half Marathon, 27 April 2008.
Men. 1 Z Kihara (Birchfield) 65:12; 2 K Tadesse 69:14.
Above: Stephen Sharp sets the ball rolling. Photo by Pat Mead
ERRA National 12 Stage Road Relay, Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, 26 April 2008.
What a Finish!
“It felt like a win,” said Neil Speaight, as his team mates crowded round him at the end of the race to celebrate third place.
Ok, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, there’s nothing quite like collecting the gold medals at the end of the ultimate road running team race; but he had a point and our eighth set of medals in as many years was well worth celebrating.
Our master-blaster had been saved until the final stage as, based on last year’s times, it was just possible that he would set out somewhere under a minute behind Leeds City’s 12th man. But the Yorkshire club had raised their game in the intervening twelve months and their own hero Darran Bilton didn’t run a bad last lap himself. Notts AC are also on the up and their 12th man was second fastest on the stage, thus taking them out of reach. So Neil’s final attack for the Bels was reserved for Newham & Essex Beagles who had threatened to win at one point before finally finishing the race out of the hardware. Pity poor Beagle Andy Robinson, far from his fittest and having to face such an onslaught.
A wonderful start
Some four hours earlier our newly anointed Captain Steve Sharp, taking over the role from the inimitable Will Cockerell, had set out for the Bels on the first long stage. He gave us a wonderful start to bring the team home in 3rd and his 26:26 moved him well up our all-time Belgrave list, nestling between Justin Chaston (2001) and Steve Halliday (1993) in 9th. He’s already promising another long stage next year! Salford’s Andi Jones had grabbed the lead and Leeds had made their intentions clear by claiming 2nd place.
Surviving an argument with a car while out training a month or so earlier, followed by a bout of ‘flu’, Richard Ward had won the battle of the time-triallers to occupy one of the last team places available; but he celebrated his inclusion in the team by going out too hard – and paid for it as the lap unwound. Instead of a 15:10 clocking which would have brought him home just in the first half-dozen, he was nearly 30 seconds slower, gasping apologies for his over-exuberance as he made his way down the finish funnel. Rich has more sub-15 performances than any Belgravian except Jonathan Blackledge – but he didn’t enjoy this outing!
Salford had extended their lead through Tomas Abyu and the Beagles were up to 2nd but it was Birchfield heading the field after three stages as Salford slipped out of contention. Paul Freary ran a controlled effort, looking good, and at two-thirds distance a glance at the opposition left and right of him, followed by another at his watch, was followed by a determined effort to up the pace a little. Sunderland and Derby fell behind but OWLS had stormed past to take up 3rd place and Notts had also squeezed through – so we remained in 11th, two and a quarter minutes off the lead but bang on our predicted schedule.
Junior record from Nick Goolab
Paul recently celebrated his 40th birthday and as the oldest man in the team he now handed responsibility for our progress to the youngest in the squad, 18 year-old Nick Goolab. What a storming run Nick produced. Whilst later admitting to worries during the run that he might have overcooked it, he looked so smooth as he flew around the short stage to remove 3 seconds from our Club Best by a Junior. … And then back to another old stager in Al Stewart – out of the team since 2003 but in the three appearances up to that date – silver, gold and gold! Al had proved himself by running a solo trial at Battersea the previous week and was now back on the road that he knows so well in Sutton Park.
Some solid running then, but we were still in 11th and 3 minutes 49 seconds off the lead. Could Shaun Moralee improve our fortunes? He’s a very talented young 1500m man and having seen young Nick do the business would have liked to have turned in something similar. As it was, his 14:56 importantly took us up three places as we entered the second half of the race. Birchfield still persisted in the lead while behind them Sale, Leeds, Notts and the Beagles chopped and changed; but Woodford Green were beginning to raise a few eyebrows, as were OWLS.
James Kelly went out for the Bels – but within ten minutes was suffering from his chronic Achilles tendon problem. Showing great courage Jim managed to keep going without limping but could not run freely down the slopes. Nevertheless, his time was up to par and only Phil Nicholls of Tipton, fastest on the stage, came past. Up at the sharp end Leeds had now taken the lead through Dave Webb and Notts had slipped into 2nd.
Now, what could Jon Blackledge do, the first of three short-stagers that would hopefully hammer in some spikes to help us climb into the medals? He set off scarily fast and soon Birchfield, Sale, Tipton and Swansea vests were swirling in his slipstream. Jonathan's best ever run of 14:18 took us to within 49 seconds of the medals and at last we were breathing down the necks of Woodford Green who were occupying 4th place.
Our Scottish Cross Country Champion Mark Pollard set out just three seconds adrift of Woodford’s Matt Shone and soon the two were locked together before Mark’s aggressive running began to move him away. But Sale Harriers weren’t finished yet and as the two London teams slugged it out, Cornish came up three places for the Manchester club and we remained in 5th. Mark’s final time of 27:24 was again spot on our pre-race prediction for him. Newham had see-sawed with Notts AC and were now in 2nd thanks to Moumin Geele’s 25:42 – second fastest of the day.
Step up Stephen Davies. Fastest short stage of the day at the SEAA race – and the way he set out it looked as if he was intent on doing the same at Sutton Park. It was a painful second half of the circuit for Steve as he had indeed overdone the early part of the lap but his final time was still a terrific 14:18. There was no change in the team order but Leeds were beginning to come back a little, the Beagles were beginning to scent a victory and although it would take a disaster by both of these to let the Bels in, we still felt there was some excitement to come as we were now just 21 seconds away from medals – albeit still in 5th place.
Ever-improving Simon Jones
One of the key men in our teams these days is the ever-improving Simon Jones. He took half a minute off his best time for the course to move way up the all-time list just behind Dave Anderson and equal to Phil Wicks as he swiftly disposed of Sale. He was even ten seconds faster than Leeds’ Alan Buckley but, fast as he was, Simon was unable to make any impression on Notts AC in 3rd for whom Ian Boneham ran fastest on the stage to place them neck and neck with the Beagles as the scene was set for the final act. So with one lap to go and in spite of some incredibly hard work by our men, we were still one minute and three seconds adrift of medals. As the Newham and Notts runners went off, Neil took his place on the start line crouching almost like a sprinter … waiting for “Jonesy” to arrive … and then he was away.
No holding back
There was no holding back by “Speaighty”. He blasted the start, eager to make up ground fast so that he could at least see his quarry. Leeds were safely in the hands of Darran Bilton while Notts AC had one of the speediest men of the day with Bruce Raeside at their disposal, but taking the graveyard shift for the Beagles was a far-from-his-best Andy Robinson. By the Jamboree Stone, about half-way round, the information from the course was that the gap was down to 45 seconds. No, sadly it looked as if it was going to be 4th for the Bels. Approaching Keeper’s Pool Beagles’ boss Bob Smith was able to shout to his man, “You’re ok. Speaight’s not in sight.” But oh! my Lord! ... a second later there he was ... like a shark that could sense blood and had thrown his whole being into a final frenzied attack. The rest of the Belgrave team were assembled near that final corner, screaming and urging him on.
