Road Running & Cross Country, 2011 reports by Alan Mead unless otherwise credited
Nos Galan 5k, Mountain Ash, 31 December 2011.
Men. 1 P Peters (B&W) 14:40; 2 S Davies 14:42.
San Silvestre Vallecana 10k, Madrid, 31 December 2011.
Men. 12 J Kelly 30:41.
Hercules Wimbledon/Lauriston 5 miles, 31 December 2011.
Men. 1 A Bruce-Littlewood (HW) 26:46; 2 W Cockerell 27:09.
Hampstead Heath parkrun, 31 December 2011.
Men. 1 R Stannard 18:25.
Women. J Marchant U15 27:43.
Boxing Day 10k, Leyland, 26 December 2011.
Women. 1 L Blizzard 38:03.
Witham, Essex, 5 miles, 26 December 2011.
Men. 48 P Carstairs 3-M50 33:06.
Lauriston Paarlauf, 25 December 2011.
Men. 4 D McDonald (Ranelagh) & A Hegvold (Belgrave W45) 5m 1109y; 6 P Stevens (HH) & G Adams 5m 583y.
Women's South of the Thames CC Championship, Wimbledon Common (Roehampton Vale), 17 December 2011.
Bronze for the 'Toughees'
Will Cockerell writes: From the gloomy depths of when we last visited this venue 10 months ago - the scene of our Surrey League relegation - things are looking chipper again. This is the third set of medals the squad have picked up since then, and we finished ahead of current Surrey League leaders, Thames H & H, who had 15 out at the last league fixture and provided the individual winner here.
It was a very close run thing either way: just a tantalizing single point off the silver medals, but we were lucky to exist at all, as we flirted with the agonies of being one short of a team for the fourth time this season. The TM awoke to 10 yesses, but one by one they were felled during the morning, until we couldn't afford any more slip ups, as a brave sextet ventured forth.
We topped and tailed with a couple of champs in Sammi (full of cold), and race-walker Maureen who not for the first time came to our rescue in an emergency, to run round well. Fee pinged a hat-trick of great runs for the Belles; closely followed by 800m purist Nellie, who turned down a trip to Venice for this and had an entertaining rant on Facebook after the race about how ghastly it was, but finished like a hurricane. Kerri again proved to be a reliably safe pair of hands, and then we had Vicki who really did 'take one for the team': a pulled calf led to her hobbling the last 26k of the Valencia Marathon three weeks ago, but here she was looking smooth again and hoisting us up onto the podium.
Bouquets to everyone - a team of six for 7.5m in wet mud on a freezing day in mid-December is a big ask - 11 teams started, 5 finished - but we responded to the challenge with true grit.
Women 12k. 1 R Clifton (THH) 46:48; 2 E Alden (E&E) 47:10; 3 C Elms (Dulwich) 47:29; 7 S Amend 49:04; 10 F Maycock W40 50:23; 12 N Quispell 51:00; 24 K Renshaw 55:58; 33 V Goodwin 58:52; 37 M Noel W45 59:53. 60 finished.
Teams: (6 to score)
1 South London H 98; 2 Dulwich R 122; 3 Belgrave H 123; 4 Brighton & Hove AC 146; 5 Thames H & H 160.
South of the Thames CC Championship, Wimbledon Common (Roehampton Vale), 17 December 2011.
Mixed fortunes on the Common: Wicksy wins but Wardy hit by injury
Being the last race before Christmas it was inevitable that Joker 'Wardy' would turn up in festive mood and sure enough he was wearing a Father Christmas hat that had his team mates smiling as he joined the throng at the flag. Phil Wicks had had a worrying week after Emily pulled out soon after the start of the previous weekend's European Cross with a severe pain in her chest that turned out to be a collapsed lung; but he too couldn't help smiling as the two of them set out for a warm up in preparation for spearheading the team to a tilt at the championship.
Sharp on 2pm the race got under way and it was immediately obvious that Wicksy meant business. Splashing through the puddles on the playing fields he was clear after a couple of hundred metres and as the chase disappeared up into the woods only Gilbert (Kent) and Lacy (Cambridge) showed any intention of trying to hang on. Sure enough Phil had a substantial lead over the other two after the first lap and then came a huge gap to fourth - so large a break that some watchers felt that the bulk of the field must have gone off course and run an extra kilometre somewhere.
Where was Richard Ward? He was expected to be taking a forward placing but it was Richard Stannard through next with Will Cockerell not too far behind. Something had obviously happened to our man and with his disappearance our championship hopes also collapsed.
Soon Phil was dropping back from the woods onto the playing fields to take a great individual win which he later said had "cleared his head and given his body a bit of a test." Next up for him will be place in the GB & NI team for the Great Edinburgh International against USA and European teams on 7 January.
A cracking run came from Richard Stannard who had gone out hard and held on well to place 11th with Will in 24th. And now it became apparent that Wardy, who had limped back to the start, had suffered a recurrence of a hamstring problem that took him out during the summer. In fact there was no way we could have handled a rampant Herne Hill who had a terrific team in action but we might, just might, have sneaked a set of silver medals but for that misfortune.
Photo: a great run came from World
Men 12k. 1 P Wicks 37:42; 2 D Lacey (Camb H) 38:13; 3 J Gilbert Kent AC) 38:17; 11 R Stannard 41:14; 24 W Cockerell 42:18; 44 D Mason 44:25; 45 L Eguia 44:31; 81 B Barton M45 47:48; 83 M Byansi 48:17; 92 R Norville 49:16; 99 P Carstairs M50 50:24; 138 N Dilley 52:45; 154 finished; dnf R Ward, W Lynch.
Teams 6 to score: 1 Herne Hill H 69; 2 Hercules Wimbledon 131; 3 Kent AC 150; ... 5 Belgrave H 206; 12 teams closed in.
Teams: 12 to score: 1 Herne Hill H 209; 2 Kent AC 549; 3 Hercules Wimbledon 647.
European CC Champs, Velenje, Slovenia, 11 December 2011.
U23 Men. 1 F Carvalho (France) 23:44; 33 M Mulhare (Ireland) 24:24.
Bushy Park parkrun, 10 December 2011.
Men. 1 J McDonnell (Luton) 14:48; 28 T Trees 17:38.
Coventry parkrun, 10 December 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:14.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 10 December 2011.
Men. 1 G Buscke (Clapham C) 17:28; 8 R Norville 18:56.
Bramhall Park parkrun, 3 December 2011.
Women. 1 S Murphy 19:30.
Brockwell Park parkrun, 3 December 2011.
Men. 1 Unknown 16:37; 9 C Collins 19:54.
Bushy Park parkrun, 5 December 2011.
Men. 1 A Jackson (Sittingbourne) 16:33; 2 W Cockerell 16:38.
Hampstead Heath parkrun, 5 December 2011.
Women. 1 E Bliss (Exeter) 20:21; J Marchant 27:27.
Women's Surrey Cross Country League, Division 2, Match 2, Petersham, 3 December 2011.
All but Released from the Shackles of the Naughty Chair
Will Cockerell reports: Another commanding performance brings our intended promotion out of this league a step closer. A startling line-up of 14 'possibles' on Wednesday, became a still pleasing 9 at the gun, and Sammi, running in memory of her departed Nan on Thursday, was full of bristling intent.
Nellie was to the fore and not far behind was the exterminator, Fee Maycock, who looked in dazzling touch. Then a couple of old faves, Heaton and Hegvold, who did this equivalent fixture, same venue in Dec 2001, and they're pencilled in for Dec 2021. Starting steadily was Aussie tri star Kerri Renshaw who won her age-group at the Ironman Coeur d'alene in June and placed 19th in her group at the Hawaii World champs. She was watched closely by another triathlete Kat Voigts, and in turn by a brace of mandarins in Maureen and yet another debutante Catriona Knox.
Throughout the long second lap, Sam hung in there well and ended a nuggety fourth. Fee got better and better, swallowing up several victims, including Nellie who hit the wall a mile out, but hung on grimly. Tilly and Anne were reliable as ever, and if they'd been out there much longer they'd've felt Kerri's draught who was pinging along by the end.
With Kat and the civil servants all finishing in the top third of the field, our work was done and we could savour extending our lead at the top by another 90 points to 182 in all. Consistent stuff, but three times this term we've been one short of a scoring team, and if that happens in the Surrey League the punishment is swift and severe. So don't relax ladies, Farthing Downs await on January 14th.
Women 5.81 k. 1 E Alden (Epsom &E) 21:05; 4 S Amend 22:06; 5 F Maycock 22:41; 10 N Quispell 23:11; 15 M Heaton 23:57; 17 A Hegvold 24:04; 22 K Renshaw 24:43; 41 K Voigts 26:09, 50 M Noel 26:49; 53 C Knox 26:54. 161 finished.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 51; 2 Guildford&G 84; 3 Epsom Oddballs 97; 4 Runnymede 140; 5 Walton 140... 11 Belgrave H 'B' 337.
Overall: 1 Belgrave H 95; 2 Walton 277; 3 Epsom Oddballs 289; 4 Runnymede R 309; 5 Striders of Croydon 353... 19 Belgrave H 'B' 959. 42 teams have featured.
South of the Thames 5 miles Team Race, Nork Park, Tadworth, 26 November 2011.
A welcome set of bronze medals came the way of Belgrave Harriers with Captain Richard Ward leading the team home and raising a spirited finish to move into 3rd individual spot in the last 50 metres. Second man home was Will Cockerell, ahead of Martin Holm, with Lander Eguia moving strongly through the field to close in our quartet.
Richard Stannard had got lost during his bike session in the morning and running late, missed the start by over two minutes. Flogging himself around the 8.5k course he got up to 56th of the nigh on 200 runners, but had he started on time and placed about 15th there would have been no difference to the result. Giving away even more of a start to the opposition, Warren Lynch set out 12 minutes late!
Men. 1 J Gilbert (Kent) 28:07; 2 B Cole (Tonbridge) 28:49; 3 R Ward 29:29; 10 W Cockerell 30:00; 16 M Holm 30:27; 23 L Eguia 31:34; 56 R Stannard 34:11; 61 A Luce 34:32; 72 M Foord 35:45; 117 A Lang 41:23; 139 W Lynch M40 49:34.
Teams: 4 to score. 1 Herne Hill H (4, 7, 8, 9) 28; 2 Tonbridge (2, 6, 11, 17) 36; 3 Belgrave H (3, 10, 16, 23) 52; ... 19 Belgrave 'B' 56, 61, 72, 117) 306; .. 28 teams closed in.
Teams: 8 to score. 1 Herne Hill H 179; 2 Kent 192; 3 Belgrave 358; ... 10 teams closed in.
McCain's UK Cross Challenge & European Trials, Sefton Park, Liverpool, 26 November 2011.
Undoubtedly very fit, Phil Wicks didn't seem to have quite enough speed back in his legs yet after his marathon exploits. In a stacked race he was around 18th after one lap, up to 12th after two and still moving through as the race came to a conclusion to come home in 9th spot.
Men. 1 A Vernon (AFD) 29:19; 9 P Wicks 29:49; 50 J Kelly 31:17; 59 M Pollard 31:32; 73 D Agustus 31:50.
Brockwell parkrun, 26 November 2011.
Men. 1 J Trapmore (Shaftesbury B) 16:54; 14 C Collins 20:19.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 26 November 2011.
Men. 1 J Morwood (AFD) 16:07; 27 P Chapman 20:14.
Brooks Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 25 November 2011.
M55. 1 T O'Neill 18:38.
IAAF Permit Race, Soria, Spain, 20 November 2011.
Men's 10k. 1 V Chepkok (Kenya) 29:49; 39 J Kelly 32:38.
Brooks Brighton 10k, 20 November 2011.
Men. 1 B Whitby (WSE&H) 29:52; 7 S Sharp 31:42.
Preston 10 miles, 20 November 2011.
Women. 1 J Clague (Liverpool) 59:49; 3 L Blizzard 60:53.
Epsom 10 miles, Epsom Downs, 20 November 2011.
Men. 1 J West (Stragglers) 55:31; 266 A Lane M75 107:25.
Old Deer Park 10k, Richmond, 20 November 2011.
Women. 1I Menzies (Edinburgh) 37:58; 4 F Cole 39:10.
Rugged Radnage 10k, 20 November 2011.
Men. 1 J Fowler (?) 39:41; 3 M Whiting 40:54.
Women. 1 S Amend 41:58; 3 M Spalton 44:28.
Nonsuch Park parkrun, 19 November 2011.
Men. 1 M Giles (Sutton) 18:16; 25 A Lang 21:54.
Thames H&H v Ranelagh H, Putney, 19 November 2011.
Men. 1 M Shore (TH&H) 39:36; 3 W Cockerell 39:56.
VAC Race, Wimbledon Common, 19 November 2011.
Men. 1 T O'Neill M55 36:26; 3 P Marsh M60 41:42.
Shakespeare Raceway Half Marathon, 19 November 2011.
Women. 1 F Maycock W40 1:26:28.
Cross Internacional Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain, 13 November 2011.
Men's 9.807k. 1 I Merga (Ethiopia) 27:21; 34 M Mulhare 29:45; 68 J Kelly 31:15.
McCain's UK Cross Challenge, Bristol, 13 November 2011.
Men. 1 F Tickner 29:56; 2 P Wicks 30:08.
2XU Surrey C League, Race 2, Ham Lands, 12 November 2011.
Two wins out of two for Paskar
Holder of the individual title last winter, Paskar Owor looks determined to hold onto the cup for 2011/2012 as he racked up his second win out of the two races held so far this season. But it was Richard Stannard making the early running, leading to 2k before his lack of running fitness began to tell and he had to grimly hang on as well as he could for the rest of the race. It was a painful way to get back into the world of the harriers after winning his third World Aquathlon title back in September.
At the finish Paskar was putting his tracksuit on by the time the second man came out of the woods and a very good run came from Will Cockerell, our second man home in 6th. Martin Holm was a handy 19th, then came 'Stanno' followed by familiar faces and the not so familiar Stuart Kollmorgen (a race walker) before the good ol' boys closed in the ten.
Third place? Not at all bad, while Herne Hill claimed another sub-100 score to clearly lead the competition from Thames Hare & Hounds.
At just eleven years old Malik Nehaili was our sole U13 runner but enjoyed himself again, especially having the honour of wearing race number 1.
Men. 1 P Owor (Belgrave) 27:00; 2 B Wilder (Herne Hill) 27:54; 3 P Killingley (Ranelagh) 28:14; 6 W Cockerell 28:20; 19 M Holm 28:57; 29 (scoring 28) R Stannard 29:26; 52 (46) L Eguia 30:38; 69 (57) M Byansi 31:20; 70 (58) K Hegvold M45 31:21; 73 (60) S Kollmorgen 31:24; 86 (73) B Barton M45 32:08; 104 (86) G Adams M40 32:54; 107 W Lynch M40 33:03; 110 A Luce M45 33:09; 114 T O'Neill M55 33:20; 121 W Ireson 33:42; 122 N Dilley 33:45; 123 C Dickinson M60 33:47; 134 M Foord 34:41; 182 finished.
1 Herne Hill H (2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 21) 99 - Overall 198 1st
2 Thames H&H (13, 15, 18, 22, 23, 24, 27, 30, 36, 45) 253 - 502, 2nd
3 Belgrave H (1, 6, 19, 28, 46, 57, 58, 60, 73, 86) 434 - 831, 3rd
4 The Stragglers (12, 17, 20, 31, 38, 40, 59, 68, 72, 80) 437 - 952, 4th
5 South London H (26, 37, 39, 41, 48, 51, 64, 78, 79, 84) 547 - 1084, 6th
6 Hercules Wimbledon AC (8, 32, 42, 47, 54, 55, 69, 77, 87, 88) 559 - 1129, 7th
7 Clapham Chasers (29, 44, 49, 50, 52, 53, 61, 70, 81, 82) 571 - 1132, 8th
8 Ranelagh H (3, 25, 35, 65, 66, 74, 75, 76, 83, 85) 587 - 1059, 5th
9 Dorking & Mole Valley AC (33, 34, 43, 56, 62, 63, 67, 71, 89, 90) 608 - 1303, 9th
U13 Boys. 1 S Cohen (Herne Hill) 17:44; 11 M Nehaili 20:19.
