Men's reports by Alan Mead, women's by Catherine Eastham
Road Running & Cross Country Team Events, January - May 2002
Thames Hare & Hounds Parkland 4 x 3 miles relay, Richmond Park, 8 May 2002.
With Alan Storey keen to see the make up of the Belgrave team one could be sure that he had a little something up his sleeve – and sure enough his St. Mary’s University team proved to be just strong enough to hold off the Bels. in an exciting finish. Roger Alsop found himself duffed up by occasional training partner Sonia O’Sullivan as she headed the field on stage one. The St. Mary’s boys also had an advantage of a few seconds. Thames’ women’s team, not surprisingly, soon drifted back into the pack while Junior cross country star Lee McCash found himself under attack from Stephen Kennefick, coming back to racing after a spell in the doldrums. But the Belgrave man had made his effort too early and the St. Mary’s lead stretched to nearly a minute. Returning from injury, veteran Knut Hegvold silkily eased up to our rivals on the third leg and went straight past to give Will Cockerell a handy lead of 23 seconds – would it be enough? A terrrific run from Will saw him set our fastest time of the day but it wasn’t fast enough to hold back St. Mary’s who had saved their best man until last. With half a mile to go our man was overtaken. He then clawed his way back and one just willed him to find a final burst. It wasn’t there but what a race.
1 St. Mary’s University 60:01; 2 Belgrave 60:04 (R.Alsop 15:09; S.Kennefick 15:21; K.Hegvold 14:51; W.Cockerell 14:43); 3 Thames H&H 61:03; Belgrave B dnf (S.Zealey 15:50; I.Isherwood 20:15; Don Anderson 18:24).
Fastest: 1 N.Altmann (Thames H&H) 14:15; 2 N.Phillips (St. Mary’s) 14:17; 3 L.McCash (St. Mary’s) 14:34; … =5 W.Cockerell (Belgrave) 14:43.
Womens 3 x 3 miles 1 St. Mary’s University (inc. T.Sturton 17:59, 4th fastest). Fastest S.O’Sullivan (Thames H&H) 14:49.
The National 12 Stage title returns to Belgrave after 51 years
Belgrave's margin of victory in Sutton Park was the greatest in the history of the race.
AAA “National” 12 Stage Road Relay, Sutton Coldfield, 27 April 2002.
It was an historic and enjoyable day for Belgrave Harriers – but an exciting race it was not! The Bels. predictably took the lead with three laps gone and then spent the next three hours turning the screws to open up the greatest winning margin in the history of the race (6 minutes 26 seconds); but as the team manager told AW reporter Jason Henderson after the race, “We had enough excitement last year to last a lifetime!”
It was Belgrave’s first win in the National 12 Stage since 1951 and apart from the pleasure in taking the magnificent “News of the World” trophy and twelve gold medals, Andy and Allen Graffin clocked the day’s fastest short and long stages, and David Anderson and Steve Sharp backed up with second and third best short times while Mark Miles and Spencer Barden placed in the top six over the long lap.
It was a day to remember for a long, long time. Everything went to plan – even down to the provision of champagne for the post race celebrations, courtesy of Bill Laws and Gordon Biscoe. It has taken seven years of hard work to achieve our goal – but maybe that was the easy bit – staying at the top could be a lot tougher.
Conditions were very breezy with pulses of rain; becoming drier but windier as the race progressed.
Short stages: 3 miles 8 yards; long stages 5 miles 706 yards.
Enjoying the chance to steer as clear of stage 12 as possible, Lee Hurst was given the target of a place in the teens and although he was a little disappointed with his time, his 17th spot in 27:13 – place and time – was exactly what had been predicted by Vice-Captain Al Stewart. Tipton had made a strong start to place 5th while Morpeth were just ahead of us in 15th.
Fastest: 1 A.O’Connor (Liverpool) 26:07; 2 C.Cmith (London Irish) 26:12; 3 S.Bailey (Sale H Manchester) 26:18; 17 L.Hurst 27:13.
Richard Ward came into the team on Friday morning with the withdrawal of Kevin Nash due to a knee injury. Eager to prove that he should have been in the line-up from the outset, Richard grasped his chance and churned out a 14:43 to pick off eight of the opposition. What a substitute! Tipton had moved up to third but we were only 20 seconds behind.