Up at the finish, Leeds and Notts had gone through, and hearing the frantic shouts of supporters 300 metres away but unable to see over the brow of the hill, the eyes of all were peering along the finish straight, eager for a glimpse of the colours that would be next to appear over the rise. More shouts ... was that? ... yes ... it was claret and gold ... it was Neil! And then behind him, but “all in”, it was Andy Robinson for the Beagles. Neil had swept past him as they entered the final straight and then stormed the slope as if it was the last stretch of an Olympic 1500m!
A super race. Congratulations to Leeds City AC and Notts AC … and commiserations to Newham & Essex Beagles who had medals snatched away after occupying 2nd or 3rd place for no less than nine stages. And well done to all of our team. Every second fought for by every man was so important in the end – and our medal streak goes on.
1 Leeds City AC 4:09:40; 2 Notts AC 4:11:01; 3 Belgrave H 4:11:58; 4 Newham & Essex Beagles 4:12:16; 5 Tipton H 4:16:02; 6 Woodford Green w EL 4:16:23; … 59 teams started; 52 teams finished.
Belgrave – S Sharp (3) 26:26; R Ward (11) 15:38; P Freary M40 (11) 28:00; N Goolab U20 (10) 14:37; A Stewart (11) 28:06; S Moralee (8) 14:56; J Kelly (9) 27:31; J Blackledge (5) 14:18; M Pollard (5) 27:24; S Davies (5) 14:18; S Jones (4) 26:35; N Speaight (3) 14:09.
Fastest long stages 5.38 miles: 1 J Ndayesenga (Birchfield) 25:33; 2 M Geele (Newham &EB) 25:42; 3 I Boneham (Notts AC) 25:53; 4 P Nicholls (Tipton) 25:58; 5 A Ford (Blackpool) 25:59; 6 D Webb (Leeds City) 26:01.
Fastest short stages 2.995: 1 A Baddeley (Harrow) 13:39; 2 F Tickner (Wells City) 13:55; 3 A Vernon (Aldershot F&D AC) 14:08; 4 N Speaight (Belgrave) 14:09; 5 A Bowden (Harrow) 14:10; 6 S Hepples (Newham &EB) 14:11; … =9 J Blackledge and S Davies 14:18.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 26 April 2008.
Men. 1 T Grose (Victoria Pk &TH) 17:04; 5 T O'Neill M55 19:02.
Flitwick 10k, 20 April 2008.
Men. 1 O Matthews (Bedford &C) 31:57; 127 P Cross M50 42:26.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 19 April 2008.
Men. 1 B Matthews (Ranelagh) 17:21; 16 M Law 20:50.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 19 April 2008.
Men. 1 J Johnson (unatt) 16:50; 2 M Trees M45 16:54.
Cardiff Blackweir Park 5k Time Trial, 19 April 2008.
Men. 1 P Grist (Wells City) 15:45; 2 A Bodin 15:50.
Salford 5k, 19 April 2008.
Men. 1 J Ward (Altrincham) 2 P Freary 15:47.
Bolton 10k, 13 April 2008.
Men. 1 D Nicholls (Wilmslow) 32:44; 3 P Freary 32:53.
Men. 1 M Lel (Kenya) 2:05:15; 45 W Cockerell 2:29:12; 95 T Ellacott 2:34:53; 484 T Hadfield 2:50:06; 776 J Galley M45 2:56:16; 977 G Dunn 2:58:47; 1856 M Price 3:10:19; 3268 P Cross M50 3:23:28; 4302 L Rehn M45 3:30:19; 10076 S Maynard M40 4:01:42; 19184 P King M55 4:56:51; 19634 D Davies M65 5:01:01; 23247 G Beecham M75 6:30:00; 23596 T Newell M70 8:16:04; dnf K Tadesse.
Women. 1 I Mikitenko (Germany) 2:24:14; 33 V Knight 2:51:35; 83 E Fogg 3:04:44; 100 N Neal 3:07:23; 145 K Swanson 3:14:08; 166 M Heaton 3:16:55; 180 L Cooper 3:21:28; 545 M Noel W40 3:34:09; 791 K Reynolds 3:41:07; 5187 R Dickinson 4:40:44; dnf B Dagne.
Mini Marathon. Boys. 19 A Wright 15:55. Girls. 85 M Evans 20:42; 91 N Anderson 20:50; 415 J Foxley 24:06.
Bushy Park Time Trial, 12 April 2008.
Men. 1 J Hutchins (Basildon) 15:35; 2 R Stannard 15:48; 150 D Anderson M50 23:24.
A satisfied Belgrave crew, including SEAA President our own Gordon Biscoe, wait for the presentation.
SEAA 12-Stage Road Relay, Rushmoor Arena, 6 April 2008.
As the tent party got to work with snow still drifting down on a bitter breeze and Rushmoor Arena under a three inch white blanket, they wished for something to warm them as they worked. Six hours later, their wish was granted – a generous measure of “Southern Comfort” as the Bels took the South of England 12-Stage title for the sixth time in seven years. We’ve not been out of the medals now in the last decade; but it was far from being a one sided race as Aldershot, Farnham & District AC excelled, leading for six stages and at one point enjoying a lead of one and a half minutes. Other old rivals Bedford & County and Newham & Essex Beagles were badly hit by illness, injury and alternative events.
Belgrave Hall, circa 1957!
Approaching race-time, with most of the runners now arrived, a heady” fug” had built up inside the tent. The smell of “winter green”, still being persevered with in modern times by some old veteran, and the warmth built up by about fifteen sheltering bodies, reminded one of Belgrave Hall, circa 1957!
The race had been switched to Rushmoor Arena from its normal home at Milton Keynes due to a clash of events at the Open University’s Campus and AFD’s race organisers had stepped in to keep the race going. Next year it will be back at MK.
So we had a slightly different arrangement of alternate long and short laps that make up a “twelve-stage” with the long stage men running two laps and the short stage men going once around the same circuit. It seemed to work ok though, although it was very difficult to work out the race positions beyond the leading two or three.
“Sp8y” was also quick
The starter’s pistol sent 48 teams on their way at noon. The roads had been cleared of snow by now but it was still wet underfoot. Neil Speaight has his sights set upon some fast 1500m times in the near future but once more flirted with a longer distance as he set out for the Bels. Thames Valley’s Robert Russell was in no mood for a friendly first lap and only Neil was able to keep him company, for a while, as he churned out what ended up as the day’s fastest long stage time. “Sp8y” was also quick, although 30 seconds behind, and then came the Beagles, leading the pack, a further half minute or so in arrears.
Our youngest team member had been drafted in for stage two and he didn’t disappoint. Eighteen year-old Nick Goolab soon made inroads into the Valley’s lead and before long had gone ahead and had opened up a considerable break by the time he sent Paul Freary away. “You’ll p--- it,” declared AW reporter Martin Duff, upset about the lower than normal standard of competition, but he had reckoned without the fight that AFD were about to put up – and perhaps we had too. Paul ran steadily on his first lap, somewhere in the mid-13s, but found himself fading on the second as Aldershot and the Valley both came past. He ended up a little disappointed and wishing that he’d been able to run a short stage.
Were we going to win this?