Brueton parkrun, 12 November 2011.
Men. 1 S Sharp 15:26.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 12 November 2011.
Men. 1 J Mutch (Brighton &H) 16:44; 22 P Chapman 19:53.
The Druid Challenge Ridgeway Multistage Ultra 84 miles, 11-13 November 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend (3rd overall).
Marlow Half Marathon, 6 November 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend 1:22:02.
Scottish 4k CC Champs, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, 5 November 2011.
Men. 1 M Gillespie (Shettlestone) 12:37; 11 M Pollard 12:58.
ECCA National 4 x 5k CC Relay, Berry Hill Park, Mansfield, 5 November 2011.
The best-laid schemes ...
Michael Mulhare second fastest of the day as Bels place 8th in National
The logistics in pulling together four runners that we felt sure would gain us medals was the difficult part. The travel plans which involved getting our runners from Madrid, Dublin, Kenya ... and Roehampton ... all went like a dream. And when we found that our first stage runner had been left off the programme that too was handled with the minimum of fuss as the organisers realised it was their mistake. The running was then meant to be a formality! But a day or so of heavy rain had turned the course into a morass which our boys did not enjoy.
The swift start did nothing to faze Michael Mulhare who locked onto National Cross Country Champion Steve Vernon’s frame and together with City of Norwich’s Ashley Harrell they broke clear of the field on the first 2.5k lap. The second circuit saw Vernon prise open a gap of a few metres on Michael and as they ran through the finish it was Stockport’s yellow vest five seconds ahead of “claret and gold” with CoNAC another five seconds back just a pace or two ahead of Leeds … and only three more runners below 16 minutes! What was going on here? You might normally get that many below 15 minutes on a competitive first stage. In 38th place Stephen Sharp, on hand as reserve in case of emergencies, ran a very respectable 16:46 as he returned from injury.
Ok, so as in the past, we expected Stockport to drift back through the field … and then we’d be ahead with James Kelly fighting off the opposition to hold a forward place. Not so. James did not seem at all happy with the conditions and as Stockport increased their lead – albeit with a 16 minute plus run – it was New Marske moving into second and Neilson Hall of Bedford ripping through the field to go third. Jim was treading water … well, mud and water … and shaking his head he sent Paskar on his way.
Paskar has had a purple patch of late but was unable to extend that today, slipping about as he made a few gains, only to lose an equal number on his second lap. Not one runner ran faster than 16:22 on stage three and it was obvious that that the mud and soft turf were wreaking havoc with predictions. Still Stockport led, looking quite comfortable, as the cognoscenti revealed to the perplexed that the ex-Sunderland Martin brothers were now in their line-up; they could do this. Norwich had gone up to second with Tipton’s green and white hoops now showing in third and Birchfield chasing hard in fourth.
We’ve not been out of the top ten in the last eight years that we’ve regularly tackled this event but it looked as if we would be this time as Dan Mulhare took off in 14th with some fairly substantial gaps ahead of him. What a fighter Dan is, though. Only arrived from Kenya on the morning of the race he’d been picked up at Heathrow by the Cockerpillar who delivered him to St. Pancras and then sent a text to the Team Manager saying he was on the train and looked “ripped”. An hour before the race Dan arrived on the course toting bags that the TM could barely lift.
Only one man on the last stage went sub-16, Stockport’s Patrick Martin who increased his club’s lead to getting on for a minute – and one had to say they entirely deserved this win, their first time ever in the medals - in fact their first time ever in the top ten! Leeds’ Simon Deakin was running a Captain’s leg as he moved up three places to second. In third place City of Norwich claimed their first ever top ten spot. Other risers on this final stage were Morpeth from 12th to 9th, AFD from 13th to 6th through Moreau, and our own Dan who dispatched Altrincham, New Marske, Salford, Notts, Highgate and Bedford to take us to 8th; a great run but only a 16:19 to go down on the stats.
The boys’ disappointment was made worse to a certain extent by the times; but we’ve had worse problems than this in what is the most competitive of relays where the merest off-day by one runner is all it takes to knock medals out of the equation. Our two wins, silver medals and a course record are beginning to assume magical qualities as the years pass.
Later discussion 'twixt rival TMs and runners at a motorway café on the return south seemed to favour the view that the conditions had cost everyone a minute; a simple equation that is more or less borne out by the facts. Perhaps it was a fraction less than a minute on leg 1 going back to a minute and ten on last as the conditions got worse. Whatever, it makes nonsense of our stats, although we continue to update them, nonetheless.
1 Stockport 1:04:25.25; 2 Leeds City 1:05:19.10; 3 City of Norwich 1:05:24.50; 4 Tipton H 1:05:36.10; 5 Birchfield H 1:05:52.55; 6 Aldershot, F&D AC 1:06:08.05; 7 Liverpool H 1:06:13.50; 8 Belgrave H 1:06:18.85; 9 Morpeth H & AC 1:06:23.00; Salford H 1:06:23.40; … 200 teams started, 158 finished.
A: M Mulhare 15:31.45 (2), J Kelly 17:27.25 (14), P Owor 17:01.00 (14), D Mulhare 16:19:15 (8).
B: S Sharp 16:46.05 (38).
Fastest: 1 S Vernon (Stockport) 15:26.45; 2 M Mulhare 15:31.45; 3 A Harrell (City of Norwich) 15: 36.10; 4 J Walsh (Leeds) 15:37.40; 5 J Taylor (Morpeth 15:48.35; 6 R McLeod (Tipton) 15:50.25 – all stage 1 except McLeod on stage 2.
Priory CC Relays, Reigate Priory Park, 5 November 2011
Holming In Nicely
Whilst our stars were getting their paws stuck in the Mansfield gloop, writes Will Cockerell, our local gang made a welcome return to Reigate where we've excelled in the past. On this occasion it was a case of the squad being on various comeback trails, and having positive returns all round. For the Belles, Amy really enjoyed kicking us off in 11th, after little regular running over the past year. Vicki was pleased to get some confidence back after a torrid Great South, and Tilly proved that even short on training she's still strong as an ox, with the day's 22nd best.
For the men, we were frustrated to be one body short of a legit sextet, but it opened up the chance for new man Martin Holm to show us his terrific ability. 5th fastest of the day on leg 1 became 10th fastest on anchor, as he almost ran down Dorking's Nick Hodges for the top 5.
Tim Weeks was fine before tweaking his calf 600 out, the 'Pillar was a tad distracted and leaked 20 seconds on the descent he so dreads; Warren was very sound, as was Rob, until he got knifed by a stitch at half way that saw him adopt a snarling grimace for the next 500 seconds of his life.
Women - 3 x 2.5 miles. 1 Epsom & Ewell 48:24; 2 South London H 48:01; 3 Herne Hill 49:45; 9 Belgrave H 56:14 - A Linford 18:37 (11), V Goodwin 19:27 (10), T Heaton 18:10 (9). 29 teams finished.
Fastest: 1 N Harvey (South London H) 15:21; 2 E Alden (Epsom & Ewell) 15:45; 3 F Clark (Reigate) 15:47
Men - 6 x 2.5 miles. 1 Herne Hill H 1:28:34; 2 Tonbridge 1:29:26; 3 Reigate 1:29:46; 6 Belgrave H - M Holm 14:00 (3), T Weeks 15:42 (5), W Cockerell 14:34 (3), W Lynch 16:07 (5), R Norville 16:51 (7), M Holm 14:22 (6). 29 teams finished.
Fastest: 1 L Caldwell (Dorking) 13:23; 2 D Lacy (Cambridge) 13:23; 3 J Rendell (Tonbridge) 13:45.
Hampstead Heath parkrun, 5 November 2011.
Women. 1 G Quigley (Larne) 22:21; J Marchant 25:40.
Candleford Canter Ladies 10k, Fringford, 30 October 2011.
Women. 1 M Spalton 39:37.
Frankfurt Marathon, 30 October 2011.
A personal best came from Samantha Amend as she ran to 26th place in the Frankfurt Marathon, clocking 2 hrs 42 mins 11 secs to take 38 seconds off her 2010 Amsterdam time. Well done Sam! A sub 2:40 beckons.
Check out Sam's progress on video - "Samantha Amend Großbritannien!" Link go to the third page and click on the camera logo next to Sam's name.
Women. 1 M Daska (Ethiopia) 2:21:59; 26 S Amend 2:42:11.
BUPA Great South 10 miles, Southsea, 30 October 2011.
Buoyed up by his recent 48:58 ten miles win at the Cabbage Patch, Paskar Owor was looking for a low 48 run in the BUPA Great South event at Southsea. As a one-time 800 metre man, these ten milers are the furthest he has ever raced.
The opposition was outstanding with the eventual winner Leonard Komon hitting a more than spritely 4 mins 12 secs for the first mile in his quest for a World Best time! Paskar too was over-exuberant with his opening pace, ahead of a pack of Brits including Lemoncello and Overall and still moving forward. It didn't pay off. He was 14:49 at 5k - mid-47 pace - and probably already slowing. At 10k Paskar was suffering and by now overtaken by some he might have hoped to have beaten. He ran home in 51:09 disappointed but having learned an important lesson about the longer distances.
Men. 1 L Komon (Kenya) 46:18; 26 P Owor 51:09.
Women. 1 A Mergia (Ethiopia) 52:55; 41 H Barsham-Rolfe 1:10:42; 117 V Goodwin 1:14:40.
Brockwell parkrun, 29 October 2011.
Men. 15 C Collins 20:46.
Brueton parkrun, 29 October 2011.
Men. 1 S Sharp 15:38.
Bushy parkrun, 29 October 2011.
Men. 7 R Stannard 16:55.
Hampstead Heath parkrun, 29 October 2011.
Women. 2 A Harray U15 24:12.
Brockwell parkrun, 29 October 2011.
Men. 15 C Collins 20:46.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 29 October 2011.
Men. 5 K Hegvold M50 17:53.
Bushy parkrun, 22 October 2011.
Men. 1 A Jackson (Sittingbourne) 16:04; 2 W Cockerell 16:05.
Hampstead Heath parkrun, 22 October 2011.
Women. 1 E Bliss (Exeter) 20:07; J Marchant U15 25:24.
The Burnie 10k, Burnie, Tasmania, 16 October 2011.
Men. 1 J Nipperess 29:59; 6 R Dessaix-Chin 30:29.
Cabbage Patch 10 miles, 16 October 2011.
Paskar Owor wins Cabbage Patch 10 miles
As the finish of the 'Cabbage Patch' was neared, Sammy Kigen of Kenya (62:31 half marathon a few weeks back), Mehretab Solomon of Eritrea and Victoria Park and our own Paskar Owor were still together. As a double Olympic 800 metre man for Uganda (Sydney and Athens) Paskar reached deep into the well of his experience to find the pace to move away at the death for a 48:58 timing and take the £1000 first prize. We needn't really add that he was delighted! It was a best ever for Solomon as well, two seconds behind, with Kigen third in 49:03.
Will Cockerell was 12th in 53:52 and with Malachi Byansi 51st in 58:21 we narrowly took the team race from Serpentine Runners.
Men. 1 P Owor 48:58; 12 W Cockerell 53:52; 51 M Byansi 58:21.
Cardiff Half Marathon, 16 October 2011.
Women. 1 A Mogire 1:11:26; J Linfield 1:30:22.
B Qualifier for Phil Wicks
On Sunday I ran in the Amsterdam Marathon looking to banish the memories of my DNF in the London Marathon last April and my next attempt at running a qualifying time for the London Olympics next year.
I was tentatively aiming for the British 'A' standard qualifying time of sub 2:12 but conscious that it was a really hard target to aim for, especially in my 'debut' Marathon.
I arrived in Amsterdam on Friday and the weather for race day was
looking good - dry, sunny, little wind and around 8-10degrees at race
start. I spoke to the race organisers about pacemakers and they had
groups set up to run at 62:30 / 65:00 and 66:50 through halfway. Ideally
I was planning to go though halfway in 65:30 so my coach and I had a
decision to make about what to do. After much discussions we decided to
go with the 3rd group in the knowledge that some of the runners in this
group were looking for a time slightly quicker at around 66:30 through
halfway, which might form a breakaway group around 15km.
As an elite runner I was able to put my own drinks out every 5km along
the route so the evening before the race I set about mixing my energy
drinks and taping gels to the side of the bottles. I planned to take
some of the energy drink every 5km and use the gels every 10km, but
taped gels to all of the bottles except the first one to ensure that I
had plenty in case I missed one somewhere.
The gun went off at 9:30am and I immediately set off behind the pacemaker in our group which consisted of around 10 athletes. As we approached 5km I grabbed my bottle ok and we were perfectly on time, at 10km I grabbed a bottle but realised it wasn't mine. (The organisers had supplied bottles and 'decorations' to attach to them the night before, but unfortunately this meant that many of them looked quite similar - lesson learnt!) I had missed my first gel but it wasn't a major issue as I decided I would just switch to gels at 15/25/35km rather than 10/20/30kms.
As I approached 15km one of the runners in front of me grabbed their
bottle and I saw my bottle get knocked to the floor. Not wanting to stop
to pick it up I continued on without it and grabbed a cup of the
sponsor's energy drink instead. At 20km I approached the table and
couldn't see my bottle on the table so again had to grab a cup of the
sponsor's energy drink instead - still no energy gel!
The pacemaker left the group at around 25km, and at 30km I was on for a
finishing time around 2:13, but shortly afterwards I lost contact with
some of the group who started to push on ahead of me. In hindsight I
need to stick with this group to run a 2:13 finish but gaps open in a
split second and I hesitated on the decision too long.
The last 10km (and 5km in particular) was tough as I part hobbled my way towards the finish - I was effectively now on one leg for the last 5km of the race!
As I entered the stadium firstly there was a massive sense of relief
that I was going to finish the race and the atmosphere was amazing. I
would have been really happy to run under 2:15 but ended up just outside
with 2:15:38 for 21st place.
A total rest from running for this week for me and then thoughts will
start to turn to the next Marathon. Plenty to improve on from this race
which is a huge positive, so hopefully a good chance to run closer to
that elusive sub 2:12 early next year.
My race splits below...
Men. 1 W Chebet (Kenya) 2:05:53; 21 P Wicks 2:15:38.
Par for the course
The boys, missing a few regulars for various reasons, hoped that a top ten spot might be possible if everything went extremely well. 'He of the clipboard' was a little more cautious, predicting that it could be 12th or 14th, and that if it was then we should not be disappointed because the overall standard of this race is rising year on year. And that’s exactly the way it panned out, the first eleven teams home all clocked times that have picked up medals since the current course was measured and permanently marked in 2001.
A timely visit to Birmingham for a conference meant that James Kelly was on hand for the first stage and he stopped the watch at a nifty 17:44, his best ever, before disappearing back to the forum. Great work Jim. His 21st place put us in the thick of the chasers with plenty of scope for Steve Davies to do what he likes best – running down the opposition on leg two. And run ‘em down he did, picking up 13 places but giving way to Salford who were on an even bigger rise. The Bels were up to 9th. Johnny Mellor had put Liverpool at the head of the pack from New Marske who had led on stage 1.
Now, could the middle order hold things together before we set Paskar off? Wardy, whose name has been coupled in AW recently with such diverse adjectives as “impetuous” and “relaxed,” has certainly been enjoying his running of late. Here he immediately felt the blast of Zak Kihara taking Birchfield’s black vest through to the lead, while Shettlestone, Altrincham and Tipton also squeezed by; but he held up well to send Mark Pollard off in 13th. Polly had had a torrid time at Rushmoor Arena three weeks earlier but he was stronger here and although four more teams slipped past we now felt pretty confident about gaining a respectable place. The menacing figure of Andy Vernon had now put AFD out front from Birchfield and the Beagles; the podium places had been established.