Fastest: 1 M.Openshaw (Birchfield) 14:12; =2 C.Livesey (Preston) and B.Whitby (Windsor SE&H) 14:16; 8 R.Ward 14:42.
Teams: 1 Wells City H 41:06; 2 Sale H Manchester 41:26; 3 Tipton H 41:36; 9 Belgrave H 41:56.
Most Belgrave supporters predicted that we’d go ahead on stage four but Spencer Barden took full advantage of an earlier than normal leg to chase down the men up front. Ian Grimes of Newham & Essex was also having a good run but Spen was the man in charge and as he stormed the final rise even seasoned campaigners went misty-eyed at the sight of a claret and gold vest heading the field right on cue. Nearly half a minute came off Spencer’s best time for the course. The lead was 6 seconds. Our starters had done us proud – now what could the front runners do? Could they open the gap we wanted?
Fastest: 1 S.Barden (Belgrave H) 25:52; 2 I.Grime (Newham & Essex B) 26:05; 3 M.Vaux Harvey (Kidderminster) 26:23.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 1:07:48; 2 Newham & Essex Beagles 1:07:54; 3 Tipton H 1:08:45.
As the wind rose and another squall swept the start area Andrew Graffin set out on his mission to break away from the field. With a string of indoor sub-4 minute miles under his belt this winter, no doubt he’d have like to have cracked 14 minutes. Sadly, in spite of the urging from announcer Bud Baldero as our man approached the line, the digital clock flipped over to the “fourteens” before Mark Miles could be sent on his way. But the damage had been done and the lead was now 1 minute 44 seconds. For the first time our colours were out of sight of the chasing field and Andy’s 14:03 was the target at which short-stage hopefuls would take aim.
Fastest: 1 Andy Graffin (Belgrave H) 14:03; 2 G.Blackman (Harrow) 14:31; 3 C.Davies (Telford) 14:34.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 1:21:51; 2 Newham & Essex B) 1:23:35; 3 Sale H Manchester 1:23:54.
Mark Miles received final instructions from coach Baldero then tore off down the slope, eager to extend our 500 metre advantage. Fastest long stage man in 2001, Mark had runners to chase that day but now he was the quarry. Morpeth were taken into the frame by Ian Hudspith who closed up a few seconds and Birchfield also improved but the lads from Essex fell away and the Belgrave advantage climbed to 2 minutes 21 seconds as Mark pipped Spencer’s time by one second.
Fastest: 1 I.Hudspith (Morpeth H) 25:46; 2 M.Miles (Belgrave H) 25:51; 3 D.Burrows (Birchfield) 26:05.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 1:47:42; 2 Morpeth H 1:50:03; 3 Birchfield H 1:50:20.
Knowing that he has to be prepared to do battle with the very best to make his mark in the sport, Stephen Sharp was not at all overawed by Andy’s earlier 14:03. Birchfield nipped past Morpeth while Tipton were 4th but Steve was on a stormer, his 14:08 being the second fastest up to that point as he opened the gap to nearly three and a half minutes at the halfway point.
Fastest: 1 S.Sharp (Belgrave H) 14:08; 2 G.Taylor (Trafford AC) 14:24; 3 K.Shepherd (Tipton H) 14:35.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 2:01:50; 2 Birchfield 2:05:13; 3 Morpeth H 2:05:31.
Looking more in command with every run, our National Cross Country silver medallist faced tough opposition on this leg. The Kenyan Kirui had a terrific run for Birchfield but way up the road Allen was going two seconds faster and another challenge from the Midlanders was turned back.
Fastest: 1 Allen Graffin (Belgrave H) 25:45; 2 E.Kirui (Birchfield) 25:47; 3 M.Steinle (Blackheath) 25:48.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 2:27:35; 2 Birchfield H 2:31:00; 3 Tipton H 2:32:26.
Determined to make a good showing Charles Herrington probably tackled the initial hill too fast. By the Jamboree stone at the turn for home he had extended our advantage by a further 15 seconds but by the time the climb to the finish was reached he was having to dig very deep and a sub-15 time slipped away although he had dragged the lead out to just under 4 minutes.
Fastest: 1 A.Toward (Morpeth H) 14:47; 2 D.Roache (Trafford AC) 14:51; 3 J.Hayden (Notts AC) 15:01; 5 C.Herrington 15:09.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 2:42:44 ; 2 Birchfield H 2:46:42; 3 Tipton H 2:47:37.