New man Shaun Moralee was now into action. He only took up athletics at age 17 and ran to 1:55 for 800 in his first season. Now 22 Shaun is looking to expand his running horizons and he confidently bounced along, soon moving into second place; but he could gain only three seconds on the men from Hampshire and the gap remained at around 50 seconds as the event became a two horse race. Will Cockerell was next up, a week off his return to the marathon and running an excellent 27:53 to shade Paul’s time – but his opposition was one-time Belgravian Kevin Quinn, himself in fine form. Over the first circuit the gap went up to over a minute and a half but Will dug deep and by the end of his stint it was 1:28. Quizzical eyes were now being cast in the team manager’s direction: were we going to win this?
Whammo! Steve Davies took off like one of the army jets that burst occasionally into view above the tree line at Rushmoor. What a stormer! One could see the gap closing as he returned from the first section of the course, round the bottom loop, and then off into the woods and out of sight. A few minutes later, as the leaders dropped down the final hill back into the view of the spectators at the finish, it seemed that he might even take the lead. His scintillating 12:34 had scorched any remaining moisture off the road and took us to within 8 seconds of AFD.
Another damaging short stage
Now we felt more comfortable. But our own James Kelly was up against Ben Moreau and try as he might, with a time 15th best on the day, James could not stop Moreau prising the gap open again to 45 seconds as the AFD man ran the day’s third best. It was Sharpy’s turn now to show what he could do. It’s amazing what damage can be done on short stages and with Steve D’s time his target the Belgrave man churned out a 12:37 that took the Bels into the lead as the AFD team manager Mike Boucher ran 13:40 and earned big respect from his Belgrave counterpart! Mike went so far as to offer his hand and say, “You’ve got it now.” But it seemed a bit too premature for our liking.
Mark Pollard had gladly offered his services for a long stage after missing out on the Scottish Relays the previous day. He'd had a demanding week leading up to the World CC Champs., looking after the Kenyan team, and was pleased to be getting back to normality. When he’d done his job we were back to a 43 second advantage but we needed that gap because it was veteran Knut Hegvold’s turn to face yet another Aldershot attack. Known for his coolness under pressure Knut kept his head while being run down and with just two stages to go there were a mere eleven seconds in it!
“Have I dropped him yet?”
“Jonesy” was taking on Elliott Robinson, a redoubtable performer, but our man has raised his game exponentially in the last two years and he wasn’t about to let his reputation slip. Looking smooth and pacey as he toured the first circuit in 13:06 Simon enquired of a Belgrave supporter in his lilting Welsh accent, “Have I dropped him yet?” Well, you don’t exactly “drop” a man who’s running a top-15 time but we were back into a 45 second lead and with another master blaster to come in the shape of Blackledge, J., we were looking for the fat lady to make her entrance. Much was the delight of Simon when it was later confirmed that he’d run a second faster than “Sp8y”.
Jonathan took off as if the opposition were right on his shoulder – in fact he had a rather uncomfortable middle section where he realized that he’d overdone it a bit – but he recovered and stopped the Belgrave team time on 4:00:01 and was third best short-stager of the day. A minute and 24 seconds later AFD crossed the line and the bare results made it appear fairly comfortable. It wasn’t!
A word about the Bs.
The team wasn't as strong as we'd have liked - but there were some good performances - especially from younger short stagers Joe van der Toorn and Alex Bodin - worthy of a place in the A team. Many thanks to Phil Burkart for switching legs with barely enough time to warm up to cover for a delayed Alex; he was another to go under 14 minutes. Good, too, to see Pete Willis on the comeback trail and Mike Trees in action again.
1 Belgrave H 4:00:01; 2 Aldershot F&D AC 4:01:25; 3 Woodford Green wEL 4:04:23; 4 Newham & Essex Beagles 4:06:48; 5 Thames H&H 4:14:40; 6 Harrow AC 4:14:06; … 26 Belgrave H ‘B’ 4:37:10; … 48 teams started; 37 teams finished.
A – N Speaight (team position 2, ranking on stage 2) 26:14; N Goolab U20 (1, 3) 13:03; P Freary M40 (3, 9) 27:56; S Moralee (2, 2) 13:06; W Cockerell (2, 9) 27:53; S Davies (2, 1) 12:34; J Kelly 26:47 (2, 2) 26:47; S Sharp (1, 1) 12:37; M Pollard (1, 4) 26:58; K Hegvold M45 (1, 5) 14:01; S Jones (1, 2) 26:13; J Blackledge (1, 1) 12:39.
B – T Weeks (33, 30) 29:46; P Burkart (22, 6) 13:52; P Willis (21, 18) 28:43; J van der Toorn (18, 9) 13:47; M Whiting (24, 28) 30:51; A Bodin U20 (19, 5) 13:43; Pete Marsh M55 (29, 35) 35:31; R Norville (28, 22) 15:34; M Trees M45 (24, 13) 29:12; J Webb (23, 12) 14:39; M Law (28, 35) 35:40; E Smith (27, 24) 15:52.
C – D McMillan M60 (48, 48) 40:35; T O’Neill M50 (46, 42) 16:11.
Fastest short stages 4.2k: 1 S Davies (Belgrave) 12:34; 2 S Sharp (Belgrave) 12:37; 3 J Blackledge 12:39; … 8 N Goolab U20 13:03; =9 S Moralee 13:06.
Fastest long stages 8.4k: 1 R Russell (Thames Valley H) 25:44; 2 D Wardle (Woodford Green wEL) 26:09; 3 B Moreau (Aldershot F&D) 26:10; … 5 S Jones 26:13; 6 N Speaight 26:14; 15 J Kelly 26:47.
Great Ireland 10k, 6 April 2008.
Men. 1 A Chebii (Kenya) 28:48; 5 M Dent 29:38.
Milan Half Marathon, 6 April 2008.
Men. 217, A Sentance 1:21:22 (39:19 at 10k).
Richmond Park Time Trial, 5 April 2008.
Men. 1 N Aitken (Clapham C) 17:10; 13 M Law 20:31.
Lane Cove 10km, NSW Australia, 5 April 2008.
Men. 1 C Johnston (?) 31:29; 6 A Stewart 32:50.
Women. 1 J Truscott (?) 38:12; 23 K Reynolds 44:29.
Wilmslow Half-Marathon, 30 March 2008.
Women. 1 M Ross 1:12:50 (City of Stoke) 1:12:50; 7 L Cooper 1:24:48.
Kingston Breakfast Run, 16 miles, 30 March 2008.
Men. 1 P Adams (St Albans) 1:30:05; 2 H Raidi 1:31:34.
Women. 1 K Brown (Army) 1:42:15; 6 E Fogg 1:50:45.
Kuala Lumpur Half Marathon, 30 March 2008.
Men. 11 J Kimaiyo 1:21.
Votwo Jurassic Coast 78.6 miles, 28-30 March 2008.
Having paid an entry fee of £145 Peter Cross reeled off three marathons on consecutive days along the cliff-tops from Lyme Regis to Studland Bay - 95% off-road. Day 1 he was 76th 6:57, day 2 43rd 6:02 and day 3 68th 8:01.
Men. 58 P Cross M50 21hrs 00secs.
Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 28 March 2008.