Paskar was … well … Paskar. He’s in a purple patch right now and clocked our fastest time of the day – 17:29. We were back to 13th with one stage to go. The expectation was that the gaps would have opened up by now and things would be pretty stable for the ‘Pillar’s tour of the Park. Maybe not quite as stable as we expected as he had a three second duel with Morpeth’s Ian Hudspith before giving best to the man from the North East. O’Dowd also got Nott’s noses ahead of ours but our man overtook first stage leaders New Marske and our final slot of 14th with a team a little way off its strongest was quite acceptable. A very enjoyable and competitive race with Aldershot looking the team of the moment as they took the men's title to add to the women's one.
1 Aldershot F&D 1:44:51; 2 Birchfield H 1:45:22; 3 Newham & EB 1:45:30; 4 Leeds City 1:45:33; 5 Swansea H 1:46:15; 6 Bristol &W 1:46:48; … 14 Belgrave H 1:48:57; 83 teams started, 76 teams finished.
Belgrave: J Kelly (21) 17:44; S Davies (9) 17:38; R Ward (13) 18:17; M Pollard (17) 18:48; P Owor (13) 17:29; W Cockerell (14) 19:01.
Fastest: J Wilkinson (Leeds C) 16:38; A Vernon (Aldershot F&D) 16:58; J Mellor (Liverpool) 16:59; Z Kihara (Birchfield) 17:02; R Stevenson (New Marske) 17:06; K Gerrard (Newham &EB) 17:07.
A's Solid, B's Crackin'
On balance this was a positive return for this determined, occasionally maddening, but always entertaining Belles squad writes Will Cockerell.
10 days out from the race we had a neat fit of eight down for two full teams to tackle SP's challenging slopes, but would they hold? Yes they did, with the only fly in the ointment being that 15 minutes before the noon gun, the first leg duo, comprised of England internationals Sam and Smurph, were hopelessly lost in another part of the park. Bloody Sat Nav... "Keeps 'em out of trouble"? Does it, my foot. The directions the organizers give are sound, and with the continued refusal of Royal Mail to grant the Belgrave tent its own post code, future slaves to the havoc-wreaking electronic beast that is TomTom should be given coordinates for Park Road, and not merely the vast expanse of parkland itself.
Well, Sam made it with minutes to spare and was directed straight to the start - no warm-up. Smurph was switched with the ever bullish Hester, who was about to find out what the violent anarchy that is Leg 1 of the 4 Stage is all about. Highgate's Becky Penty immediately crashed to the canvas at the gun to ask questions of Sam's steeplechasing form [tidy]. Sam ran a solid leg, maybe 25 seconds off optimum, but teeing up Nellie nicely. 35th became a heart-warming 23rd as Nell had a cracker, and for the B's Vicki all but matched her comrade's advance, with a score of +11.
It was great to see Catherine back on the major championship stage where she had clocked times in the low 15s from 2006-'08. She was a little off that today, but offered a big kick finish from a long way out, and knows that this course will never release a fast time from its vaults to someone who's been out for a season.
It was Tilly's 9th consecutive A-team 4 stage appearance - an great feat of consistency and club loyalty: 2,600 miles driven for those nine races alone, and thousands of miles trained on cold, dark, haunting Richmond Park nights after work with just a head torch for company. It was a tough call placing her in the team over the class of recent mum Sarah Murphy, but the latter gave the nod that this was the wise move, as she had no idea what her body would give her, on her return to serious racing. Tilly was her ever dependable self, but the bigger and better news is that the Smurph is back in business, as she cruised round with no pressure, looking as though she could be in for quick times with a couple more months' endeavour.
And even better news was to come from new signing Fee Maycock, who made her debut to club athletics in thrilling style. Exhibiting immaculate form and a raking stride, Fee brought the Baby B's up 10 spots on anchor to 45th with 20 seconds left to run. Three terrified bunnies scampered panic-stricken up ahead. Bang bang bang! All were exterminated in the final yards, for a stunning denouement to our day. As far as debuts go, this was a doozy.
So, how do we read it? Well, the A's had a tough day and hoped for more - but it'll come, and look at the plusses: Up 17 spots on last year, 8th Southern club and it's obvious where we can improve: Sammi's late arrival knocked our rhythm a little out of whack, Nellie has stacks of potential, CB has globules of fitness to regain, and the TM made a small flub; plus we have some fine runners lurking in the wings. But today was more about the B's who cracked their race sweet as a nut. 7th best B team in the land, as they matched the position of last year's A's, but went 34 seconds quicker. The planning starts now for the National Six Stage on April 14, 2012, as does the fight for places in the A, B and even C team.
1 Aldershot F&D 57:15; 2 Charnwood AC 58:20; 3 Bristol & West AC 58:50; 4 Birchfield H 59:07; ... 25 Belgrave H 1:06:01; 42 Belgrave H 'B' 1:09:18. 93 teams started and 72 finished.
Belgrave A: S Amend (team position 35) 15:45; N Quispel (23) 16:03; C Bryson (23) 16:29; M Heaton (25) 17:43.
Belgrave B: H Barsham-Rolfe (76) 17:59; V Goodwin (65) 18:05; S Murphy (55) 16:41; F Maycock (42) 16:33.
Fastest: G Steel (Charnwood) 13:45; C Purdue (AFD) 13:48; 3 J Coulson (Stockport) 13:51.
Melbourne Marathon, Australia, 9 October 2011.
Men. 1 J Kipkorir (Kenya) 2:11:11; 9 E McRae 2:21:51.
Stroud Half Marathon, 9 October 2011.
Women. 1 G Kinsey (Stroud) 1:25:03; 2 F Maycock W40 1:25:10.
Henley Half Marathon, 9 October 2011.
Men. 1 M Haycroft (Bromsgrove) 1:11:40; D McMillan M60 1:51:51.
Chester Marathon, 9 October 2011.
Women. 1 D Mason (Rotherham) 2:48:11; 18 L Blizzard 3:14:41.
New Captain and a P&O cruise
With still a few minutes to race time an excellent eighteen man turn-out was massed at the Belgrave flag where Richard Ward and Paskar Owor were acclaimed as Captain and Vice-Captain. Both were delighted with their new roles and when the field of nearly 200 were sent on their way, Wardy celebrated in typical manner by setting a swift pace across the Common and down through the woods that Herne Hill’s Chris Busaileh later described as, “$*!@$*! insane. We must have been inside four-twenty for the first mile.” A price had to be paid for this recklessness of course and two thirds of the way around the first lap, Wardy tells us in his own words that he, “blew up,” and the majority of the lead pack took the chance to recover a little. All this was right up Paskar’s street, however, as he was far from troubled, completing the first lap before the second man was in sight and cruising on to complete the race just about half a minute clear of the field.
In fact our new Captain didn't really blow up but held on well for fourth with the Hill’s Busaileh and Morwood ahead of him, the crest of red & black tide that flooded in, swamping the top twenty placings. They had their whole team in for what we feel sure is a record low score of 99 while normal rivals Thames had only three men through the funnel.
Our own team was also doing well, with the Cockerpillar just out of the top twenty and followed by new man Martin Holm, owner of a sub-32 10k this year and a very recent 2:35 marathon. Unfortunately Tim Weeks had to come out at half-way with a calf problem but our normal suspects completed the scoring ten and a quick tot up showed that we had placed third; not bad at all.
Less than 100 points covered fourth to eighth teams, so the battle to stay in the top division will be a tough one, but Dorking & Mole Valley face an uphill struggle.
Spirited finishes came from our two young men in the one lap race. Tommy Trees was third Under 15 home and seventh in the overall race while Malik Nehaili was seventh in the Under 13 event with his Mum reporting that he was “thrilled” with the experience.
Senior Men/U20 Men's 8k: 1 P Owor (Bel) 26:09; 2 C Busaileh (HHH) 26:42; 3 J Morwood (HHH) 26:50; 4 R Ward 26:58; 22 W Cockerell 27:52; 27 M Holm 28:23; 34 L Eguia 28:46; 40 D Mason 29:06; 58 K Hegvold M50 29:54; 63 M Byansi 30:10; 111 W Lynch M40 32:05; 114 A Luce M40 32:09; 122 G Adams M40 32:34; 128 C Dickinson M60 32:57; 136 G Simons M45 33:33; 138 M Foord 33:39; 143 P Carstairs M50 34:14; 171 P Marsh M60 37:02; 175 A Lang 38:25; T Weeks dnf; 181 finished.
Teams: 1 Herne Hill H 99; 2 Thames H&H 249; 3 Belgrave H 397; 4 Ranelagh H 472; 5 The Stragglers 515; 6 South London H 537; 7 Clapham Chasers 561; 8 Hercules Wimbledon 570; 9 Dorking & MV 695.
U15B 4k: 1 T Holden (SLH) 13:49; 3 T Trees 14:58.
U13B 4k: 1 P Burgess 15:35; 7 M Nehaili 16:44.
Will Cockerell writes:- Would the Belles finally get their metres ticking for 2011-12 at the fourth time of asking? Well, after losing three aces in the days leading up to the race, the TM was starting to feel queasy at twenty to 12 when he had four athletes to offer the race; one short yet again. Yes, he also had a text from Hester to say she was in line for the toilets at the leisure centre, but that hardly made him feel better - those lines can take days to go down! But by quarter to, Hester was at base, and Amy arrived too, innocently enquiring as to the locality of the toilets. She was pointed to a nearby forest as far from the leisure centre as possible. Finally - the Belles were back in business.
'You say you wanna' revolution?' asked John Lennon 43 Octobers ago. Well, this could just be the start of one as this sextet turned in a superb performance as they look to bounce straight back to Division 1. In their junior days, Catherine and Nelleke were New England's no. 1 cross-country runner, and Australia's no. 1 sprinter, and they endured a wicked duel all the way round here, with CB prevailing by 12 ticks. Tilly celebrated her 10th anniversary as a Belle with a vintage turn, and then hared off to a wedding in Hampton - classy chick.
Hester was the day's revelation, as she bounded out of the traps like a startled spaniel, and proceeded to hold her nerve and position to the finish; a euphoric debut indeed; and our third Surrey league debutante followed hot on her heels, as the hero of last Autumn's relays, Amy, showed she is still a runner who commands respect. And finally, not far back in the critical role of 'sweeper', should any of the fab five get into the trouble - or dnf - we had Vicki as their guardian, who like Tilly has now served 10 winters at the Belgrave coalface.
In the team stakes we took the honours by a healthy 92 points over Walton, who boast three very strong runners so mustn't be treated lightly. And it's interesting to note that we closed in our five before Division 1 winners Hercules closed in theirs. Next up the road show heads 130 miles north to see where our squad lie in the national road running stakes.
Women 6.44k. 1 E Alden (Epsom &E) 24:19; 5 C Bryson 25:08; 6 N Quispel 25:20; 7 M Heaton 26:10; 12 H Barsham-Rolfe 26:59; 14 A Linford 27:06; 33 V Goodwin 28:53. 136 finished.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 44; 2 Walton 136; 3 Striders of Croydon 151; 4 Runnymede 165; 5 Elmbridge 188. 19 teams closed in.
U13. 18 A Harray 14:14.
U15. 25 F Skinner 20:45.
Wormwood Scrubs parkrun, 8 October 2011.
Men. 1 B Coper (Serpentine) 18:21; 2 P Chapman 18:53.
Geoff Moulden Wimbledon 10k, 2 October 2011.
Men. 1 P Owor 32:42; 5 K Hegvold 1-M50 37:47.
SEAA Cross-Country Relays, Shuttleworth Park, Biggleswade, 1 October 2011.
A walk on the wild side
Men’s 4 x 5k. Our normal reporter writes:- Just twelve teams contested this championship, held for the second time only with both of those occasions this year due to a change in race date from March to October.
Thames Valley Harriers made a strong showing on stage one and went further away as the race reached half way. “We’re only a minute and ten down on silver,” chirped the Cockerpillar, eager for any sort of medal to add to his collection as our team moved up from 6th to 4th. The growled response from the team manager implied that in a small field like this he was looking for something a little better than that: “Yeah but we’re two minutes and five off the lead!”
But never fear, Panthera pardus had been let off the leash and was pursuing his quarry with chilling speed. One man taken down, two men … and as the TVH leader came in to complete stage three he got home a mere 23 seconds before he too would have been swallowed up by the beast.
Wardy too was in fine fettle and disposed of the last opposition in the next 500 metres, cruising the rest of his stint before crossing the finish line a minute and forty to the good and beating his chest like a rampant gorilla. It was all show for the photograph of course but sadly our man with a camera had forgotten to load his memory card – so no picture.
1 Belgrave H 1:04:50; 2 Medway & Maidstone 1:06:30; 3 Bedford & County 1:06:46; 12 teams started, 9 teams finished.
Belgrave: W Cockerell (6) 16:41; J Fairbourn (4) 17:01; P Owor (2) 14:59; R Ward (1) 16:09.
Fastest: P Owor 14:59; M Aadan (TVH) 15:25; S Naylor (Woodstock) 15:26.
The Tide Will Turn ...
Women’s 3 x 3k. Will Cockerell writes:- What ill fortune for the Belles this past two weekends. A strong squad of six imploded the day before the Southern 4-stage with three withdrawals; and an even stronger trio lost their third runner on the day of this race, as Nelleke made one tactical blunder too many on the rail networks to become a galling no-show.
However, we still had real class to let loose, and it was great to see Sammi come down 39k in distance and show some tangy cadence with her 3rd place on leg one; before Catherine, out for the summer with a stress fracture, indicated we may yet see the best of her this winter, as she turned 3rd into 2nd.
We then watched with curious intrigue as the TM's spouse discarded a couple of feral children and a fetching tangerine frock to borrow Sam's shoes, the TM's vest and Catherine's shorts, to anchor us home with a nifty kick harking back to her 1993 heyday, and remain one step ahead of bronze.
The TM is aware that after three races this term we are yet to trouble the scorers with a non-scoring 4th, a DNS and a non-scoring 2nd, but if he had to choose between a fine squad having rotten luck, and a rotten squad having fine luck, he'll take the former every time.
1 City of Norwich 34:15; 2 Belgrave H N/S 35:37; 3 Reading AC 35:38; 4 Reading AC 'B' 37:49; 5 City of Norwcih'B' 38:09; 6 Peterborough AC 39:49; 9 teams finished.
Belgrave: S Amend (3) 11:43; C Bryson (2) 11:44; D Cockerell N/S (2) 12:10.
Fastest: E Matthews (CoNac) 11:21; K Rushton (CoNac) 11:23; 3 J Clarke (CoNac) 11:31.
Nonsuch parkrun, 1 October 2011.
Men. 1 N Reissland (Collingwood) 17:34; 5 P Chapman 18:58; 6 G Adams M40 19:20.
Serpentine R Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 30 September 2011.
Men. 1 M Cumings (HHH) 16:14; 21 T O'Neill M55 18:41.
Aldershot Relays inc. SEAA 6-Stage Championship, Rushmoor Arena, 25 September 2011.
Fifth at Rushmoor - not at all bad, all things considered
A bit short on numbers for various reasons it was still felt that we could medal if everything went our way although it was equally likely we’d be just outside the frame.
Twice Scottish National Cross Country Champion Mark Pollard took the lead-off leg for the Bels and with a previous run of 18:34 around Rushmoor Arena, some brilliant runs in claret and gold and a good summer behind him, the odds were that he’d bring us home inside the top ten … but it wasn’t one of those days and 27 teams had gone through the takeover area before Steve Davies was sent on his way. But this was just what Steve was looking for, and almost sprinting up the initial slope he was soon into the action as if he was potting “ducks” at a shooting gallery. He pulled back no fewer than seventeen teams as he ran to 18:18 for 14th best on the day. Winchester had grabbed the lead on stage one and held it on two with Shaftesbury in 2nd and Bedford & County in 3rd.