Paul Evans, veteran of more battles on the road than he’d care to remember, received an ovation before he’d even run a step. “The Belgrave team are so weak,” it was announced, “that they are reduced to turning out Paul Evans for stage nine.” Inspirational words had come from Paul at the pre-race team talk and now he put his body on the line as only he knows how. On this occasion he was “only” our fourth fastest over the long circuit but he was so intent on giving everything to try to keep the team on course for a fast time that he ran straight through the finish and caught himself up on the ropes separating the incoming and outgoing runners. They don’t come any tougher than Paul.
Fastest: R.Birchall (Birchfield H) 25:59; 2 M.Hudspith (Morpeth H) 26:01; 3 P.Evans (Belgrave H) 26:13.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 3:08:57; 2 Birchfield H 3:12:41; 3 Morpeth H 3:14:00.
Three stages to go. The Belgrave boot had been jammed on the accelerator for hours but there was no way it was going to be lifted until the race was complete. Middle-distance man David Anderson fears no-one and had every intention of making that fastest short stage of the day his very own. Not only was it windy, it was getting colder, and yet that 14 minute “barrier” was under threat again. His 14:06 took him to number two and as Birchfield and Morpeth ran men in the high 15s, the Belgrave lead shot up to five and a half minutes. The six minute margin that we had looked for became a real possibility. Tipton came back into the fight for medals, squeezing six seconds ahead of Morpeth.
Fastest: 1 David Anderson (Belgrave H) 14:06; 2 J.Rogers (Sale H Manchester) 14:31; 3 N.Wilkinson (Salford H) 14:39.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 3:23:03; 2 Birchfield H 3:28:38; 3 Tipton H 3:29:28.
Now Morpeth inched past Tipton again. Down the field Shaftesbury Barnet turned out the first of a powerful finishing duo but it was too late in the day to be of much use. For the Bels Al Stewart was surely on for a 26 minutes “and bits” run but had to be satisfied with grinding out a personal best of just over 27. Birchfield were 8 seconds slower and the gap was now 5 minutes 43 seconds.
Fastest: 1 D.Bannister (Shaftesbury Barnet H) 26:28; 2 R.Kay (Notts AC) 26:29; M.Warmby (Newham & Essex B) 26:29; 4 A.Stewart 27:04.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 3:50:07; 2 Birchfield H 3:55:50; 3 Morpeth H 3:57:03.
Paul Freary had been strangely quiet ever since he got wind of the fact that he was going to be last stager for us in 2002. The lead was huge but the load was just as heavy. Suppose a kid on a bike sent him sprawling. Suppose Tipton had turned the cattle loose on the far side of the park. No such troubles materialised. Paul took another half minute out of the chasers and he threw his arms aloft in joy as the finish tape was broken.
But it wasn’t over yet. Team Captain Roger Alsop had undertaken the awful task of being reserve all day should someone pull a muscle in warm-up. And having done his duty he turned out for Redhill Runners who were a man short and languishing somewhere near the tail-end of the field. Just as the medals were being presented, there was Roger, running in an unfamiliar vest and flying up the hill to head all the runners who had taken part in the mass start of tail-enders. A terrific cheer went up from the Belgrave crowd clutching medals and cup and there must have been many a bystander who wondered why on earth Belgrave should be so vociferous and show so much support for Redhill’s last man.
Fastest: 1 A.Renfree (Shaftesbury Barnet H) 14:39; 2 P.Freary (Belgrave H) 14:44; 3 T.Wall (Morpeth H) 15:09; 5 R.Alsop (Redhill R) 15:18.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 4:04:51; 2 Birchfield H 4:11:17; 3 Morpeth H 4:12:12; 64 teams finished.
Fastest of the day.
Short stage: 1 Andy Graffin (Belgrave H) 14:03; 2 David Anderson (Belgrave H) 14:06; 3 S.Sharp (Belgrave H) 14:08; 19 R.Ward 14:43; =20 P.Freary 14:44; =49 C.Herrington 15:09; 64 R.Alsop 15:18.
stage: 1 Allen Graffin (Belgrave H) 24:45; 2 I Hudspith (Morpeth H)
25:46; 3 E.Kirui (Birchfield) 25:47; 5 M.Miles 25:51; 6 S.Barden 25:52;
13 P.Evans 26:13; 47 A.Stewart 27:04; =52 L.Hurst 27:13.
An amazing 5th at the first attempt for the Belles in AAA 6-Stage Relay
AAA “National” Women’s 6 stage road relay, Sutton Coldfield, 27 April 2002.