Men. 1 K Quinn (Aldershot F&D) 15:28; 4 A Bodin U20 16:00; 7 J Fairbourn 16:12; 18 M Whiting 17:24; 114 M Culshaw M40 22:09.
Women. 1 I Lee (Winchester) 18:27; 11 V Goodwin 21:04; 13 M Noel W40 22:20.
Melbourne 10km, 24 March 2008.
Women. 1 J Barker (?) 40:20; 6 K Reynolds 44:03.
Mid-Kent 5 miles, 23 March 2008.
Men. 1 J Creane (L Irish) 26:33; 14 P Cross M50 32:21.
Wimbledon Common 5k Time Trial, 22 March 2008.
Men. 1 A Weir (Thames H&H) 17:26; 29 D Anderson M50 23:08.
Folkestone 10 miles, 21 March 2008.
Men. 1 A Welch (Ashford) 54:02; 85 P Cross M50 1:09:56.
Maidenhead Easter 10 miles, 21 March 2008.
Men. 1 E Robinson (Aldershot F&D) 51:53; M Trees 2-M45 58:34.
B&Q Eastleigh 10k, 16 March 2008.
Men. 1 D Robinson (Stroud) 30:17; 33 J Fairbourn 33:57; 53 M Whiting 35:51.
Hastings Half Marathon, 16 March 2008.
Men. 1 K Kimutai (Kenya) 1:05:24; 297 P Cross M50 1:32:39; 1166 D McMillan M60 1:48:12.
Women. 1 B Dagne 1:15:36.
Bath Half Marathon, 16 March 2008.
Men. 1 R Tonui (Kenya) 1:05:20; 459 L Rehn M45 1:29:00 (41:36 at 10k).
Men. 1 T Humphries (Staffs) 2 P Wicks (Surrey/Belgrave) 37:11; 3 M Skinner (Kent) 37:19; 4 A Lemoncello (Scotland East) 37:23; 5 A Vernon (Hants) 37:42; 6 J Walsh (Warwickshire) 37:44; 24 N Speaight (Cambs/Belgrave); 63 M Pollard (Scotland West) 40:09; M Miles (Warwickshire) dnf.
Below (left to right): A Who's Who of cross country running 2008 - Andi Jones, Mike Skinner, Tom Humphries, Frank Tickner, Phil Wicks, Steve Vernon and Andrew Lemoncello share the front rank in the World Cross Trial at Nottingham.
The Grizzly, Seaton, Devon, 9 March 2008.
The race starts in Seaton in Devon and is about 19miles, mainly off road and extremely hilly. Matt was lying about 20th at half way but the wheels came off when the course swung onto a shingle beach at about 15miles where he lost a lot of places!
Men. 1 L Turner (?) 2:24:34; 63 M Whiting 2:49:29.
Devizes 10k, 9 March 2008.
Men. 1 S Plummer (WG&EL) 31:09; J Charles 34:39.
Dorney Lake 10k, 9 March 2008.
Men. 1 J Sumpter 31:37; 4 J Fairbourn 33:44; 5 D Mason 34:06.
Lydd Half Marathon, 9 March 2008.
Men. 1 A Jackson (Sittingbourne) 1:15:16; 26 P Cross M50 1:31:04.
adidas London Half Marathon, Silverstone, 9 March 2008.
Women. 1 L Yelling (Bedford &C) 1:12:46; 2 B Dagne 1:15:27.
Trafford 10k, 9 March 2008.
Men. 1 N Speaight 29:45; 2 M Miles 29:45; 4 S Jones 29:58.
Sichon Hospital Half Marathon, Thailand, 9 Mar 2008.
Men. 1 J Kimaiyo 1:08:22.
English Schools CC Champs., Liverpool, 8 March 2008.
Senior Boys. 1 D Forrester (Gtr Manchester) 20:50; 160 A Wright (Somerset/Belgrave) 23:57.
Brighton & Hove 5k Time Trial, 8 March 2008.
Men. 1 R Ward 15:40.
Australian World Cross Trials, Stromlo Forest Park, Canberra, Australia, 8 March 2008.
Men. 1 C Birmingham 36:25; 4 M Dent 36:38.
Brooklands 10k, Weybridge, 2 March 2008.
Men. 1 P Hamilton (Anna) 31:01; 5 K Hegvold M45 32:51.
Trafford 10k, 9 March 2008.
Men. 1 N Speaight 29:45; 2 M Miles 29:45; 4 S Jones 29:58.
Welsh 5k Road Champs., Bute Park, Cardiff, 2 March 2008.
Men. 1 T Russell (Scotland) 13:57; 2 S Davies (Wales/Belgrave) 13:59. Course was about 200m short.
Reading Half Marathon, 2 March 2008.
Men. 1 P Makau (Kenya) 1:01:19; 2 M Miles 1:04:47; 53 L Greatorex 1:13:47; 82 W Lynch 1:16:13; 2602 C Hobbs 1:45:59.
Women. V Knight 1:20:06; N Neale 1:25:15; G Marek 1:36:18.
Eastbourne Half Marathon, 2 March 2008.
Men. 1 D Anderson (Hastings) 1:14:21; 74 P Cross M50 1:34:39.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 1 March 2008.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:02.
Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 29 February 2008.
Men. 1 J Shane (Basildon) 15:27; 75 M Culshaw M40 21:13.
Women. 1 J Brown (Ashford) 18:13; 11 V Goodwin 20:42; 13 M Noel W40 21:35.
Lostock 6 miles Road Race, 24 February 2008.
Men. 1 P Freary 31:45.
Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon, 24 February 2008.
Men. 1 B Noad (Highgate) 1:09:48; 128 P Cross M50 1:31:57.
"Wicksy's" best ever run for National silver
At the end of a tough day at Alton Towers a stream of tired Belgrave runners made their way back from the finishing funnel to the tent, each one asking Phil Wicks how he got on: and there was plenty of back slapping and handshaking when the answer was received. For only the third time since we first contested this race in 1920, our leading man was placed 2nd – Vic Blowfield in 1948, Allen Graffin in 2002 and now 23 year-old Phil Wicks.
As a team we were only strong enough to scrape into the top twenty but we were 12th at nine to score and couldn’t help feeling satisfied that our squad of engine-room men plus one star had done a great job in upholding the tradition of the last decade that no matter what our expectations on the day, it’s imperative that we travel to the “national”, wherever it is, and fill out a team. From such efforts spring the occasional gem – 28th in 2003 followed by 1st in 2004!
Throughout that decade one man has attended every race – our current Skipper Will Cockerell, running his last cross country race as Captain. But although stepping down from the captaincy after four years we have no doubt that he’ll remain a fixture in the team, for in 2011 we have every expectation that our erstwhile Skip will take the club record for the most consecutive number of National outings. Well done William and thanks for all you have done – now, what other job can we give you!
But back to the race. After the normal fast start a bunch of six started moving away from the field as they descended to the lowest point of the very undulating course. Salford’s Andi Jones was at the front with favourite Tom Humphries a step behind and then Steve Vernon (Stockport), Mike Skinner (Blackheath & Bromley), Phil Wicks and Matt Watson of Bingley, all bouncing off each other in their efforts to keep close to the leaders; and then came the climb! We can’t remember a tougher ascent in any “National”. Three hundred metres of ever-steepening terrain was topped by a final thirty metres that had mortals scrambling on hands and knees to get over the top. A huge crowd had assembled at the summit where gasping runners in severe oxygen debt were urged to keep going.