Continuing the advance Richard Ward picked up another three spots, very happy with the way his run went but surprised his actual time wasn't a little faster. With much chopping and changing Kent AC had gone into the lead through an outstanding 17:37 from Pollock.
James Kelly has been laying down some solid training throughout the summer after a period plagued with injury. His 67:29 for the Great North Run the previous week was a pb and he didn't disappoint here as he gained another place and more importantly brought us closer to the teams ahead as the front six all closed up. The men of Kent still led but were chased now by the Beagles and Aldershot with Winchester, Bedford and Tonbridge in front of us.
The plan was for Will Cockerell to hold on to our place and this he did, overtaking Tonbridge but in turn giving way to Dodwell of Highgate (they do enjoy being in front of the Bels). Still the field concertina’d. AFD were taking their turn at the head of proceedings but the Beagle’s Gerrard was not far behind and set out like a man on a mission. We also had a man on a special assignment; as so often lately Paskar was on anchor and he made short work of Bedford and Highgate, drawing ever closer to Winchester and Kent ahead. He set the third best time of the day and became one of our few elite men who have gone sub-18 on this course … but we ended up just 34 seconds down on the medals. A great run by Paskar and actually a pretty good run by the team.
1 Newham & Essex Beagles 1:50:56; 2 Aldershot F&D AC 1:51:21; 3 Kent AC 1:52:15; 4 Winchester &D AC 1:52:37; 5 Belgrave H 1:52:49; 6 Highgate H 1:53:31; 83 teams started; 68 teams finished.
Belgrave: M Pollard (28) 19:36; S Davies 18:18 (11, 4th best on stage); R Ward 18:35 (8, 5), J Kelly 18:32 (7, 5); W Cockerell 19:40 (7, 7); P Owor 17:58 (5, 1).
Fastest:1 P Pollock (Kent) 17:37; 2 C Powney (Winchester &D) 17:57; 3 P Owor (Belgrave H) 17:58; 4 G Watts (Shaftesbury B) 17:59; 5 K Haywood (Bideford) 18:00; 6 N Hall (Bedford) 18:02.
Bushy parkrun, 24 September 2011.
Men. 1 A Lawrence (Morpeth) 15:43; 19 M Trees M50 18:15.
Hampstead Heath parkrun, 24 September 2011.
Women. J Marchant U15 25:15.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 24 September 2011.
Men. 1 N Gould (Thames H&H) 16:19; 2 K Hegvold M50 17:46.
The Bridge Run, Sydney, NSW, 18 September 2011.
Men. 1 R Dessaix-Chin 26:33.
Spire Health Care English Half Marathon, 18 September 2011.
Women. 1 L Blizzard 82:29.
Surrey County Road Relays, Wimbledon Park, 10 September 2011. Full results
A car smash at Tibbett’s Corner resulted in road closures and in spite of a delayed start many clubs were shuffling their running order to cope with late arrivals. Our senior men had a title to hold on to but it was going to be hard work as we were a bit short of Surrey men this time round.
It was great to welcome back James Fairbourn, though, and his very useful opening 5th place set Wardy up for what he likes best – chasing. Expecting 14:50-odd Richard was very happy to clock a 14:33 which ended up second only to Paskar Owor on the day and took the Bels through to a 13 second lead. Our next three were not as fit as they’d like and we moved back to 2nd and then 4th although Mal Byansi, after some heavy persuasion to run, went a little faster than expected. Had we left too much for Paskar to do? Well, he stormed the hill past the All-England Tennis Courts and picked up Herne Hill’s ‘A’ team; but once he realised that Hercules Wimbledon and Thames were just too far away, settled for the ‘bronzes’.
Our M50s – actually into their 60s, some ‘em – did well for their 6th place, 4th if the non-scoring teams were ignored.
Senior Men. 1 Hercules Wimbledon AC 1:32:20; 2 Thames H&H 1:32:58; 3 Belgrave H 1:33:18; 20 teams started, 16 finished.
A – J Fairbourn (5) 15:30; R Ward (1) 14:33; D Mason (2) 16:11; W Cockerell (2) 15:56; M Byansi (4) 16:41; P Owor (3) 14:27.
B – W Ireson 18:11 (16); W Lynch (15) 17:04; J Fairbourn (14) 16:02; R Ward (13) 17:35; A Lang (12) 19:14; no 6th runner.
Fastest: 1 P Owor (Belgrave H) 14:27; 2 R Ward (Belgrave) 14:33; 3 A Robinson (Herc. Wimb) 14:41; 17 J Fairbourn 15:30.
M50. 1 South London H 1:07:22; 1 South London H B (n/s) 1:13:28; 3 Ranelagh H 1:16:13; 6 Belgrave H 1:18:50; 13 teams started, 11 finished.
T.O’Neill (5) 17:56; C Dickinson (3) 18:17; H Corbett (4) 21:28; D McMillan (6) 21:09.
Fastest: 1 A Tindall (South London H A) 15:54; 2 G Quarton (South London H A) 16:45; 3 M Gregory (South London H A) 17:06.
Belles Feature Fresh Faces
After some late arm-twisting, writes Will Cockerell, the Belles featured well in the open race here to kick off their 2011-12 campaign in spritely fashion, with a return some five minutes and nine places better than last year. We couldn't quite meet the Surrey qualification (Surrey Hills, Australia?) but of most importance was to blood a couple of promising débutantes and get the girls racing.
We opened by renewing our noted links with Down Under, as Nelleke Quispell cruised to the day’s 8th fastest before haring off to the Emirates Stadium and Arsenal-Swansea where she was entertaining clients. Club stalwart Tilly was as reliable as ever, with a clocking six seconds up on last year; and then we welcomed another newbie, Hester Barsham-Rolfe, who managed to get round ably after her birthday celebrations had progressed into the small hours. And finally, the Knight! So called because for the 3rd time at road-relays in under a year, Rieko Trees was our knight in shining armour, riding to the rescue at the 11th hour, just when it looked we’d be short of a team. It was Rieko’s second race of the day after a morning Parkrun.
Senior Women. 1 Epsom & Ewell H 1:12:06; 2 South London H 1:13:32; 3 Woking AC 1:15:23; 4 Belgrave H (n/s) 1:19:20; 19 teams started, 16 finished.
N Quispell (4) 18:05; T Heaton (4) 19:46; H Barsham-Rolfe (4) 20:27; R Trees (4) 21:02.
Fastest: G Bland (Dorking&MV) 16:44; R Nicholson (Woking) 17:09; I Brinsden (Epsom&E) 17:12; 7 N Quispell 18:05.
NSW Half Marathon Championship, Lake Ginnawarna, Bankstown NSW, 4 September 2011.
Russell took his third NSW state title of the year.
Men. 1 R Dessaix-Chin 1:09:40.
Pharmalink Maidenhead Half Marathon, 4 September 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend 79:40.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 3 September 2011.
Men. 1 A Weir (Thames H&H) 16:37; 5 K Hegvold M50 17:51; 39 D Anderson M50 20:58.
Newcastle parkrun 5k, 27 August 2011.
Men. 11 T O'Neill M55 18:32.
Serpentine R Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 26 August 2011.
Women. 1 I Ainsworth (Bristol &W) 17:07; 12 V Goodwin 20:59.
Australian Cross Country Champs. Mount Stromlo, ACT, 20 August 2011.
Men. 2 M Dent 36:22; 8 E McRae 37:04; 14 R Dessaix-Chin 37:39.
Birchwood 10k, Warrington, 21 August 2011.
Men. 1 N Jones (Tipton) 31:35; 8 P Freary (2-M40) 33:51.
Women. 1 R Robinson (Kendal) 34:42; 5 L Blizzard 34:47.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 20 August 2011.
Men. 1 J Stead (Herne H) 16:29; 11 P Chapman 19:01.
Riddlesdown parkrun 5k, 20 August 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 15:44.
Brockwell Park parkrun, 20 August 2011.
Women. 1 O Balme (Dulwich R) 19:33; F Skinner U15 27:58; M Skinner U15 31:57.
Luchon 10k, France, 18 August 2011.
Men. 1 S Gailey 38:38.
Veterans AC 5k, Battersea Park, 16 August 2011.
Men. 1 R Holden (Ravens) 18:02; 3 T O'Neill M55 18:55.
Perseverance Wimbledon Dash 5k, Wimbledon Park, 14 August 2011.
Men. 1 P Owor 15:42.
Bolton parkrun 5k, 13 August 2011.
Men. 1 P Freary 16:33.
Banstead Woods parkrun 5k, 13 August 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:42.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 13 August 2011.
Men. 1 A Weir (Thames H&H) 16:57; 15 P Chapman 19:21.
Sturminster Half Marathon, 7 August 2011.
Men. 1 S Fox (Bournemouth) 1:11:42; 299 D McMillan M60 2:00:47.
Bushy Park parkrun, 6 August 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 15:45.
Brockwell Park parkrun, 6 August 2011.
Women. 1 O Balme (Dulwich R) 19:48; F Skinner U15 28:40; M Skinner U15 33:35.
Crystal Palace parkrun, 6 August 2011.
Men. 1 O Edwards (Shaftesbury B) 16:07; 13 R Harding M45 21:06.
Bolton parkrun, 6 August 2011.
Men. 1 P Freary M40 16:36.
Grovelands parkrun, 6 August 2011.
Men. 1 C Bruce (?) 17:40; 30 M Scamell M55 24:52.
Yateley 10k, 4 August 2011.
Women. 1 R Moore (Worthing) 36:39; 2 S Amend 37:55.
Self Transendence 2 miles, Battersea Park, 1 August 2011.
Men. 1 M Cummings (Herne H) 9:50; T O'Neil 1-M55 11:27.
San Francisco Half Marathon, CA USA, 31 July 2011.
Men. 5 B Poore 67:10.
NSW Short Course Cross Country Champs, Rydalmere, NSW, 30 July 2011.
Men's 7.8k. 3 R Dessaix-Chin 25:05.
Roundshaw Downs parkrun, 30 July 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:20.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 30 July 2011.
Men. 1 A Weir (Thames H&H) 17:01; 8 T O'Neil M55 18:40.
Dorney Dash 10k, Dorney Lakes, 30 July 2011.
Looking for a fastish 10k, Phil Wicks settled on the Dorney Lakes 10k. It was hot; it was humid; but when the lead motorbike went off course, followed by our man, it was the last straw and a fast time was out of the window.
Men. 1 P Wicks 30:03.
Women. 1 E Wicks (Aldershot F&D) 35:14; 2 S Amend 37:00.
Wedding Day 7k, Hampton Hill, 29 July 2011.
Men. 1 S Overall (Blackheath &B) 21:50; 8 W Cockerell 23:59.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 23 July 2011.
Men. 1 J Stead (Herne H) 16:31; 12 P Chapman 19:16.
Bolton parkrun 5k, 23 July 2011.
Men. 1 P Freary 17:36.
Valentines parkrun 5k, 23 July 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:03.
Leigh Legacy 10k, Wigan, 17 July 2011.
Women. 1 J Roe () 39:18; 2 L Blizzard 39:51.
BUPA Great North 10k, Gateshead, 17 July 2011.
Men. 1 S Overall (Blackheath &B) 29:48; 2 M Miles 30:09.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 16 July 2011.
Men. 1 A Lawrence (Morpeth) 16:23; 2 R Stannard 16:25.
Wanstead Flats parkrun 5k, 16 July 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:24.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 16 July 2011.
Men. 1 J Stead (HHH) 16:37; 20 P Chapman 19:24.
Women. 1 A Hegvold W45 19:44.
British 10k, Central London, 10 July 2011.
Bernard Rotich of Kenya was first around the streets of Central London, clocking 29:02 and just one second ahead of Birchfield's Tewodros Shiferaw. In third was our own Phil Wicks with 29:38, the only other man below 30 minutes.
Just the day after racing in Norwich over 5k, Getty Tamirat was first woman home in 34:25.
Men. 1 B Rotich (Kenya) 29:02; 3 P Wicks 29:38.
Women. 1 G Tamirat 34:25.
City of Norwich Lord Mayor's 5k, 9 July 2011.
Women. 1 G Steel (Charnwood) 15:59.2; 5 G Tamirat 16:53.6.
Cambridge parkrun 5k, 9 July 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 15:54.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 9 July 2011.
Men. 1 K Hegvold M45 17:24; 18 P Chapman 19:21.
JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park, 7 July 2011.
With advisor Matt's instructions to 'run easy', prior to next Sunday's British 10k, ringing in his ears, Phil Wicks did his best ... but still ended up at the head of 13,000 runners with the fastest time over the two days of racing for the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park. It was the fourth time Phil had won the event but Mrs Wicks is not far behind - in more ways than one; she crossed the line a couple of minutes later to collect her third JPMCC title.
Men. 1 P Wicks 16:37.
Birchwood Forest Ladies 5k, Warrington, 6 July 2011.
Women. 1 K Hawitt (Warrington) 18:05; 6 L Blizzard (1-W35) 19:06.
Yately 10k, 6 July 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend 37:19.
Tadley Runners Summer 10k, 3 July 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend 38:07.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 2 July 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:24.
Bolton parkrun 5k, 2 July 2011.
Men. 1 P Freary M40 16:14.
Thame CPM 10k, 26 June 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend 38:06.
Brooks Brighton 5 miles, 26 June 2011.
Women. 1 J Bleasedale (Hillingdon) 27:11; 3 G Tamirat 28:10.
Lancaster 5k, 25 June 2011.
Men. 1 M Miles 14:31.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 25 June 2011.
Men. 1 J Murdock (THV) 16:14;2 W Cockerell 16:16.
Kingston parkrun 5k, 25 June 2011.
Men. 1 K Quinn (Real Runners) 15:28; 20 D Anderson M55 21:57.
NSW CC Champs, Nowra, NSW, Australia, 25 June 2011.
Back in Australia for a while Russell Dessaix-Chin took the opportunity to switch into cross country mode and placed 3rd in the New South Wales Championship over 12k at Nowra. He's not sure yet whether he'll be able to return to Europe for the 10,000 metres at the UKA Champs.
Men's 12k. 1 C Carter (Rbh) 38:26; 3 R Dessaix-Chin 40:48.
Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 24 June 2011.
Men. 1 T Alexander (T Tamsel) 16:27; T O'Neill 3-M55 18:49; 82 P Marsh M60 20:34.
Women. 1 C Wilding (Serp) 18:46; 12 V Goodwin 20:56.
Richmond 10k, 19 June 2011.
Men. 1 N Torry (Serpentine) 31:02; 18 W Cockerell 33:43; 59 K Hegvold M45 36:12.
Women. F de Smet 45:38 (46:00 chip); E Lucas 54:47 (55:09).
Halve Marathon Festival Zwolle, Netherlands, 18 June 2011.
Men. 1 W Kipsang (Kenya) 60:49; 14 P Wicks 64:41.
Wormwood Scrubs parkrun 5k, 18 June 2011.
Men. 1 L Huang 16:29.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 18 June 2011.
Men. 1 T Elson (?) 17:11; 24 P Chapman 20:04.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 18 June 2011.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 16:07.
VAC 5 miles, Battersea Park, 14 June 2011.
Men. 1 J Painter (B&H) 27:59; 5 T O'Neill M55 31:48.
Aldridge 10k, 12 June 2011.
Men. 1 M Miles 30:26.
Southend Half Marathon, 12 June 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend 80:10.
Chiltern Chase 10k, 12 June 2011.
Mary Spalton thought she'd got a pb in winning the Chiltern Chase 10k - and then found out that the chip timing was wrong!
Women. 1 M Spalton 40:30.
Newcastle to Blaydon 5.9 miles, 11 June 2011.
Women. 1 J Heslop (Clapham C) 31:44; 3 G Tamirat 32:11.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 11 June 2011.
Men. 1 K Hegvold M45 17:24; 10 T O'Neill M55 19:01.