Catherine Eastham writes: Unlike the men, there was no pressure on the women’s team at the start of this race. It was their first attempt at the National 6-stage and a top 10 place was guaranteed, with hopes high that they could match their 4-stage performance and capture 7th or 8th spot. Over the 2.99 mile course though, things went better than planned…
A fast start was needed to ensure that the Belles were up in the fighting action right from the start. Who better to cope with that battle than Birhan Dagne. Only recently back in racing action after injury Birhan was feeling fit and raring to go and immediately took over at the front of the pack. The main group stayed together well into stage 1, but coming up the finishing straight in first place, to set the Belles fastest time ever, and 5th fastest overall on the day, was our very own Birhan Dagne, closely followed by Dugdale of Swansea.
Fastest: B.Dagne (Belgrave) 16:19; 2 C.Dugdale (Swansea) 16:22; 3 L.Mawer (Bingley) 16:29.
Tania Sturton knew that Birhan would be one of the first back but her face, when she saw Birhan’s lead, was a picture. This was a high pressure leg for our youngest team member but she coped admirably. Shouts of ‘just run your own race’ followed Tania down the starting hill and she knew that some faster runners would come flying past. If Tania could keep the Belles in the top 10 then we knew that we could pull something back over the later legs. Tania ran the race according to plan, bringing the Belles home in 10th place. The fastest leg went to Gay of Bristol in 16.53, moving her club from 7th place into a strong lead.
Fastest: 1 M.Gay (Bristol AC) 16:53; 2 R.Lewis (Shaftesbury Barnet H B) 17:15; 3 M.Myers (Headington) 17:19; 17 T.Sturton 18:54.
Teams: 1 Bristol AC 33:34; 2 Bingley H 34:11; 3 Shaftesbury Barnet H 34:17; 10 Belgrave H 35:13.
Erica Fogg pulled the short straw weather wise as it was on the third leg that the heavens opened and the rain combined with the wind to make this one of the toughest legs for the runners. But Erica’s triathlon preparations meant she was a strong runner and tough conditions see her thrive. Erica’s task was to maintain the Belles’ position, but she later admitted to starting off faster than planned and it was tough. Plus, we didn’t reckon on Amanda Allen storming past from 14th position to bring Birchfield into 4th, with the third fastest leg of the day. Meanwhile, up in front Bristol’s lead opened up to about half a minute.
Fastest: 1 A.Allen (Birchfield H) 16:01; =2 K.Reed (Bristol AC) 16:51, B.Jenkins (Salford); 13 E.Fogg 18:24.
Teams: 1 Bristol AC 50:25; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet H 51:43; 3 Bingley H 51:54; 11 Belgrave H 53:37.
Next up for the Belles was Maria ‘let me chase them’ Sharp. And chase them she did. With the bit between her teeth Maria set off down the hill with the intention of picking them off one by one. With the Belles second fastest leg of the day and the equal second fastest on the stage, Maria pulled the team right up into 6th place. Things were starting to look good as we still had two fast legs to run. The lead, however, was increasing and Bristol were looking untouchable in first. Shaftesbury BH now had a strong second position but the places behind were still chopping and changing.
Fastest: 1 S.Gray (Bristol AC) 16:51; =2 A.Joiner-Handy (Shaftesbury Barnet H), M.Sharp (Belgrave H).
Teams: 1 Bristol AC 1:07:16; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet H 1:08:50; 3 Birchfield H 1:09:46; 6 Belgrave H 1:10:44.
Having run a 2.52 marathon just two weeks earlier, Juliette Clark proved she’s in amazing form at the moment as she battled through the considerably shorter distance to bring the Belles up to an remarkable 4th place
with just one leg to go, in the process moving ahead of Sale and Birchfield. Juliette’s racing experience and triathlon strength showed through as she clocked the 4th fastest run of the stage and the Belles’ 3rd fastest leg overall. Gold and silver didn’t look an option but was a bronze medal position possible, or would the last leg see some big guns out in action?