Tough it was, but it was a circuit that suited our Phil, and in fact many said how good it was to race over a “real” cross country course even though it was a mile shorter than the expected distance. Soon Humphries surged past Jones and the foursome behind split asunder with Phil moving into second spot. The Cannock & Staffs man seemed to have a winning lead but Phil was working very hard – and had to, with Steve Vernon still eyeing up something better than bronze. But if anything it was Phil, now, perhaps moving the fastest, as he closed to within 13 seconds of a majestic Humphries by the finish. A fabulous run from our man – his best race ever – and one which surely gives a hint that one day a Belgravian may win this event.
Further down the field our engine-room boys excelled themselves. Will got the better of veteran Knut Hegvold who had a marvellous race. Malachi Byansi was running with a hamstring niggle but came through strongly over the final lap while James Fairbourn, in his first senior “national” could be at the beginning of a long love affair with the event. Our scoring six was closed in by the irrepressible Tim Weeks who had turned down a chance to star as “break-dancing Billy the Badger” at Fulham Football Club’s match. It was Tim’s last run before an operation to sort out a dodgy ankle but he tells us that his enthusiasm for running has never been stronger.
As normal Will waltzed off with the men’s cross country plate with “Weeksy” in runner-up spot and James Fairbourn in third. All three had taken part in every plate race (and more).
Team manager Catherine Eastham donned her racing shoes to join Jennifer Beecroft in a depleted women’s team and Jennifer had the pleasure of winning the women’s plate – another runner to take part in every constituent race.
Men. 1 T Humphries (Cannock & Stafford) 32:03; 2 P Wicks (Belgrave) 32:16; 3 S Vernon (Stockport H) 32:32; ... 191 W Cockerell 37:31; 223 K Hegvold M45 37:59; 237 M Byansi 38:13; 257 J Fairbourn 38:25; 318 T Weeks 39:12; 392 D Mason 40:22; 462 M Whiting 41:22; T Fordyce 41:54.
Teams - 6 to score: 1 Leeds City AC 183; 2 Notts AC 192; 3 Bristol & West 303; 4 OWLS AC 367; 5 Newham & Essex Beagles 395; 6 Bedford & County AC 417; ... 19 Belgrave H 1228.
Teams: 9 to score: 1 Leeds City AC 377; 2 Notts AC 395; 3 Bedford & County AC 350; 4 OWLS AC 979; 5 Sale H Manchester 1149; 6 Blackheath & Bromley H 1314; 12 Belgrave H 2580.
Women. 1 L Yelling (Bedford & County AC) 23:44; 2 G Miles (Kendall AC) 24:25; 3 R Townend (Winchester) 24:29; ... 333 C Eastham 34:54; 354 J Beecroft 35:39.
Scottish National CC Champs., Callendar Park, Falkirk, 23 February 2008.
Mark Pollard retains his Scottish title
Men. 1 M Pollard (Inverclyde/Belgrave) 37:48; 2 T Russell (Stroud) 37:49; 3 J Newsome (Pitreavie) 37:56.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 23 February 2008.
Men. 1 R Ward 15:49; 138 D Anderson M50 22:12.
24k Road Race, Thailand, 22 February 2008.
Men. 1 J Kimaiyo 1:17:ss.
Armagh 5k, 21 February 2008.
Men. 1 C Hesch (USA) 13:57; 15 S Sharp 14:32; 20 S Davies 14:37.
AT&T Austin Marathon, USA, 17 February 2008.
Men. 1 J Frey 2:20:38; 7 B Poore 2:24:49.
Cathedral Relays, Durham, 17 February 2008.
Men. Fastest: J Walsh (BSAC) 9:35; 6 S Moralee 9:58.
Sussex Beacon Half Marathon, 17 February 2008.
Men. 1 D Carter (Phoenix) 1:11:17; 31 T Hadfield 1:20:19; 265 P Cross M50 1:30:55; 1598 D McMillan M60 1:50:57.
Round the Houses 10k inc Scottish Universities Race, Grangemouth, 17 February 2008.
Women. 1 R Moore (?) 35:10; 6 C Bertram 40:22.
Lytchett Manor 10 miles, 17 February 2008.
Men. 1 W Chinhanhu (Poole) 52:44; 13 D Mason 59:53.
Hampshire League CC, Wimbourne, 16 February 2008.
Men. 1 B Lindsay (Aldershot F&D) 27:50; 24 D Mason 31:20; 25 J Charles 31:22.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 16 February 2008.
Men. 1 J Trapmore (Shaftesbury BH) 15:47; 2 R Stannard 16:14; 6 W Cockerell 16:31.
Dover Half Marathon, 10 February 2008.
Men. 1 P Anthony (Invicta) 1:10:14; 38 P Cross M50 1:30:56.
Wokingham Half Marathon, 10 February 2008.
Men. 1 T Lambert (Winchester) 1:05:41; 91 S Ryan 1:21:22; 294 L Rehn M45 1:30:04.
Women. 1 L Yelling (Bedford &C) 1:11:09; E Fogg 1:24:58.
26.2 Valentines 10k, 10 February 2008.
Men. 1 G Price (Shaftesbury B) 31:08; 10 M Webb M40 35:49.
It's third again in the Surrey League
With the whole world and his wife enjoying the Richmond Park sunshine it was a challenge simply to get into the Pembroke Lodge car park and as race time neared we still had guys queued up in the traffic. But somehow we got thirteen onto the start line - with our unlucky thirteenth, Robert Norville, arriving just as the field were about to be sent away. The one or two minutes delay as we attempted to get Robert a number gave our rivals the chance launch into a bit of "end of series" banter - "Just take your time Belgrave, we've got all afternoon!"
The main talking point was whether Herne Hill Harriers could pull back the 29 points that separated them from Thames. One thing was for sure though: Belgrave were far beyond challenging and indeed had their work cut out to remain among the top three teams. As it turned out we were a poor sixth on the day but did manage to hang onto third place overall.
And as for Herne Hill, there were red and black vests to spare in the top thirty and at the end of the series, after two hours and twenty miles of racing, they had managed to overhaul the Hare & Hounds by just six points.
Our own Stephen Sharp was in fine fettle, taking it steady for the first lap, albeit leading by thirty metres, before letting it rip over the second circuit and stretching his lead to beyond half a minute at the finish. The Skipper is getting back into good shape and was well up, but we had to go too far back before the bulk of our runners were in and lost a lot of ground to Ranelagh, South London - and Hercules Wimbledon, who seem to be fighting back well after a long spell in the lower divisions. If we want to be serious about challenging for the league title in the next few years we are going to have to change our attitude somewhat.