San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon, CA USA, 5 June 2011.
Men. 1 N Terfa (Ethiopia) 2:11:18; 12 B Poore 2:21:14.
Dorking 10 miles, Brockham, 5 June 2011.
Phil Wicks blew away the course record. He was clear of the field almost immediately after the start, went through 5 miles in 24:26 and finished more than four minutes ahead of the next man in 49:13. It's a tough old course and the previous record of 51:17 had stood since 1990.
Men. 1 P Wicks 49:13 (record); 22 M Webb 40 1:01:24; 39 W Lynch M40 1:04:20.
Women. 1 E Wicks (Aldershot F&D) 59:13; E Lucas 1:34:50.
Sydney:10 10k, Olympic Park, Sydney, SW, Australia, 4 June 2011.
Now a resident of Canberra, Marty Dent returned to his NSW roots to contest the Sydney:10 held at Olympic Park, Sydney, Australia and duly won the 10k road race in 29:31, beating Russell Dessaix-Chin's course record of 29:45.
Marty, actually born in Woking, Surrey, has come a long way in his 18 year athletic career, representing Australia at two Commonwealth Games, one world championship and multiple world cross country championships, but he has unfinished business in the sport.
"For the last 12 years I have been trying to make an Olympic team, next year is probably close to my last chance,” he said. “I am planning to do a marathon later in the year to try and put myself in a position to be selected."
It would be great to see him on the streets of London in 2012.
Men. 1 M Dent 29:31.
Brockwell Park parkrun, 4 June 2011.
Women. 1 O Balme (Dulwich) 19:36; F Skinner U15 25:57; 75 M Skinner U15 29:13.
Kingston parkrun, 4 June 2011.
Men. 1 R Reeder (Stragglers) 17:45; 20 D Anderson M55 23:05.
BUPA London 10k (inc. UK Championship), 30 May 2011.
The BUPA London 10k doubled as the UK Championship but our team was rather more fragile than the one we turned out for the ERRA Championship two weeks earlier. Three men fell by the wayside before race day and even Phil Wicks was not 100% after the calf niggle picked up at Bristol. Nevertheless he ran 29:41 for 4th, Mo Farah picking up the win in 29:15. Will Cockerell delighted in taking out Paula Radcliffe in the latter stages.
Men. 1 M Farah (Newham &EB) 29:15; 4 P Wicks 29:41; 15 P Owor 30:26; 92 W Cockerell 33:04.
Women. 1 J Pavey (Exetr) 32:22; 8 G Tamirat 34:48.
Neath Golden Jubilee Invitation 10 miles, Neath, 29 May 2011.
Men. 1 R Gardiner (Aberdare) 54:20; 2 S Jones 55:37.
Kingston parkrun, 28 May 2011.
Men. 1 R Reeder (Stragglers) 18:09; 21 D Anderson M55 21:42.
Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 27 May 2011.
Men. 1 B Shearer (Camb H) 15:57; 24 T O'Neill M55 18:43.
Simon Jones outkicks Kenyan rival
Llandudno 10 miles (inc Welsh Championship), 22 May 2011.
With a howling wind that had barriers being blown over and the start delayed by 30 minutes the Llandudno 10 miles, incorporating the Welsh Championship, got under way. Tarus of Kenya (owner of a 28 and a half 10k clocking) rushed to the front with Simon Jones (representing South Wales) tucking in behind. After a few miles of failing to break away, the Kenyan encouraged our man to go ahead but was met with several curt utterances of, "No!", until Jonesy, sensing heavier breathing by the man in front, gave him a tester. Pushing up a hill at eight miles a little break developed but by nine miles it was as you were with the man from the Rift Valley a pace ahead. And then, four hundred metres to go and Jonesy floored it, keeping the pressure up until the line on the seafront had been crossed. A great result - a personal record and a first Welsh Championship - 51:32 to 51:34.
Men. 1 S Jones 51:32.
Brockwell Park parkrun, 21 May 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 15:32.
Women. F Skinner U15 24:06.
Kingston parkrun, 21 May 2011.
Men. 1 R Brookling (?) 16:20; 7 D Anderson M55 21:00.
Richmond Park parkrun, 21 May 2011.
Men. 1 W Cockerell 16:17; 5 K Hegvold M45 17:46.
White Horse 5k, Sandhurst, 19 May 2011.
Men. 1 M Miles 14:33.
Bels are National 10k Champions
Bristol & ERRA 10k Road Championship, Bristol, 15 May 2011.
Having won a silver individual medal in the Welsh National 5k Championship the previous week, Simon Jones earned a gold English team medal at Bristol, setting a new personal record of 29:29 in the process; but he was only third man home in the Belgrave team. Paskar Owor ran maybe a minute quicker than expected to clock 29:28, another personal record, and further up the field again Skipper Phil Wicks was first Briton and fourth overall to lead home the Bels with 29:11.
The Sudanese Abdulrahman burst away but then Phil and Burundian Jean Ndayisenga traded blows over the next kilometres with a bunch tagging along for the ride, nine of them going through 5k in 14:31, Phil forcing much of the pace. Eventual winner Ed Kiptoo (Kenya) blew the pack apart between 7 and 9k with kilometre splits of 2:45, 2:45 and 2:40 with fellow countryman Kipkorir moving into second. For a while Paskar shaded Phil by a few metres; but soon there was a return to the status quo and Phil seemed safe in third until a slight calf cramp caused him to ease off a fraction in the last 1000 metres to let Ndayisenga force his way onto the podium.
It's the eighth time the Bels have placed in this championship - but the only previous win was at Bourton-on-the-Water in 2003.
In the women's race the rarely seen Getenesh Tamirat was 5th while Sam Amend was a little disappointed with her 19th in 36:58.
Men. 1 E Kiptoo (Kenya) 28:39; 4 P Wicks 29:11; 8 P Owor 29:28; 9 S Jones 29:29; 58 M Kiralyfi 32:30; 70 H Raidi 33:02.
Teams: 1 Belgrave
Women. 1 E Kwambai (Kenya) 32:29; 5 G Tamirate 33:32; 19 S Amend 36:58.
Great Manchester Run 10k, 15 May 2011.
Men. 1 H Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 28:10; 45 D Anderson 31:06; 74 P Freary 33:23.
Shell Chester Half Marathon, 15 May 2011.
Women. 1 K Hawitt (Warrington) 1:24:04; 2 L Blizzard 1:25:20.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 14 May 2011.
Men. 1 M Trees M45 16:03.
Brockwell Park parkrun 5k, 14 May 2011.
Women. 1 O Balme (Dulwich) 19:17; F Skinner U15 27:23; M Skinner U15 27:37.
Shakespeare Marathon, Stratford-on-Avon, 8 May 2011.
Women. 1 S Williams (Watford H) 3:06:42; 2 M Spalton 3:12:23.
Richmond Half Marathon, 8 May 2011.
Women. 1 C Grima (Herc Wimb) 1:23:29; 10 J Linfield 1:33:32.
Crowle 10k, 8 May 2011.
Men. 1 M Miles 30:56.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 7 May 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:05; 12 T O'Neill M55 19:17.
Welsh 5k Road Championship, Bridgend, 7 May 2011.
Men. 1 S Davies 14:41; 2 S Jones 14:43.
Bolton parkrun, 7 May 2011.
Men. 1 P Freary M40 16:20.
Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 6 May 2011.
Men. 1 D Burbridge (Highgate) 16:25; 55 P Marsh M60 20:46.
Women. 1 J Bradley (Serp) 20:23; 2 H Smethurst W45 20:40.
Chisholm 1 mile, Greenock, 3 May 2011.
Men. 1 C McKay (Inverclyde) 3:57; 2 D Mulhare 3:59; 5 M Pollard 4:11..
Pednor 5 miles, 2 May 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend 30:27.
Regents Park 10k, 1 May 2011.
Men. 1 A Madar (Newham &EB) 32:28; 2 H Raidi 33:07.
Lloyd Park parkrun, 30 April 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 17:10.
Kingston parkrun, 30 April 2011.
Men. 1 D Collier (26.2 RRC) 17:42; 14 D Anderson M55 21:15.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 30 April 2011.
Men. 1 unknown 16:44; 7 K Hegvold M45 18:34.
Bolton parkrun, 30 April 2011.
Men. 1 P Freary M40 17:17.
Brueton parkrun, 23 April 2011.
Men. 1 S Sharp 15:01.
Leamington parkrun, 23 April 2011.
Men. 1 R Sherwood (unatt) 17:58; 8 P Chapman 19:59.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 23 April 2011.
Men. 1 C Parr (Gateshead) 15:04; 2 R Ward 16:01.
Bolton parkrun, 23 April 2011.
Men. 1 P Freary M40 16:30.
Roundshaw Downs parkrun, 23 April 2011.
Men. 1 N Reissland (unatt) 17:37; 2 R Norville 18:40.
JP Morgan Chase & Co. Corporate Challenge World Final, Singapore, 21 April 2011.
Overcoming his marathon disappointment to a certain extent, Phil Wicks ran to fourth place in the World Final of the J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Corporate Challenge in Singapore. Representing his company Legal & General Phil clocked 16:31 and was the first non-South African to finish. Mark Miles, representing Asics, was 7th in 16:59.
Men. 1 S Nzima (Bolt & Tool Africa) 15:55; 4 P Wicks (Legal & General) 16:31; 7 M Miles (Asics) 16:59.
VAC 5 miles, Battersea Park, 19 April 2011.
Men. 1 R Tomlinson (M&M) 28:16; 4 T O'Neill M55 32:52.
Boston Marathon, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 18 April 2011.
Eschewing the Virgin London Marathon for the Boston race this year, Will Cockerell took part in the fastest marathon ever seen. While Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya clocked 2:03:02, 'Our Willie' described his 2:29:21 as solid.
Men. 1 G Mutai (Kenya) 2:03:02; 134 W Cockerell 2:29:21.
Samantha leads home the Belles in London Marathon
Virgin London Marathon, 17 April 2011.
Belgrave women's team clinched second team place in the England Athletics Championship held in conjunction with the Virgin London Marathon, led home by Samantha Amend, pictured above on the Embankment. Louise Blizzard and Tilly Heaton both backed up by running a little over 3 hours. Sam was slightly disappointed with her time of 2 hrs. 44 mins. 29 secs., hoping to go closer or even under 2 hrs. 40 mins. Team winners, were Cornwall AC.
Phil Wicks ran into trouble in the men's race, looking a little uncomfortable approaching Tower Bridge whilst on the back of a group heading towards 2 hrs. 12 mins. He became detached from the group after the bridge, around 12 miles, and eventually came out of the race at 22 miles.
Men. 1 E Mutai (Kenya) 2:04:40; 390 M Byansi 2:48:04; 543 K Gadd 2:52:24; 3653 J Estall M55 3:31:43; 3710 A Lang 3:32:22; 8571 M Barren M40 4:07:00; 9576 P Cross M55 4:13:14; 18522 C Swart 5:16:49.
Women. 1 M Keitany (Kenya) 2:19:19; 35 S Amend 2:44:29; 82 L Blizzard 3:06:17; 89 M Heaton 3:06:48; 263 J Linfield 3:18:58; 609 V Goodwin 3:34:08; 728 M Noel W45 3:38:07; 6601 L Lucas 4:58:53.
Teams: 1 Cornwall AC 8:52:25; 2 Belgrave 8:57:34; 3 Stockport H 9:06:29.
Brockwell Park parkrun, 16 April 2011.
Women. 1 O Balme (Dulwich) 19:27; F Skinner U15 22:56; M Skinner U15 30:44.
Leeds parkrun, 16 April 2011.
Men. 1 S Deakin (Leeds C) 15:18; 36 A Wright 20:14.
Reading parkrun, 16 April 2011.
Men. 1 A Mouradian (Bracknell) 16:27; 4 R Stannard 17:28.
Bolton parkrun, 16 April 2011.
Men. 1 P Freary M40 16:46.
Newham Classic 10k, Newham, 10 April 2011.
Men. 1 S Kasimili (Kenya) 29:45; 20 M Byansi 34:56.
ERRA National Men's 12-Stage Road Relay, Sutton Coldfield, 9 April 2011.
Plenty of Belgrave action at the National 12-Stage
Above: Towards the end of Stage 7 - and James Kelly makes sure that the Bels still lead. Photo by Bryan Dale at www.racephotos.org.uk.
The 60th running of the National Road Relay was celebrated with some exciting racing in Sutton Park and just as on the 50th anniversary, it was Tipton coming out on top. The 'Whippets' hadn't been able to take the title on any of the intervening years in that decade so well done to them. And who won that very first National Road Relay in 1951 - held on the London to Brighton road in those days? None other than Belgrave Harriers. In spite of a few lean periods the race has always meant a great deal to us as a club and long may it continue to do so, even though we won't always be able to feature right at the sharp end.
Ten years ago the Bels claimed the runners-up position, the first shot in a decade long 12-Stage campaign that has brought us medals of every hue; but on this occasion with six front line men unavailable it was clear from the outset that the odds would be well stacked against us.
All were "up" for the race
There was no feeling of despondency though in the remainder of the regular team. All were "up" for the race, vowing that we should attempt to fight our way into the lead and hold it for as long as possible. Even the late news that the Sharpster was gastroenterologically challenged on his return from warm-weather training and needed be accommodated with a run at the end of the day, in case he had to dive into the woods, was greeted by hoots of derision followed by a team discussion on how we could bring men forward to cover the latest set-back.
To the course then, and there lying in a darkened corner of the tent was Stephen Sharp sipping a brew of Imodium administered by Nurse Maria, while the runners rolled in and the team manager declared a new running order (having first dangled before a spectating Spenny Barden the chance of a short stage outing).
In glorious spring weather Nick Goolab took charge of our opening leg and all expected him to return in the top three, maybe even first place, but there is no such thing as predictability in running and it was only a relatively lowly 15th that our young champion could offer. Nick was very unhappy with his performance and unable to explain his 'bad day at the office'. These things happen though, and by the end of the day the Goolab smile was back in place.
Steve and Ros Davies had decided to spend their first wedding anniversary at the 12-Stage (what better place?) and enjoying the additional challenge Steve charged through the field, coming up eleven places on the first short stage to clock 14:23. The leaders, Holmfirth, were a mere 16 seconds ahead. Great running.
Paskar aiming high
Shaftesbury were in second place thanks to veteran Tony Whiteman and an unready Tom Bedford had to muscle his way through the throng to get onto the road, mixing it with our own Paskar Owor (pictured right by Bryan Dale). Soon they were vying for the lead and as each turned up the pressure Paskar noted that his rival's breathing was sounding a little laboured - time to put the boot in. The Belgravian was away, and gained a 15 second advantage by the end of his stage. Probably fitter now than we have seen him since we first met in 2006, Paskar is aiming high this summer, hoping for a 3:38 1500 metre time that would see him earn Ugandan selection for the World Championships in Daegu, Korea, this year and the London Olympics next. We wish him luck.
With a new life style, marriage and a baby, Neil Speaight is currently some way short of his best road form but nevertheless increased our lead to 33 seconds by the end of his stint and was well pleased with his improvement since Milton Keynes two weeks earlier. Now Dan Mulhare set out, chased by Morpeth Harriers in the form of Jon Taylor, Josh Lilly, now of Tipton, and Birchfield's Edwin Kipkoir. Our advantage slowly increased ... until ... on the way back Dan slipped on some loose gravel and crashed to the ground. His face smacked against the loose stones but he was up and on his way in an instant. A cut mouth and hands and a damaged wrist were the least of his problems. He dare not open his mouth too wide for there were some nasty fragments floating around behind his swollen lips - the remnants of his front teeth? Mercifully the finish line was eventually reached and spitting the fragments out into his hand found that ... he'd got a mouthful of gravel. The teeth were ok! The Mulhare good looks were battered - but intact. What a hero! Still in first place then and the gap had remained at 33 seconds in spite of everything. Next stop the St. John's ambulance while David Anderson set out.