Fastest: 1 M.McCambridge (Bristol AC) 15:58; S.Vangraan (Shaftesbury Barnet H) 16:47; 3 S.Singleton (Liverpool H) 16:49; 4 J.Clark 17:17.
Teams: 1 Bristol AC 1:23:14; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet H 1:25:37; 3 Liverpool H 1:26:45.
Whatever happened on the last leg, the Belles had done themselves proud and could claim their fastest ever performance over the course. Would this also be their best performance in any relay to date? Anne Hegvold had carried the anchor leg for the Belles in the 4-stage relay back in the autumn. We knew she was running well and could cope with the pressure and fight the whole way.
Bristol came home first with Dorothea Lee an incredible 2 minutes ahead of Lucy Elliott from Shaftesbury. Another minute passed before Jenny Clague of Liverpool came up the hill in a triumphant 3rd. The top three positions hadn’t changed from Stage 5, could this mean that we were going to maintain our 4th spot too? Unfortunately not, as the next vest up the hill was Sale Harriers’ Heath who had run a storming leg. But another minute down and there she was: Anne Hegvold fighting her way up the finishing hill with all her might to bring the Belles home in a magnificent 5th place.
We might not have won the gold medal but the Belles certainly exceeded everyone’s expectations. It’s safe to say that we’re definitely a team to watch for the future.
Fastest: 1 L.Elliott (Shaftesbury Barnet H) 15:55; 2 D.Lee (Bristol AC) 16:08; 3 J.Heath (Sale H Manchester) 16:24; 8 A.Hegvold 17:38.
Teams: 1 Bristol AC 1:39:22; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet H 1:41:32; 3 Liverpool H 1:43:29; 4 Sale H Manchester 1:44:38; 5 Belgrave H 1:45:39; 6 Headington RR 1:46:16; 34 teams finished.
Fastest of the day: 1 L.Elliott (Shaftesbury Barnet H 15:55; 2 M.McCambridge (Bristol) 15:58; 3 A.Allen (Birchfield) 16:01; 5 B.Dagne 16:19; =28 M.Sharp 17:07; 35 J.Clark 17:17; 47 A.Hegvold 17:38; 83 E.Fogg 18:24; =111 T.Sturton 18:54; 204 took part
Meteoric rise for the Belles in SEAA 6-Stage Road Relay
SEAA Women’s 6-Stage Road Relay, Milton Keynes, 7 April 2002.
In only the third running of this event Team Manager Catherine Eastham can point to a meteoric rise in fortunes: no team at all in 2000, 20th from 21 finishers in 2001, 4th and oh! so close to the medals in 2002. We can only marvel at what might come next.
The race was held over six laps of the 5506 metres course also used for the men’s short stage.
You couldn’t look for a more ardent supporter of the the club than Maria Sharp and she fired up the Belles with a super start. Maria’s 19:19 immediately reduced our best for the circuit, previously held by Juliette Clark, and much more importantly put us right up near the head of the field.
Fastest: 1 A.Fletcher (Dulwich R) 19:02; 2 M.Sharp (Belgrave) 19:19; 3 S.Andreou (Woodford Green/Essex) 19:33.
Juliette had no intention of giving up her club best without a fight and soon she moved past the Dulwich Runner to take the claret and gold into a women’s road relay lead for the first time in the club’s history. With some big triathlon/duatholon events ahead of her, Juliette is in great form and she improved her best for the circuit by 23 seconds. We led Dulwich by nearly one minute although Shaftesbury had moved up threateningly to third.
Fastest: 1 S.Van Graan (Shaftesbury Barnet) 19:26; 2 C.Pauzers (Herne Hill) 19:31; 3 J.Clark (Belgrave) 19:33.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 38:52; 2 Dulwich Runners 39:33; 3 Shaftesbury Barnet 39:37.
Shaftesbury Barnet’s A team slipped back a place but their black and white stripes were still menacing the leaders as their B team shot through the field to second. However, it was Dulwich who went back to the front with their runner turning in the fastest time for the stage. In the face of this onslaught Jayne Lawrence determinedly hung on to a medal position.