1 S Sharp 28:10; 2 N Talbot (Thames) 28:44; 3 K Quinn (Herne H) 28:54; 14 W Cockerell 29:55; 45 K Hegvold M45 31:18; 46 M Byansi 31:20; 65 T Weeks 32:03; 67 J Fairbourn 32:11; 85 D Mason 33:01; 91 J Webb 33:22; 98 R Norville 33:51; 111 S Zealey M40 34:33; 130 M Humphrey 35:52; 135 R Poulter M40 36:12; 160 P Cross M50 38:53.
Teams: 1 Herne Hill H 152; 2 Thames H&H 185; 3 Hercules Wimbledon 423; 4 South London H 437; 5 Ranelagh H 437; 6 Belgrave H 500; 7 Guildford &G 563; 8 Reigate Priory AC 637; 9 Wimbledon W 761.
Final League positions: 1 Herne Hill H 730; 2 Thames H&H 736; 3 Belgrave H 1519; 4 Ranelagh H 1559; 5 Hercules Wimbledon AC 1793; 6 South London H 2194; 7 Reigate Priory AC 2335; 8 Guildford &G 2435; 9 Wimbledon W 3079.
Belles stay up
On a day when we didn't have much to celebrate in Richmond Park young Megan Evans delighted as she ran to another good performance in the Surrey League. She was planning to run a schools inter-counties event but somehow or other there was a mix-up with the entry and a run at Petersham gave her an alternative outing. Next winter Megan will be in the under 17 age group but year on year her prowess is growing and we look forward to fine things in the future.
Throughout the winter our senior women had struggled to get teams out that would do justice to our status as 2006/2007 league winners - but such are the vagaries of our sport. For this last match we needed to complete a team to stay up - and with a Team Manager who is prepared to don racing kit when it matters, we did what was required.
With Sarah Murphy away, Tilly Heaton led the team home and Jennifer Beecroft moved to within striking distance of taking this winter's Cross Country Plate competition; it's all down to the "National" now. Great to see Sarah Gailey back from Australia.
1 E Nelson (Epsom &E) 20:50; 2 N Warner (Thames H&H) 21:02; 3 C Elms (Dulwich) 21:15; 22 M Heaton 23:15; 28 S Gailey 23:47; 70 V Goodwin 26:06; 88 J Beecroft 27:15; 92 C Eastham W35 27:34.
Teams: 1 Herne Hill H 86; 2 South London H 91; 3 Ranelagh H 104; 4 Thames H&H 120; 5 Reigate Priory 129; 6 West 4H 130; ... 11 Belgrave H 295; 34 teams closed in.
Final League positions: 1 Ranelagh H 369; 2 Herne Hill H 425; 3 Thames H&H 540; 4 South London H 560; 5 West 4H 653; 6 Stragglers 659 ... 12 Belgrave H 1276.
Under 15 Girls. 1 H Edwards (Herne Hill H) 16:58; 4 M Evans 18:02.
Great Bentley Half Marathon, nr. Clacton, 3 February 2008.
Men. 1 C Bloomfield (Billericay) 1:10:48; 148 P Cross M50 1:31:22.
Alsager 5 miles, 3 February 2008.
Men. 1 P Wicks 23:50; 3 N Speaight 24:14; 7 S Sharp 24:25.
Renfrewshire 5 miles Champs., 3 February 2008.
1 M Pollard 24:45.
Pennine Bridleway Relay, Rossendale, Lancs, 3 February 2008.
The race covers 47 miles, climbing 6,300 feet and there are five stages with runners from each team racing in pairs. Second team were Horwich RMI whose team included Paul Freary and Rick Hayman, running together.
Watford Half Marathon, 3 February 2008.
Men. 1 J Lawler (Bedford &C) 1:10:24; 35 T Hadfield 1:20:20.
Women. 1 N Harvey (South London) 1:14:25; 5 V Knight 1:22:14.
BUSA CC Champs., Swansea, 2 February 2008.
Men. 1 A Vernon (St. Mary's) 33:16; 13 J Kelly (Cambridge/Belg) 34:35; 23 J Blackledge (Oxford B/Belg) 35:11; 89 A Bodin U20 UWIC/Belg) 38:03.
2000 Perch 6.25 miles, Epsom, 27 January 2008.
Men. 1 V van Woerken (Epsom O) 36:44; 5 M Webb M40 37:14.
Romsey 5 miles, 27 January 2008.
Men. 1 J Blackledge 24:28.
Barretts Canterbury 10 miles, 27 January 2008.
Men. 1 J Atkinson (Blackheath &BH) 51:51; 96 P Cross M50 1:08:52.
Mud, blood & guts at Parliament Hill Fields
It’s the one we love to hate – for the senior men, nine and a quarter miles of bog, hills, mud, blood, guts … and hopefully one day … glory. Sadly our younger age group runners were depleted as sickness and injury took their toll but Megan Evans and Jo Foxley turned out in the Under 15 Girls’ race and seemed to enjoy themselves. A depleted women’s team was led home by Sarah Murphy who wasn’t happy with her run, but 23rd in such a large field seemed pretty useful to us supporters, especially with a half marathon the previous week and a dodgy ankle to contend with. Tilly Heaton struggled to halfway but then things clicked and she moved well in the latter part of the race to place inside the top 60. For Jennifer Beecroft the “Southerns” was her biggest ever race and she came out of it well.
Hopes of a set of medals
There were hopes of a set of team medals for the men as we creep closer to the frame each year. Powering up the hill, our reigning champion Phil Wicks was already locked in battle at the front alongside Wells City’s Frank Tickner, with other contenders Huw Lobb (Bedford) and Andy Vernon (Aldershot) electing to let these two rip chunks out of each other. But a mile later it was obvious that our man had a problem – he’d dropped back to fourth and Tickner was clear away, never to be threatened again. Last winter’s Scottish Champion Mark Pollard was well forward, and conservative starting Simon Jones was just inside 40. Already the team race was clearly a Beagles v Bedford affair but with three Belgravians – James Fairbourn, Rich Stannard and Will Cockerell in the 80s, third place might just have been ours.
Phil was suffering
Phil was suffering, he thought at the time, from a stitch that he just could not shake off in spite of attempts to breathe deeply. As he struggled on, a few more men came by and one began to wonder whether he’d call it a day. And as Phil struggled, Mark and Simon appeared ever stronger. While Simon found himself being waved back “on course” as he sought out the firmest ground, Mark took a line as straight as an arrow, eyes focused steadily on the terrain ahead as his legs soaked up the ruts and boggy ground like a pair of shock absorbers. Skipper Will was on the move now and was leading Richard and James but there was nothing between them as they worked off each other until – disaster – Jim went down like a sack of potatoes, tripping badly on the edge of a path and badly cutting both knees. It was a ghastly moment. Shocked, he was up again, but the crash had taken every ounce of breath out of him and in the next half mile he came out, destined to finish the course in an ambulance.
So, who was now the sixth man? Tim Weeks and Matt Whiting were close together at around 220 and on being apprised of the situation Tim was galvanized; only a lap and a half to go but somehow our “Weeksy” made up about 50 places.