After four weeks of total inactivity due to illness DA had only returned to work the previous week. He'd attempted a couple of runs in the last few days and, knowing that we were struggling to put a team together, he made a Thursday night offer to run a short stage. True Belgravian grit - and yet again it was a claret and gold vest remaining at the front of the procession as David increased the margin to 37 seconds from Newham & Essex Beagles with Morpeth a further 17 seconds in arrears.
Stage seven and the 'big guns' were wheeled into play; James Kelly had some serious opposition intending to run him down. Now working in Spain, there was still no way that Jim was going to miss the National Relay and after working at his researches during the day on Friday, he flew from Madrid to Luton, got a train to London and then another from there to Birmingham, a third to Lichfield and a fourth to Shenstone before meeting up with the team. And still we led. It was our fifth stage in the front while the Beagles held second and now Tipton moved into contention in third.
We always knew it couldn't last, and Malachi Byansi later admitted that taking up his place on the start line at the head of the field was both the best and worst moment of his 22 years in athletics. It was a game run from Mal who had to face a horrible onslaught led by Morpeth's Nick McCormick running fastest of the day - 13:49. Six teams came by before Mal could relinquish responsibility to Richard Ward.
It's an obvious fact that without six long stage runners we could not finish a team so Richard, putting his own ambitions for a tasty short stage to one side, stepped into the breach. He didn't enjoy it one bit. A 10k race with a crowd round him and no doubt he'd go well but long stages in the relay when the gaps have opened up are a specialist occupation. Well done Wardy - we couldn't have done it without you.
Up front Phil Nicholls had set things up nicely for his club by taking Tipton into first place, which position they also occupied at the end. But it was close, as Morpeth clung to second, briefly going ahead themselves on stage 11 through Ian Hudspith, before a Beagles charge on the last leg threatened both but could only reach silver medals.
For the Bels it was damage limitation. Mike Trees leaked just the one spot on stage ten - to 10th - and with a solid run from Will Cockerell and the now partially recovered Stephen Sharp on last we had found our level for the year.
In spite of everything it was an extremely enjoyable day. We saw plenty of action and have proved that we can continue to do the business in Sutton Park.
1 Tipton H 4:10:36; 2 Newham & Essex Beagles 4:10:58; 3 Morpeth H 4:11:02; 4 Notts AC 4:12:09; 5 Birchfield H 4:12:19; 6 Bristol & West 4:14:25; 7 Leeds City 4:14:57; 8 Cardiff AC 4:16:56; 9 Swansea H 4:17:17; 10 Belgrave H 4:17:41; 63 teams started; 60 finished of which 1 was disqualified.
Belgrave: N Goolab (15) 27:06; S Davies (4, 3) 14:23; P Owor (1, 3=) 26:34; N Speaight (1, 14) 15:09; D Mulhare (1, 4) 26:42; D Anderson (1, 10) 15:12; J Kelly (1, 9) 27:33; M Byansi (7, 31) 16:25; R Ward (9, 18) 28:44; 10 M Trees (10, 19) 16:03; W Cockerell (10, 14) 28:35; S Sharp (10, 6) 15:15.
Fastest short stages: 1 P Nicholls (Tipton) 25:48; 2 E Kipkoir (Birchfield) 26:03; 3 J Walsh (Leeds) 26:06; 4 M Buckingham (Holmfirth) 26:07; 5 S Batochir (Morpeth) 26:08; 6 P Martin (Sunderland) 26:10; ... 14= P Owor 26:34; ... 21 D Mulhare 26:34.
Fastest short stages: 1 N McCormick (Morpeth) 13:49; 2 J Mays (Kent) 14:04; 3 J Beattie (Newham &EB) 14:05; 4 D Clorley (Luton) 14:11; 5 A Heyes (Hallamshire) 14:18; 6 J Shanes (Newham &EB) 14:19; ... 8 S Davies 14:23.
Reserves land sunny side up
Will Cockerell reports:- With eight of our top nine runners unavailable for this one, it was time to put the depth of our squad under the microscope. As is the TM’s mantra, no depth means no squad, so this was an important day.
Up first was Lenka (pictured right), who was startled by the sheer numbers at the venue. “They have nothing like this back home!” she said wide-eyed. The ferocious, narrow, descending start and then the tough climb is always going to be a shock to a debutante’s system, just as it was with Zoë 18 months ago, but Lenka grimly hung on to hand over in a steady 16th.
Amy has had some injury problems and will let the marathon go for now. After getting a late nod from her physio we were relieved to be able to call on her, but not having run a step for 6 weeks, this was always going to be painful. However, she fought hard to keep us in the top 30.
Lou was probably our man-of-the-match for her strong shimmy on 3 and as we await her marathon result with great interest, she set up the twins on 4&5 (so called because it’s impossible to tell their running abilities apart.) Vicki was deemed to be fractionally fitter for this one, and before late withdrawals, she was in the team over Tilly. Wrong! It was Tilly who went quicker by seven ticks.
75 minutes before her leg, Rieko radioed in from the M40 to say her GPS was telling her 80 minutes, and that she was stuck behind a car fire. Bad news, and it looked like we were in for a huge anti-climax. With some Schumacher driving though, Rieko arrived with 5 minutes to go and smoothly anchored us home.
Our comparison with last year’s four relays makes good reading. We have turned figures of: no team, 49th, 11th, no team; into 30th, 42nd, 4th, 24th. Add to that the bronze at the SEAA cross-country relay and this is certainly a team heading in the right direction. All eyes on 2011-12, and let’s come to the party at cross-country too.
1 Aldershot Farnham and District 1:41:21; 2 Charnwood AC 1:45:46; 3 Swansea H 1:47:25; ... 24 Belgrave H 1:58:21. 66 teams started, 47 finished.
L Vseteckova (16) 17:30; A Linford (29) 20:04; L Blizzard (27) 18:55; V Goodwin (25) 19:45; M Heaton (22) 19:38; R Trees (24) 22:29.
Fastest: C Purdue (AFD) 15:23; 2 L Howarth (Leigh) 15:41; 3 H Whitmore (Charnwood) 16:01.
Bolton parkrun, 9 April 2011.
Men. 1 P Freary M40 17:18.
Kingston parkrun, 9 April 2011.
Men. 1 J Flood (Stragglers) 15:44; 47 D Anderson M55.
Dartford 10 miles, 3 April 2011.
Men. 33 P Carstairs 2-M50 1:06:28.
Cardiff parkrun, 2 April 2011.
Men. 1 Unknown 14:43; 2 S Davies 14:46.
Roundshaw Downs parkrun, 2 April 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:34.
Black Park parkrun, 2 April 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend 18:30.
Lakeland 10k Trail Race, Cartmel, 2 April 2011.
Men. 1 N Speaight 39:08 (record).
SEAA Men's 12-Stage Road Relay, Milton Keynes, 27 March 2011.
An entertaining day at MK - but no medals
A twelve year run of being called to the presentation ceremony came to an end as the Bels were unable to muster enough support to place higher than 5th. It was entertaining stuff though, as we book-ended with a couple of (very useful) men who have seen nigh on 50 summers apiece, and it was amusing to see the joy we spread as clubs down the field were able to savour time "in front of Belgrave".
Good ol' Mike Trees stepped into the breach to offer a long stage when he would have been very much happier with a short'un and he was followed up by Hassan Raidi who had made a 'dash for the cash' in the previous day's Victoria Park Open 5 miles and probably still had some of the effort in his legs. So after two stages we were about 15 positions and two minutes further back than hoped for.
Nick Goolab's effortless stride soon had him moving through the field nicely and his 24:01 made him fastest of the day - for the 30 seconds it took for chasing Wells City Harrier Ben Tickner to follow him across the line. We were up to 16th but still some ten places lower than the master plan had decreed. Aldershot were steaming away in front but Rumour ran among the cluster of Team Managers at the takeover area, whispering, "they're 'front loaded' ".
Mal Byansi relinquished a single place before handing over to fellow Ugandan Paskar Owor whose startling 23:43 for 5 miles the previous day was followed by a 24:55 clocking here. We were up to 10th while the Beagles had made huge inroads into AFD's lead with a 23:36 from Chris McKay that moved him to sixth on the all-time long stage list.
The Sharpster claimed three more spots for the Bels as he ran second fastest on the stage and the halfway mark came up. The Beagles now led the procession and the top ten teams, with the Bels in 7th, had pretty much shaken off the pretenders. Highgate Harriers were causing a few eyebrows to be raised as they moved into 3rd behind Aldershot; Woodford Green and Shaftesbury would surely remain solid to the end ... and our Common companions Thames Hare & Hounds were living up to their promise to feature, now in 6th.
We began the Brains Trust - throwing boffins Richard Ward (Cambridge), Jonathan Blackledge (Oxford) and James Kelly (Cambridge) into the fray. A slightly unwell Richard did not baulk at being handed a long stage, JB ran fastest on his leg and third best of the day for the short stage, and James was pleased with his 25:05 long stint after a period of uncertainty due to shin soreness. Good runs but the gaps had been large and we were only able to move up two slots to 5th.
Way short of his normal fitness, Neil Speaight didn't really know what to expect as he set out with the next runner in front over a minute away. He was solid, a good 70 seconds slower than a fit Sp8y but, amazingly, he was quickest on his leg, and as the runners hove into view he was in 3rd place, just 17 seconds down on Highgate in 2nd. It seemed all teams were now scrabbling around to finish off their twelve.
The Cockerpillar had earlier expended huge energy in managing his ladies and was soon under pressure from Woodford's Mark Burgess, dropping behind somewhat by mid-lap ... and then coming back to reclaim his place by a quarter of a minute, running one second faster than in 2010. Still in third!
Over to the Ice Man, then, for the show down. He's seen it all in a 30 year career in athletics - from international level in Norway to Wimbledon Common parkruns. Highgate were only 38 seconds up the road but it was Woodford's middle-distance ace Matt Shone champing at the bit that was the worry. Knut wasn't going to be fazed - but it was obviously too much of an ask to hold on to the medals and Thames Hound Nick Altmann could also smell Belgrave blood, pouncing as the race drew to a close and pushing us back into 5th.
As we said earlier ... entertaining!
1 Newham & Essex Beagles 4:17:46; 2 Highgate H 4:18:43; 3 Woodford Green w Essex Ladies AC 4:20:03; 4 Thames H&H 4:20:56; 5 Belgrave H 4:21:21; 6 Aldershot, Farnham & Dist. AC 4:23:09; 39 teams started, 31 teams finished.
Belgrave 'A'. M Trees M45 (28) 27:27; H Raidi (23, 19th fastest on leg) 18:30; N Goolab (16, 2) 24:01; M Byansi (17, 17) 18:41; P Owor (10, 6) 24:55; S Sharp (7, 2) 16:44; R Ward (8, 11) 25:58; J Blackledge (7, 1) 16:40; J Kelly (5, 2) 25:05; N Speaight (3, 1) 17:45; W Cockerell (3, 7) 26:14; K Hegvold M45 (5, 17) 19:21.
Belgrave 'B'. E Smith (36) 30:41; R Norville (35, 32) 19:59; R Harding M45 (35, 35) 32:57; P Willis (35, 29) 20:10; C Dickinson M60 (35, 35) 30:57; A Luce M40 (35, 26) 20:08.
Fastest short stages (5,506m): 1 D Clorley (Luton) 16:11; 2 J Hay (Aldershot F&D) 16:13; 3 J Blackledge (Belgrave H) 16:40; ... 5 S Sharp 16:44.
Fastest long stages (7,978m): 1 C McKay (NEB) 23:36; 2 B Tickner (Wells C) 23:59; 3 N Goolab (Belgrave H) 24:01.
SEAA Women's 6-Stage Road Relay, Milton Keynes, 27 March 2011.
Belles in the thick of it
How nice, writes Will Cockerell, to see nearly two teams of Belles locking horns with the best clubs in the south of England again after a quiet last three years at this event. The TM announced 14 bodies to toe the line the week before – and then cowered in dread to watch the inevitable withdrawals. Well... only four did, not bad, and crucially only one from the 'A's. Catherine Bryson alas, so often our talisman, but this time having to bow to locked calves. But it was still a mini dream team that we could be well proud of.
Sarah Gailey’s brief was top 10 and get the ball rolling. Despite being on very little running due to calf, knee and blister problems of her own, SG was good as gold with her 7th, in a time that got better as the day progressed – nice one. Right, what damage could Felicity do, with clubs still having plenty of aces up their sleeves? In a stage of real turbulence our cycling dynamo (with another 100k in her legs from Saturday), held us firm, with the important development that Shaftesbury up ahead ended their race after two stages in stone bonkers first.
So Zoë Vail was in reality going off in 6th, but it was crucial to keep moving through the pack. Somewhat startled at being caught up in the tawdry crossfire of an Eightlane thread entitled, “Who are the hottest British female runners,” this yummy mummy had more serious business on hand. She ran a calm, clinical leg to take out a couple but had to make way to a rampant Natasha Doel who fired AFD from 11th to 4th. Uh oh!
In a stage 4 of exceptional quality, our resident au pair Lenka grimly clawed back 6 seconds on the leaders Arena 80, and nine ticks on AFD, to ping fastest time on the stage and rip us into bronze. Excellent running and we were now just 44 seconds down on gold, and 14 on silver. The race had turned into a cracker.
Samantha Amend is an inspirational athlete in many ways but her workload on this day was simply frightening: 4.5 hours of driving, and a gnarly 1:37 in the Kingston 16m Breakfast run for her warm-up. Sam set off with tight legs, the feelings of an onsetting cold, and Norwich’s Jane Clarke covering her every move. Sam was in trouble right from the off with a stitch, but her exhausted frame still carried us to our 4th fastest. Clarke managed to get by and the bronze medal position was now 10 seconds down the road.
Welcome to Belgrave Mary Spalton! What a grisly baptism of fire for this ultra-marathoner who was a straight swap for Catherine. You want a safe pair of hands to guard against a blow-up and Mary with her recent 86 for the Half, was going to give us just that. Norwich had a final ace up their sleeve and were in turned dragged around by Arena 80, but there was no way that last year’s winners Bedford were going to catch Mary.
So fourth it was in a time that would have secured silver last year with two and a half minutes to spare. The winners AFD had three internationals in their team – we caught them on a very good day – last year they only mustered a single bod.
A line about the Baby B’s: great to see Tilly starting to go well again, and 32 seconds back we had yet another debutante Jo Linfield who showed she’s a name for the future. Rieko and Jenny gallantly kept us going before we finally had to call it quits. A memorable day then, disappointing to miss the podium, yes, but those days will come.
1 Aldershot Farnham and District 1:58:11; 2 Arena 80 2:01:45; 3 Norwich AC 2:01:59; 4 Belgrave H 2:03:15; 5 Bedford and County 2:05:04. 28 teams started, 20 finished.
Belgrave 'A': S Gailey (7) 20:01; F Cole (7, 9) 20:55; Z Vail (5, 4) 20:44; L Vseteckova (3, 1) 19:29; S Amend (4, 5) 20:50; M Spalton (4, 7) 21:16.
Belgrave 'B': T Heaton (23) 22:12; J Linfield (22, 20) 22:44; R Trees (21, 20) 24:57; J Beecroft (21, 21) 25:41.
Fastest: L Small (Aldershot F&D) 18:20; 2 B Potter (Shaftesbury BH) 18:42; 3 H Rowland (CoNAC) 18:49; ... 8 L Vseteckova 19:29.
Kingston Breakfast Run 16 miles, 27 March 2011.
Men. 1 P Wicks 1:20:46; 21 E Egelie 1:40:06.
Women. 1 S Amend (10th overall) 1:37:42.
Richard Burton 10k, Cwmafan 27 March 2011.
Women. 1 S Jones 30:30; 6 S Davies 33:41.
Victoria Park Open 5 miles, 26 March 2011.
Women. 1 S Kasimili (Kenya) 23:28; 5 P Owor 23:43; 24 H Raidi 26:42.
Brockwell Park parkrun 5k, 26 March 2011.
Women. 1 L Payne (Serpentine) 20:58; F Skinner U15 23:51; 59 M Skinner 28:52.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 26 March 2011.
Men. 1 A Mercer (Thames Turbo) 17:15; 11 P Chapman 19:37.
VAC 5.5 miles Cross Country, Wimbledon, 26 March 2011.
Men. 1 A Harran (Herne H) 36:04; 2 F Ward M50 36:18; 7 H Corbett M50 42:52; 16 A Lane M75 60:37.
Serpentine Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 25 March 2011.
Men. 18 T Hadfield M40 17:54; 25 P Carstairs 2-M50 18:33.
Purple Patch Water of Life Half Marathon, 20 March 2011.
Women. 1 M Spalton 1:30:07.
Fleet Half Marathon, 20 March 2011.
Women. 1 S Harris (Long Eaton) 1:18:24; 21 M Heaton 1:30:27.
Hastings Half Marathon, 20 March 2011.
Men. 1 G Mugi (Kenya) 1:08:00; 1612 D McMillan M60 1:57:29.
Reading Half Marathon, 20 March 2011.
Men. 1 S Kasimili (Kenya) 1:03:37; 8 P Wicks 1:05:09; 65 M Trees M45 1:14:45 (1:14:46 chip); 170 J Estall M55 1:21:36 (1:20:59); 539 L Eguia 1:28:33.
Banstead Woods parkrun 5k, 19 March 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:42.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 19 March 2011.
Men. 1 G Turner 17:20; 17 P Chapman 19:55; 105 D Anderson M55 25:30.
Brockwell Park parkrun 5k, 19 March 2011.
Men. 1 J Trapmore (Shaftesbury BH) 15:58; 6 R Norville 18:39.
Women. 1 V Lennie (unatt) 22:35; F Skinner U15 23:51.
Kingston parkrun 5k, 14 March 2011.
Men. 1 R Reeder (Stragglers) 18:15; 13 D Anderson M55 22:53.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 14 March 2011.
Men. 1 C Payne (Tortoise &H) 15:52; 3 M Trees M45 16:17; 6 R Stannard 16:41.
Milton Keynes Half Marathon, 13 March 2011.
Women. 1 J Ovington (Milton K) 1:22:15; 5 M Spalton 1:26:12.
Hague Half Marathon, 13 March 2011.
Women. 1 F Cepchirchir (Kenya) 1:09:06; 9 S Amend 1:17:52.
Spitfire 20 miles, Dunsfold, Surrey, 13 March 2011.
Men. 1 J McFarlane (Thames H&H) 1:50:39; 3 W Cockerell 1:56:34
Taking no prisoners
This inaugural 3x3k relay on the Scrubs, writes Will Cockerell, couldn’t fail to be entertaining fare due to the small quantity of stages and distance (although this was a much longer 3k than advertised).
Belgrave brought a team bristling with intent: Catherine Bryson making progress again after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Zoë Vail also on the comeback trail after the birth of baby Isaac, and debutante Felicity Cole, a triathlete who cycles long on Saturdays, very long. Getting her to the venue on time was always going to be a stunt, as was persuading her that running a race after 90k in the saddle, was, well, good triathlon training!
CB kicked us off and gave a clinical turn. In an isolated 5th some 500 metres from home, she launched a cruel charge on 4th and got her on the run in. If this wasn’t good enough news, better was to come, as the athlete in 3rd passed over to the invisible man, who was never seen again. For the B’s our loyal reserve, Maureen Noel, got round in good shape.
So Zoë was in bronze and gunning down on silver. At half-way the gap finally started to come down. Zoë reeled her opponent in, went straight past, and kept on going. It was an excellent run and she set Felicity off in silver, 31 seconds down on gold. Gulp – some début neither aided nor abetted by quads full of lead.
As the two leaders passed the huge prison, Felicity started to chisel into to the deficit and hundreds of Her Majesty’s guests pressed their noses to the bars and a chant ensued, “Up the Belles”.
But then another athlete hurtled into view, tearing chunks out of Felicity and Highgate. It was Aldershot International Jo Harvey, and the prisoners hissed and booed. Two small fires were started, and a riot broke out in the East wing. But Harvey was not to be stopped as she carded a classy 11:44.
With 600 to go Felicity still had a small chance of catching Highgate, but credit to their runner, she found another gear just in time, as Felicity ending up matching Zoë’s time, some 80 yards back.
All three Belles were within two seconds of each other – that’s what relay running is all about - consistency. Stay tuned for Milton Keynes, where we need to double our numbers for a team of six. Can it be done? Can we press for more medals? Oh, you betcha’.
1 Aldershot F&D 38:12; 2 Highgate H 38:54; 3 Belgrave H 39:11; 4 Brighton & Hove 40:24; 5 Reading AC 40:46; 6 West 4 H 40:54; 28 teams started and 22 finished.
Belgrave: C Bryson (4) 13:05; Z Vail (2) 13:03; F Cole (3) 13:03. B’s: M Noel 14:48.
Fastest: J Harvey (Aldershot F&D) 11:44; N Lenane (Aldershot F&D) 12:14; 3 K Jenrick (Highgate) 12:42.
St. Patrick's Day 5k, Colorado, USA, 12 March 2011.
Men. 1 J Chaston M40 15:08
Irish University Champs., Dublin, 12 March 2011.
Men. 1 D Mulhare; 18 A Connick
Edinburgh parkrun 5k, 12 March 2011.
Men. 1 M Pollard 16:37.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 12 March 2011.
Men. 1 C Payne (Tortoise) 15:52; 3 M Trees M45 16:17; 6 R Stannard 16:41.
Village Bakery Half Marathon, Wrexham, 6 March 2011.
Women. 1 S Lomax (Stock H) 1:21:06; 12 L Blizzard 1:26:46.
Bath Half Marathon, 6 March 2011.
Men. 1 E Kipkorir (Kenya) 1:04:00; 8 S Jones 1:05:37; 28 W Cockerell 1:11:11.
London Heathside 5 miles, Finsbury Park, 6 March 2011.
Men. 1 P Owor 26:53.
Goring 10k, 6 March 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend (3rd overall) 37:21; 2 L Vseteckova 37:27.
CAU Inter-Counties Champs & World Cross Trials, Cofton Park, Birmingham, 5 March 2011.
Men. 1 A Vernon (Hants/Aldershot F&D) 35:45; 12 N Goolab (Belgrave) 36:37; 43 S Sharp (Middx/Belgrave) 37:47.
Wimbledon parkrun 5k, 5 March 2011.
Men. 1 R Evans (unatt). 18:08; 8 P Chapman 19:35
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 5 March 2011.
Men. 3 M Trees M45 16:33; 5 R Stannard 17:10.
Finsbury Park parkrun 5k, 5 March 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:12.
Bolton parkrun 5k, 5 March 2011.
Men. 1 P Freary M40 17:20.
Hyde Park 6 x 5.164k Relays, 26 February 2011.
Men. 6th fastest R Ward 15:47.
Black Park parkrun 5k, 26 February 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend (2-overall) 18:43.
Richmond parkrun 5k, 26 February 2011.
Men. 1 J Flood (Stragglers) 17:19; 20 G Adams M40 19:58.
Kingston parkrun 5k, 26 February 2011.
Men. 1 N Rothwell (Stragglers) 18:41; 14 D Anderson M55 22:56.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 26 February 2011.
Men. 1 A Jackson (Sittingbourne) 16:48; 4 R Stannard 17:31.
Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 25 February 2011.
Men. 1 J Shane (Newham &EB) 14:44; 3 R Ward 15:31; 30 P Carstairs 2-M50 18:36; 25 T Hadfield M40 17:57.
Race the Pace Half Marathon, Dorney Lakes, 20 February 2011.
Men. 1 J L'Homme (Headington) 1:14:12; 272 D McMillan 1:43:14.
Brighton Half Marathon, 20 February 2011.
Men. 1 D Wardle (WGwEL) 1:06:22; 260 E Smith 1:30:00.
Women. 1 F Powell (B&H) 1:20:57; 31 A Linford 1:34:30.
Hardwick X-Stream 6, 20 February 2011.
Women. 1 C Macmillan (?) 43:35; 2 M Spalton 44:32.
Alton Towers Mudfest
Photo by Alan Mead
In some of the muddiest conditions ever encountered in the English National Cross Country Championships, courses had to be shortened and the timetable adapted as the medical room became so crowded that further races could not be countenanced until sprains and hypothermia among the younger age groups had been dealt with. Overnight sleet and snow had melted to produce a morass that was difficult to stand up in - and that was just the club tent area! The course owners had wanted to pull the plug on the whole event early on in the day, concerned that with the prevailing conditions the event would give them bad publicity.
Full credit to the officials who managed to keep things going in such atrocious conditions.
In the Senior men's race mudlark Steve Vernon of Stockport was untouchable, although Blackheath's Mike Skinner gave him a bit of pressure early on. For road and track specialists it was a nightmare.
Phil Wicks had an excellent run for 7th. He'd been secretly hoping for a top five place but didn't enjoy running on that surface at all. Running the majority of the race in pain from a recurring shin problem, James Kelly was a hero with his 54th while Sören Lindner (144th) and Will Cockerell (169th) kept us in the hunt for a top ten team place.
But, sadly, David Anderson pulled out after the top sections of the course where he was occupying a forward placing and a possible 7th to 9th team slot became 19th. Earlier it was a toss-up as to whether Dave was going to run at all as he was suffering from a cold, but he courageously gave his support to the team and it just didn't work out.
On finishing, James Fairbourn vowed that he was going to erase the afternoon from his memory but seemed to cheer up after a couple of doughnuts, while our final scorer Malachi Byansi, who only decided to run his first cross country of the winter a few days earlier, regretted his decision before he reached the starting line.
Our only runner in the women's race was Sam Amend who drove all the way up on the morning of the race after flying into the UK the afternoon before. She placed 93rd.
Men. 1 S Vernon (Stockport) 35:11; 2 M Skinner (Blackheath &B) 35:32; 3 T Lancashire (Bolton U) 35:59; 7 P Wicks 36:25; 54 J Kelly 38:42; 144 S Lindner 40:53; 169 W Cockerell 41:21; 236 J Fairbourn 42:57; 724 M Byansi 50:58; 729 R Harding M45 51:01; 847 A Lang 53:19; 1098 Don Anderson 59:42; dnf David Anderson; 1302 finished.
Six to score - 1 Leeds City 188; 2 Tipton H 235; 3 Bedford &C 272; 19 Belgrave H 1334; 95 teams closed in.
Nine to score - 1 Leeds City 419; 2 Tipton H 578; 3 Notts AC 584; 16 Belgrave H 4008; 34 teams closed in.
Women. 1 L Damen (Winchester) 23:09; 2 H Dean (Hallamshire) 23:52; 3 L Yelling (Bedford &C) 23:56; 93 S Amend 28:28; 552 finiushed.
Scottish CC Champs., Falkirk, 19 February 2011.
Men. 1 D Hawkins (Kilbarchan) 38:35; 30 M Pollard 42:01.
Munster Universities CC Champs., 19 February 2011.
Men. 2 A Connick.
VAC 5.5 miles Cross Country, Wimbledon, 19 February 2011.
Men. 1 M Mann (Dulwich) 37:04 H Corbett M50 43:59; 14 F Gander M75 52:26; 15 A Lane M75 59:47.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 19 February 2011.
Men. 1 B Wallace (Herne H) 18:03; 11 P Chapman 20:06.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 19 February 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:04.
Wokingham Half Marathon, 13 February 2011.
Men. 1 P Wicks 1:04:10; 10 C Sweeney 1-M40 1:10:48 (gun time 1:10:53).
Women. 1 L Yelling (Bedford &C) 1:13:44; 4 S Amend 1:18:24 (gun time 1:18:31).
Men 8.9k. 1 J McMullen (Thames H&H) 28:42; 2 P Owor (Belgrave) 29:07; 3 A Barnes (Herne H) 29:59; 10 W Cockerell 30:50; 70 J Estall M50 34:10; 87 B Barton M40 35:06; 99 P Carstairs M50 35:35; 102 A Luce M40 35:39; 103 R Norville 35:46; 108 W Ireson 36:31; 117 T Thorn 37:27; 118 G Adams M40 37:28; 144 A Lang 40:57; 146 Don Anderson M50 41:06; 157 closed in.
1 Herne Hill H (3, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 23) 120 - 1st overall with 613.
2 Thames H&H (1, 5, 7, 19, 20, 21, 24, 26, 27, 35) 185 - 2nd 778.
3 Epsom & Ewell (13, 22, 29, 30, 31, 44, 51, 52, 87, 88) 447 - 8th 2295.
4 Dorking & Mole Valley (14, 16, 43, 46, 50, 56, 58, 61, 70, 72) 486 - 7th 2290.
5 Hercules Wimbledon (6, 33, 42, 47, 48, 49, 53, 75, 81, 84) 518 - 3rd 1599.
6 Reigate Priory AC 543 (28, 34, 39, 40, 54, 55, 64, 65, 78, 86) - 9th 2390.
7 South London (32, 36, 41, 57, 62, 63, 66, 67, 68, 69) 561 - 5th 2105.
8 The Stragglers (25, 37, 38, 45, 59, 71, 73, 76, 77, 80) 581 - 6th 2225.
9 Belgrave H (2, 10, 60, 74, 79, 82, 83, 85, 89, 90) 654 - 4th 2085.
Women 8.9k. 1 L McAllister (Thames H&H) 32:43; 2 G Bruinvels (South London) 33:34; 3 C Elms (Clapham) 34:06; 15 C Bryson 36:57; 17 Z Vail 37:39; 36 M Heaton 39:04; 89 M Noel W45 43:39; 119 J Beecroft 47:28.
Teams: 1 Thames H&H 31; 2 South London 87; 3 Dulwich R 136; 4 West 4 H 175; 5 Herne Hill 191; 6 Woking AC 211; 13 Belgrave H 276; 38 teams closed in.
After three matches: 1 Thames H&H 245; 2 South London 387; 3 Dulwich 588; 4 Herne Hill 686; 5 West 4 765; 6 Ranelagh H 887; ... 15 Belgrave 1253.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 12 February 2011.
Men. 1 D Alcock (Victoria P&TH) 17:34; 15 P Chapman 20:11.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 12 February 2011.
Men. 1 J West (Stragglers) 16:33; 4 M Trees M45 17:17; 5 R Stannard 17:26.
Finsbury Park parkrun 5k, 12 February 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:07.
Armagh 5k, 10 February 2011.
Men. 1 M Bowser (Linc Well) 14:17; 17 S Jones 14:35; 21 R Ward 14:48; 22 M Pollard 14:49.
U23 Celtic International & AAI Intermediate Champs., Dublin, 6 February 2011.
Men. 1 M Mulhare 38:33; 6 (in AAI race) A Connick 42:40.
Chichester Priory 10k, 6 February 2011.
Women. 1 L Yelling 34:05; 7 S Amend 36:04.
RunnersLife Cross Country, Kenfig Nature Reserve, Wales, 5 February 2011.
Men. 1 A Humphries (Swansea) 16:32.78; 3 S Jones 16:47.78.
Thames Trot 50 mile Ultra Run, 5 February 2011.
Women. 1 M Spalton 7 hrs 40 mins.
British Universities Cross Country Champs., Senneleys Park, Birmingham, 5 February 2011.
Men. 1 N Goolab 34:55; 18 P Owor 36:48.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 5 February 2011.
Men. 1 I Leitch (?) 15:16; 9 M Trees M45 17:48.
Banstead parkrun 5k, 5 February 2011.
Men. 1 G Hewett (Dorking MV) 17:11; 6 G Adams 19:26.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 5 February 2011.
Men. 1 W Cockerell 16:46.
Kingston parkrun 5k, 5 February 2011.