A typical Pollard “gutsy” performance
Down to the finish to count them in, then, and it was Mark first home in 7th for the Bels with a typical Pollard “gutsy” performance – what a fighter! And still struggling but just as determined to finish as well as he could, Phil was two places behind him. His problem was still with him slightly in following days it became apparent that it was more likely a slight muscle pull under his rib cage. As a self-professed hater of cross-country Simon Jones was superb in 18th. Amazingly, in spite of losing Jim, we were still, finally, 4th, with track rivals Woodford Green nicking the bronze medals ahead of us. But after the heat of the battle, when the statisticians got their calculators out, it became apparent that even if our man had not fallen, 4th place would still have been our lot.
But as we said earlier, we edge ever closer to the frame – and for the first time in many a year we have won the “Odling Smee Cup” as the first Surrey team to finish nine men. Well done Messrs. Whiting, Hadfield and Lynch.
Jim is out running again, Phil will hopefully shake off his muscle pull quickly – and the show moves on to the “National” at Alton Towers in four weeks time.
Special thanks to Brian Pritchard for ferrying men across London and apologies to SEAA President Gordon Biscoe, to whom we were unable to grant the honour of awarding the Bels medals!
Senior Men's 15k. 1 F Tickner (Wells City H) 46:14; 2 A Vernon (Aldershot F&D) 46:44; 3 K Gerrard (Newham &EB) 47:00; 4 H Lobb (Bedford &C) 47:41; 5 D Deeds (Bedford &C) 47:47; 6 K Heywood (Bristol &W) 47:53; 7 M Pollard 48:08; 9 P Wicks 48:18; 18 S Jones 49:34; 82 W Cockerell 53:38; 85 R Stannard 54:09; 177 T Weeks 57:17; 234 M Whiting 58:56; 271 T Hadfield 1:00:21; 276 W Lynch 1:00:39; 285 R Harding (Met Police/Belgrave) 1:01:02; 286 S Zealey M40 1:01:06; 466 R Merrick 1:06:02; 543 R Poulter 1:08:11; 566 M Humphrey 1:09:06; 577 L Rehn M45 1:09:16; dnf J Fairbourn; 832 finished.
Teams: 1 Bedford & County AC 109; 2 Newham & Essex Beagles 115; 3 Woodford Green wEL 280; 4 Belgrave H 378; 5 Wells City H 434; 6 Winchester & Dist. 434; ... 86 teams closed in.
Senior Women's 8k. 1 R Townend (Winchester &D) 31:36; 2 L Damen (Winchester &D) 31:49; 3 R Felton (Shaftesbury BH) 32:25; 23 S Murphy 35:40; 58 M Heaton 37:43; 222 J Beecroft 46:45.
Under 15 Girls' 4k. 1 E Gorecka (Aldershot F&D) 16:44; 2 M Hawtin (Oxford C) 17:08; 3 E Wallbank (Bedford &C) 17:08; 61 M Evans 20:19; 181 J Foxley 26:26.
Banstead Woods 5k Time Trial, 26 January 2008.
Men. 1 R Ward 15:55.
Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 25 January 2008.
Women. 1 M Scholes (Channel Is) 18:38; 7 V Goodwin 20:59.
Les Witton Memorial Dartford 10 miles, 20 January 2008.
Men. 1 C Bloomfield (Billericay) 53:38; 87 P Cross M50 1:09:10.
Shell Four Villages Half Marathon, Helsby, 20 January 2008.
Women. 1 N Archer (Vale R) 1:16:05; 9 S Murphy 1:24:16.
Birmingham League, Coventry, 19 January 2008.
Men. 1 K Deighton (Loughborough) 28:18; 64 P Burkhart 31:41.
Bermuda 10k, Hamilton, Bermuda, 19 January 2008.
Men. 1 P Koech (Kenya) 29:13; 10 N Speaight 32:26.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 19 January 2008.
Men. 1 B Markham (Aldershot F&D) 16:44; 2 R Stannard 16:46.
Bermuda Elite Mile, Hamilton, Bermuda, 18 January 2008.
Men. 1 D Freeman (USA) 4:08.9; 3 N Speaight 4:09.5.
Rough 'n' Tumble Multi-terrain 10 miles, Marlborough, 13 January 2008.
Men. 1 S Herring (City of Salisbury) 1:07:57; 175 P Cross M50 1:37:46.
BUPA Great Edinburgh International CC, 12 January 2008.
Men's 4.4k 1 A Baddeley (Harrow) 12:52; 6 N Speaight 13:02; 8 M Miles 13:07; 14 M Pollard 13:24.
Bels "ropey" at "Reigers"
With not a lot at stake, a crop of colds, and attractive fixtures elsewhere, we were rather short at the sharp end of this race. Our squad was, however, boosted by a couple of our swim-bike-runners. World Aquathlon Champ. Richard Stannard nearly missed the start as he got himself ready for the race but, skipping across the front of the line-up as the gun was fired, ended up grinning from ear to ear as he got the best of starts. It was great to see Mike Trees in action as well. One time World Duathlon Champ., Mike recently had a nasty accident in Japan when training on his bike; a car stopped dead in front of him while he was travelling at speed and the driver's door was flung open in his path. Broken ribs resulted in a chest infection but he's gradually recovering and had a gentle, and we suspect slightly painful, tour of Reigate's Priory Park.
Thames' Huw Lobb gunned it from the start and with their next man, McMullen, occupying second spot had a great start in their efforts to keep Herne Hill at bay. But the Black and Red tide was sweeping in behind them to carry the day and the result is that there are now only 27 points between them with one fixture to go.
For the Bels only Alex Bodin can be said to have had a good run, most others occupying places somewhat lower than we might have expected. With newly promoted Hercules Wimbledon AC suddenly finding the wind in their sails and improving three places from match two, we found ourselves shunted into fifth. Overall we hold onto third place in the League but shouldn't be too complacent about keeping this position as the Ranelagh Talbot has scented Belgrave blood.
It was a pleasure to see Evan Langmuir enjoying yet another race. At barely eleven and placing 4th in the under 13 category he has a great running career ahead of him if he can keep at it.
These results are provisional.
1 H Lobb (Thames H&H) 26:55; 2 J McMullen (Thames H&H) 27:52; 3 K Quinn (Herne Hill H) 27:59; ... 20 R Stannard 29:15; 24 A Bodin U20 29:38; 34 J Fairbourn 30:13; 36 K Hegvold M45 30:21; 45 W Cockerell 30:47; 61 M Byansi 31:30; 73 M Trees M45 32:05; 86 S Zealey M40 32:49; 89 T Weeks 32:59; 91 W Lynch 33:02; 92 R Norville 33:02; 99 A Sentance 33:49; 130 M Humphrey 36:09; 143 L Rehn M45 37:37; 147 P Cross M50 38:41.
Teams: 1 Herne Hill H 131; 2 Thames H&H 194; 3 Hercules Wimb. 307; 4 Ranelagh H 485; 5 Belgrave H 501; 6 South London H 545; 7 Guildford &G 567; 8 Reigate Priory 571; 9 Wimbledon W 794.
Overall: 1 Thames H&H 551; 2 Herne Hill H 578; 3 Belgrave H 1019; 4 Ranelagh H 1122; 5 Hercules Wimb. 1370; 6 Reigate Priory 1698; 7 South London H 1757; 8 Guildford &G 1872; 9 Wimbledon W 2318.
Under 13 Boys. 1 J Amoruso (Guildford &G) 16:32; 4 E Langmuir 17:52.
Above: Sarah Murphy (31) is to the fore as the Senior Women's Surrey League field gets under way at Reigate's Priory Park.
Slipping down the table ...
With three matches now gone in the 2007-2008 series, things are beginning to look a little desperate as we begin to drift towards the relegation zone.
One runner short of a full squad for the previous match, we found this time that we were two bodies down. Maureen Noel had heeded the call and turned down a Southern Area RWA 10k at Croydon to turn up at Reigate - but unfortunately a missed rail connection at Redhill meant that she was an hour behind schedule and was too late for the race.
Sarah Murphy made a bold start, chasing Epsom's Emily Nelson away from the gun, and occupied a forward position throughout the race. Entering the finishing field in fourth, about 25 metres down on third, she gained on the two immediately ahead of her all the way to the funnel and just missed out on a podium place by two seconds. She ruefully admitted that she might have picked up the places ahead of her if she'd been a little less tentative on the severe downhill slopes.
Vicky Goodwin, suffering from a cold, and Jennifer Beecroft both did the best they could, but picking up maximum points to fill out the two blanks in the team meant that we slipped to 22nd on the day and 12th overall. With the Team Manager at home suffering from a bad back, it was not the best of weekends for the Belles.
These results are provisional.
1 E Nelson (Epsom &E) 23:43; 2 F Clark (Reigate P) 23:59; 3 N Warner (Thames H&H) 24:01; 4 S Murphy 24:03; ... 67 V Goodwin 28:53; 154 J Beecroft 34:45.
Teams: 1 South London H 83; 2 Ranelagh H 103; 3 Thames H&H 117; 4 The Stragglers 140; 5 Herne Hill H 144; 6 Reigate Priory 152; ... 22 Belgrave H 527.
Overall: 1 Ranelagh H 265; 2 Herne Hill H 339' 3 Thames H&H 420; 4 South London H 469; 5 The Stragglers 473; 6 West Four H 523; 12 Belgrave H 953.
Richmond Park 5k Time Trial, 12 January 2008.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:09.
Cwmafan 10k, 6 January 2008.
Men. 1 S Jones 30:42.
Tadworth 10 miles, 6 January 2008.
Men. 1 B Whitby (Windsor SE&H) 54:12; 104 P Cross M50 1:12:29.
Cambridgeshire County Cross Country Champs, St. Neots, 6 January 2008.
Men. 1 N Speaight 32:26.
Another huge win for an unwell Phil Wicks
It was "as you were" at Lloyd Park where Phil Wicks, having seen girlfriend Emily Adams retain her senior women's title, stormed away from the men's field to win by the huge margin of two and a half minutes. His time was nearly half a minute faster than in 2007 and we can probably put this down to the better than normal conditions under foot. It was only after the race that Phil revealed that he was not feeling at all well as he disappeared off home to get into the warm and to try to shake off a bug that is troubling him.
It wasn't only Phil that was under the weather. James Fairbourn had also been bothered by sickness over the last few days and each time he completed a circuit, resisted the temptation to come out. A tough guy, though, he stuck it out to the end and finished an impressive 18th to confirm his form of recent months. We look forward to seeing James at his best when the distance goes up to 15k at Parliament Hill at the end of the month.
James Kelly turned in a masterful performance. Surrounded by Thames and Herne Hill vests for the first lap, he nursed himself through the opening kilometres, opened up a little bit more on the second circuit, and then went for it over the final loop to take a fine bronze medal. What a find this man is - and hasn't he contributed to the Belgrave team over the last six months.
Knut Hegvold and Tim Weeks both looked comfortable working their way through as the race progressed; and we were delighted that new man Richard Merrick turned out in this, his toughest race to date, closing in the scoring six. But we missed four or five men through sickness or the knowledge that 12k in their current state of fitness was too far, and as a result missed out on medals and, dare we say, the chance of a win. As it was, Herne Hill Harriers notched up their seventh consecutive victory while we haven't seen the podium since 1996.
Always a fighter, Sarah Murphy battled away in the senior women's race and was rewarded with a worthy fifth place, while Katherine Swanson made a great debut for the Belles, getting into the top 20.
Evan Langmuir was the first Belgravian in action on this long day. Right at the very bottom of the under 13 age group (being barely 11), he impressed us all with his 27th place. Megan Evans and Jo Foxley ran well in the under 15 girls' event and an unfit Alex Bodin made a last minute decision to race - coming away with the bronze medal in the junior men's race.
Senior Men - 12k. 1 P Wicks
(Belgrave) 41:20; 2 W Clark (Epsom & Ewell) 43:50; 3 J Kelly (Belgrave)
44:23; ... 18 J Fairbourn 47:18; 23 K Hegvold 47:53; 30 T Weeks 49:16;
87 R Merrick 56:58; dnf R Norville.
Under 20 Men - 6.5k. 1 S Connor (Aldershot F&D) 22:58; 3 A Bodin 24:38.
Under 13 Boys - 3.25k. 1 S Knuckey (Aldershot F&D) 12:20; 27 E Langmuir 14:31.
Senior Women - 8k. 1 E Adams (Aldershot F&D) 32:54; 5 S Murphy 34:13; 19 K Swanson 37:22.
Under 15 Girls - 4k. 1 E Gorecka (Aldershot F&D) 15:53; 15 M Evans 19:23; 30 J Foxley 22:08.
Middlesex County Cross Country Champs, Trent Park, 5 January 2008.
Nick Goolab takes the Middlesex Junior title
Not yet eighteen years of age, the Steve Sharp advised Nick Goolab had his first stab at the under 20 men's title and came away with a fine win. Highgate's Saningo Martin got level with him with 200 metres to go but Nick had the power to sprint to victory.
Sharpy himself wasn't quite as successful as his protege. Winner for the past two editions of the race, Steve came under severe pressure from Hillingdon's Dan Dalmedo over the last lap and had to settle for second place.
Senior Men - 12k. 1 D Dalmedo (Hillingdon) 41:04; 2 S Sharp 41:26.
Under 20 Men. - 8k. 1 N Goolab (Belgrave) 28:58.
Hampshire County Cross Country Champs, Applemore, 5 January 2008.
Nikki Neale travelled from Guernsey to compete in the Hampshire race at Dibden Inclosure, Applemore, and placed a creditable 8th.
Senior Women - 8k. 1 L Damen (Winchester &D) 27:44; 8 N Neale 30:47.
Brighton & Hove 5k Time Trial, 5 January 2008.
Men. 1 R Ward 15:38.
Bushy Park 5k Time Trial, 5 January 2008.
Men. 1 J Harrison (unatt) 16:55; 3 R Stannard 17:39; 9 M Trees 18:11.
Wymondham 10k, 1 January 2008.
Women. 1 D Nimmock (City of Norwich) 36:53; 2 N Neale 37:51.
Serpentine New Year's Day 10k, Hyde Park, 1 January 2008.
Men. 1 S Farah (Newham &EB) 32:32; 3 K Tadesse 34:16.
Women. 1 V Knight (Belgrave) 37:58; 3 H Smethurst W40 41:04.