Men. 1 P Kennedy (Stragglers) 18:18; 11 D Anderson M55 21:25.
Lliswerry '8', 30 January 2011.
Men. 1 S Jones 40:30.
Scottish 4k Cross Country Champs., 30 January 2011.
Men. 1 D Mulhare 11:43.
Mitja Marató de Barcelona Half Marathon, 30 January 2011.
Women. 3 S Amend 77:43.
SEAA Cross Country Champs., Parliament Hill, 29 January 2011.
Another subdued team performance at Parliament Hill
Our team fortunes at the 'Southern' continue to meander along some way short of where they should be. It's forty years now since we last medalled and although often, we think, 'this is going to be the year', it invariably turns out that it isn't! In 2012, with the 'National' coming to Parliament Hill, the 'Southern' will move to Preston Park, Brighton. Maybe the sea air will do us good.
Nevertheless, we had eleven men on the line - well, not quite on the line, as Robert Norville had to hurdle a fence to join in as the gun sent about 750 starters on their way. Robert was one of about 150 men held up as officials checked to make sure that every man was wearing his 'chip'. Why this is necessary is beyond comprehension: if anyone has failed to secure his 'chip' around his ankle then he won't feature in the results and that's surely his problem. As it was, an appearance at the entrance to the start seven minutes before the 'off' was nowhere near enough as an official in the checking marquee diligently studied every runners' ankles. When the gun fired there was pandemonium as those 60 to 80 men still inside the marquee panicked to get out and those 80 or so outside attempted to push down the fence, got their shorts caught on posts, climbed over those unfortunates straddling the barrier with all vociferously venting their anger on anyone who looked vaguely like an official as the field disappeared up the hill, 150 metres away by now.
Bels were handily positioned early on in the piece but only James Kelly could maintain his position and he went on to retain the Endurance Cup as the first Belgravian home. Making his début in claret and gold Sören Lindner was well forward ... but before the first lap was out he had started to drift back alarmingly ... and ended up with a shocker. A slightly injured Paskar Owor finished further back than expected, just 22 places in front of the Cockerpillar who was celebrating his 100th cross country race for Belgrave. A good run came from Lander Eguia and good ol' Mike Trees closed in our six, some 200 places higher than his position last year. Quite a scoring crew:- an Anglo American, a Ugandan, two Englishmen, a Spaniard and a German.
The Men's Cross Country Plate competition is tight now with just eight points covering the top three with three races to go. Phil Carstairs (lying 4th) has taken part in every plate race this winter - as has Will Ireson.
The ever present Tilly Heaton was our lone lady (she is well clear in the Women's Plate competition) and Max Kiralyfi, running in his first-claim club's colours, placed 27th in the Junior Men's race.
Men's 15k. 1 N Hall (Bedford &C) 48:23; 2 B Tickner (Wells C) 48:40; 3 J Pepper (Enfield &H) 49:00; ... 27 J Kelly 51:51; 80 P Owor 54:08; 102 W Cockerell 55:21; 153 L Eguia 57:06; 164 S Lindner 57:32; 213 M Trees M45 59:10; 386 R Norville 64:09; 423 P Carstairs 65:18; 427 D Mason 65:33; 479 W Ireson 66:50; 591 A Lang 70:36; 885 finished.
Teams: 1 Bedford &C 129; 2 Aldershot F&D 222; 3 Highgate H 278; 4 Thames H&H 321; 5 Shaftesbury Barnet H 401; 6 Kent AC 426; ... 14 Belgrave H 739; 93 teams closed in.
U20 Men's 8k. 1 R Goodman (Shaftesbury Barnet) 25:58; 27 M Kiralyfi (Winchester) 28:22; 95 finished.
Women's 8k. 1 N Taschimowitz (Taunton) 29:47; 118 M Heaton 36:28; 381 finished.
Reading parkrun 5k, 29 January 2011.
Men. 1 P Roberson (Reading) 17:29; 7 T Trees U15 19:36.
Wimbledon Common parkrun 5k, 29January 2011.
Men. 1 D Grime (Hercules Wimb) 18:05; 26 P Chapman 20:08.
Serpentine Runners Last Friday 5k, Hyde Park, 28 January 2011.
Men. 1 N Goolab 14:54; 4 R Ward 15:40.
Telford 10k, 23 January 2011.
Men. 1 R Ndayisenga (Bir) 29:47; 4 S Sharp 30:41.
Australian World Cross Trials, Stromlo Forest Park, Canberra, Australia, 23 January 2011.
Men. 1 C Birmingham35:09.2; 9 R Dessaix-Chin 37:38.4.
Four Villages Half Marathon, Helsby, 23 January 2011.
Women. 1 M Ross-Cope (City of Stoke) 1:14:31; 12 L Blizzard 1:27:41.
VAC Champs., Wimbledon Common, 22 January 2011.
Men. 1 V Maughan (Herne Hill) 33:16; 39 A Lane (2 M75) 62:14.
Thames H&H v South London H, Wimbledon Common, 22 January 2011.
Men. 1 J McFarlane (Thames H&H) 42:00; 2 W Cockerell 42:00.
Mid-Lancs League, Towneley Park, Burnley, 22 January 2011.
Men. 1 D Parkinson (Kendall) 31:44; 3 P Freary M40 32:18.
Black Park parkrun 5k, 22 January 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend 18:33.
Richmond Park parkrun 5k, 22 January 2011.
Men. 1 Unknown 16:57; 10 R Norville 18:21.
Milton Keynes parkrun 5k, 22 January 2011.
Men. 1 A Murrell (?) 17:30; 9 R Harding M45 19:55.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 22 January 2011.
Men. 1 O Laws (Newham &EB) 16:22; 3 M Trees M45 17:15.
Bushy Park parkrun 5k, 15 January 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:02.
Milton Keynes parkrun 5k, 15 January 2011.
Men. 1 R Baker (Hallamshire) 17:28; 20 R Harding M45 21:10.
All Our Yesterdays
Our team bore a strong resemblance to that which used to turn out in the '90s. Old timers Mike Webb, Bruce Barton, Phil Carstairs and Charlie Dickinson were all scoring nigh on two decades ago - and some of them still were today! It was great to see Jim Estall back in the Belgrave fold and he also would have scored had he not been in the process of restoring his Belgrave credentials after a sojourn with Dulwich Runners. Just to complete the line-up - even 'Gerry' Adams was present, albeit in his fire-fighting gear and having arrived by fire engine.
But there was young blood too - and weren't we glad of it as we cemented our position inside the top half of the division. Captain Phil Wicks easily had the measure of the field, building up a good lead in the muddy conditions but giving a substantial amount of that lead away as he slowed to greet a dog that was keen to welcome him home. Paskar Owor had come on considerably in the week since his return from Uganda so with 1 and 4 we were set for a much better score than our previous league outing. Paskar leads the individual competition and as long as he turns out in the final match, should win the trophy.
Picking up after a dose of 'flu' Chris Sweeney was in the late teens, overtaken in the last few strides by a Cockerpillar who was none too keen on the possibility of 'only' being fourth man home. Lander Eguia and Mike Trees supported admirably and our team fortunes were restored.
Indeed, it looks unlikely that positions 1 to 6 in the league will change much now; but with one match to go and only 45 points covering places 7 to 9, the drop will be faced by any two of Dorking, Reigate and Epsom.
Seniors & U20. 1 P Wicks (Belgrave) 27:19; 2 P Rogers (Reigate P) 27:33; 3 J McMullen (Thames H&H) 27:44; 4 P Owor 27:57; 18 W Cockerell 29:31; 19 C Sweeney M40 29:33; 32 L Eguia 30:08; 57 M Trees M45 31:26; 71 J Estall M50 31:57; 73 M Webb M40 31:58; 84 J Webb M40 32:35; 93 B Barton 33:00; 100 R Norville 33:21; 113 K Hegvold M45 33:59; 120 W Ireson 34:11; 123 P Carstairs M50 34:21; 126 T Thorn 34:33; 144 C Dickinson M60 35:35; 169 P Marsh M60 38:24; 181 P Bogues 41:52; 184 H Corbett M50 42:03; 186 finished.
1 Herne Hill H (7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30) 175 - 1st overall with 493.
2 Thames H&H ( 3, 11, 12, 22, 24, 26, 28, 33, 34, 36) - 2nd 593.
3 Hercules Wimbledon AC ( 5, 6, 13, 14, 17, 38, 39, 44, 46, 53) 275 - 3rd 1081.
4 Belgrave H (1, 4, 18, 19, 32, 50, 62, 69, 74, 78) 407 - 4th 1431.
5 The Stragglers (35, 37, 41, 48, 51, 56, 67, 70, 73, 76) 554 - 6th 1644.
6 Dorking & Mole Valley (16, 29, 49, 60, 63, 66, 68, 80, 81, 82) 594 - 7th 1804.
7 Reigate Priory AC (2, 43, 52, 54, 58, 59, 83, 84, 85, 89) 609 - 8th 1847.
8 South London H (40, 42, 45, 55, 64, 65, 72, 75, 77, 79) 614 - 5th 1544.
9 Epsom & Ewell H (20, 31, 47, 57, 61, 71, 86, 87, 88, 90) 638 - 9th 1849.
Sarah Gailey has been troubled by various injuries since her teenage years but now doing pure running training only twice a week - and mixing it with triathlon workouts - she is injury free and celebrated with a surprising 6th place. The muddy conditions were hardly Samantha Amend's bag but she too was well up the field and with Tilly, Rieko and Rosie completing the squad we placed 12th on the day and moved up a slot in the league.
It's all down to that final match now as we are still, just, in the relegation zone. We need to pull back 90 points on Epsom & Ewell on the Common on 12 February. It can be done, for here at Ham we had the better of them by 129. If we can do it again we'll leapfrog over several of the teams ahead.
Seniors. 1 L MacAlister (TH&H) 27:54; 2 N Harvey (SLH) 27:58; 3 C Elms (Clapham) 28:39; 6 S Gailey 30:06; 8 S Amend 30:14; 51 M Heaton 33:59; 72 R Trees 35:28; 134 R Dickinson 41:55; 163 finished.
Teams: 1 Thames H&H 61; 2 Dulwich R 102; 3 West 4 H 147; 4 The Stragglers 158; 5 South London H 161; 6 Woking AC 164; 12 Belgrave H 271; 38 teams closed in.
After three matches: 1 Thames H&H 213; 2 South London H 301; 3 Dulwich R 452; 4 Herne Hill H 497; 5 West 4 H 589; 6 The Stragglers 663; ... 15 Belgrave H 980.
Under 15. 1 S Foreman (SLH) 18:45; 26 F Skinner 24:41.
Surrey County Cross Country Champs., Lloyd Park, 8 January 2011.
What a race!
Surrey County Cross Country Champs. goes to the wire
The Bels have been inching towards a team win over the last few years and had a powerful line-up a few days before the race. Then 'flu' and post Christmas niggles ruled out several likely scorers at the last minute - James Fairbourn, Chris Sweeney, Mal Byansi and others - but all clubs face these problems and it was still a strong squad that took on the holders Herne Hill Harriers. We had plenty of fire power up front ... but could we close in our 5th and 6th men high enough? It was going to be close.
At the starting gun Phil didn't blast it quite as dramatically as is occasionally his wont but he was soon in charge of the pack and as the first lap was completed had gained a substantial lead that wasn't going to get any smaller. Our Captain cruised serenely across the mud to his fourth victory in this championship but told us afterwards that it was "hard work this time".
It was a messy scrap for the next six places though, with much chopping and changing as the mud, hills and firm going were traversed and runners played to their own strengths. James McMullen of Thames H&H always looked the pick of the bunch but at half way our own James Kelly looked good and was surely about to launch a last lap blast that would take him to the individual medals. But poor old Jim was suffering and 5th was as high as he could get; like many others he'd been under the weather and when the race was done it was all he could do to stand up and fight off the waves of giddiness that enveloped him.
Herne Hill's Chris Busaileh dipped his bread in the medal trough for a bronze and the Hill had two more in by 9th, but last year's winner Paskar Owor was close behind in 10th and we were just about holding sway. Paskar had only flown back from spending Christmas with his family in Uganda the day before so his effort was much appreciated.
Running to his best ever Surrey placing in spite of fighting off the horrors which attacked him early on in the race, Will Cockerell grimly fought his way round the Park. He was even closing down on Paskar at the end. Yes, it was a very unwell Cockerpillar, but this was no day for a dnf and he excelled himself in spite of everything. Unable to resist the problems hitting him, however, Dave Mason was forced to call it a day on the second lap and was last seen 'heaving' at the side of the trail before wandering off through the woods and making an early and disconsolate trip home.
Mark Humphrey has team medalled for us before in this race but he was unable to maintain the pace this time and Knut Hegvold, gamely running with a tight hamstring, was also unable offer his usual support although plugging away valiantly should we need to call on him.
So it fell, then, to Lander Eguia and Mike Trees to force their way into our 'six'. A terrific run from Lander had him entering the funnel in 23rd - and, incredibly, we still held Herne Hill to 51 points to 53. Mike had made a circumspect start and always had forward momentum in the pack as the race unwound. Belgrave supporters made clear his responsibility over the last 8k - and didn't he respond! Mouth open wide and gasping for oxygen, he was still overtaking opposing runners up the slope to the line, but he ran out of bodies to sweep up ... and those keeping tally knew that we'd just missed out by 5 points, 72 to 77.
We'd certainly have taken a score of 77 beforehand. Well done lads. All of you, scorers or otherwise, ran above and beyond the call of duty bearing in mind individual trials and tribulations. And well done to Herne Hill too.
Men's 12k. 1 P Wicks 40:40; 2 J McMullen (Thames H&H) 41:25; 3 C Busaileh (Herne H) 41:55; 5 J Kelly 42:04; 10 P Owor 43:41; 12 W Cockerell 44:03; 23 L Eguia 45:24; 26 M Trees M45 46:05; 63 K Hegvold M45 49:27; 73 M Humphrey 50:07; 151 A Lang 58:29; 179 finished.
Teams: 1 Herne Hill H (3, 8, 9, 16, 17, 19) 72 pts; 2 Belgrave H (1, 5, 10, 12, 23, 26) 77pts; 3 Thames H&H (2, 11, 20, 24, 27, 36) 120 pts; 4 Hercules Wimbledon (7, 15, 33, 34, 44, 45) 178 pts; 5 Clapham Chasers (22, 31, 43, 59, 74, 103) 332; 6 Dorking & Mole Valley (13, 18, 62, 70, 81, 92) 336; 17 teams closed in.
Women's 8k. 1 E Wicks (Aldershot F&D) 31:27; T Heaton ran as a non-scorer.
Middlesex County Cross Country Champs., Trent Park, 8 January 2011.
Men's 12k. 1 P Marteletti (Victoria P&TH) 41:32; 3 S Sharp 41:42.
Under 20 Men's 8k. 1 J Shelley (Shaftesbury BH) 28:20; 6 M Kiralyfi 29:39.
Finsbury Park parkrun, 8 January 2011.
Men. 1 R Ward 16:10.
Wimbledon Common parkrun, 8 January 2011.
Men. 1 N Reissland (unatt) 18:20; 24 P Chapman 21:17.
Kingston parkrun, 8 January 2011.
Men. 1 R Reeder (Stragglers) 18:34; 14 D Anderson M55 22:45.
Beith H New Year Races, Kilbirnie, 2 January 2011.
Men's 4.8m. 1 C McKay 22:43; 4 M Pollard 23:47.
Hercules Wimb./Lauriston 5m Cross Country, Wimbledon Common, 1 January 2011.
Men. 1 A Bruce-Littlewood 25:10; 3 W Cockerell 26:02; K Hegvold (2 M45) 29:12.
Black Park parkrun, 1 January 2011.
Women. 1 S Amend 18:50.
Bushy Park parkrun, 1 January 2011.
Men. 1 M Skinner (B&B) 15:07; 12 R Stannard 18:34.