Fastest: 1 M.Pannett (Dulwich R) 19:18; 2 C.Weatherill (Shaftesbury Barnet B) 19:38; 3 J.Butler (Blackheath) 19:59; 14 J.Lawrence 21:41.
Teams: 1 Dulwich R 58:51; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet B 1:00:26; 3 Belgrave 1:00:33.
Tania Sturton kept our colours in third as Shaftesbury’s B team disappeared from the race and their A team went into what proved to be a winning lead. We had been looking for a top eight place with a dream of top five but here we were, still in medal contention.
Fastest: 1 S.Cripsey (Bedford & County) 19:36; 2 A.Ridley (Shaftesbury Barnet) 19:54; 3 K.Bailey (Havant) 19:59; 7 T.Sturton 21:12.
Teams: 1 Shaftesbury Barnet 1:20:42; 2 Dulwich R 1:21:10; 3 Belgrave 1:21:45.
What a task faced now by Syreeta Stracey; incredible to think that this young lady started with us as a 12 year-old sprinter and long jumper. Not surprisingly she was unable to withstand the attack of the experienced Zara Hyde-Peters who took Havant all the way into second. Dulwich fell away down the field but Bedford were out to match their men’s forward position and Highgate squeezed past Syreeta by just two seconds.
Fastest: 1 Z.Hyde Peters (Havant) 19:22; 2 L.Wood (Bedford & County) 20:04; 3 E.Murray (Shaftesbury Barnet) 20:11; 9 S.Stracey 21:51.
Teams: 1 Shaftesbury Barnet 40:53; 2 Havant 42:14; 3 Bedford & County 43:10; 5 Belgrave 43:36.
After a successful campaign on the indoor tracks this winter, this was Julie Mitchell’s first outing in a Belgrave team and she enjoyed it to the full. There were some very quick times on this last lap but the Belgrave athlete held her own with our third sub-20 run of the day, taking the Belles back past Havant into a superb 4th place. All that we had dreamed of had been achieved – and one could see that finishing just 35 seconds out of the medals has given the team a hunger for success that surely won’t be denied in races to come.
Fastest: 1 S.Morris (Bedford & County) 18:36; 2 K.Jenrick (Highgate) 19:23; 3 A.Joiner-Handy (Shaftesbury Barnet) 19:29; 5 J.Mitchell 19:46.
Teams: 1 Shaftesbury Barnet 1:00:22; 2 Bedford & County 1:01:46; 3 Highgate H 1:02:57; 4 Belgrave 1:03:22; 35 teams started; 27 teams finished.
of the day: S.Morris (Bedford & County) 18:36; 2 A.Fletcher
(Dulwich R) 19:02; 3 K.Jenrick (Highgate) 19:17; 5 M.Sharp 19:19; 10
J.Clark 19:33; 16 J.Mitchell 19:46.
Victory in the Southern 12-Stage
Course record and six minute winning margin sets us up for the “National”.
SEAA 12-Stage Road Relay, Milton Keynes, 7 April 2002.
With the ink still drying on the new sponsorship deal, the team turned out at Milton Keynes wearing the famous three stripe adidas logo, each man on an individual mission to earn a place in the National team. The weather was beautifully sunny but with a vicious wind that made fast times difficult – particularly if one was on a long leg and having to loop round the open expanse of Caldecotte Lake.
After a one minute silence in memory of the late Queen Mother, Kevin Nash launched the Belgrave attack and in a tightly packed bunch he nearly came a-cropper when getting tangled with a rival. The “Valley’s” Andrew Hennessy saved him by holding out a steadying arm and the phalanx of runners swept on. Our man overcame a bad patch to clinch a great start and as Kyereme took Shaftesbury Barnet up the slope in the lead Gnasher brought us home 5th with his best ever long run round this circuit. The Bs received a shot in the arm with Najibe Hliouat agreeing to a long stage and giving us 18th of the 56 starters, 23 places in front of the next B team.
Fastest: 1 K.Kyreme (Shaftesbury Barnet) 24:10; 2 M.Warmby (Newham & Essex Beagles) 24:14; 3 G.Amos (City of Norwich) 24:26; 5 K.Nash 24:42; 18 N.Hliouat 26:03; 55 R.Bale 33:12.
Looking to stamp our authority on the race early, Stephen Sharp was thrown into the fray much earlier than one might have expected. Still slightly uncomfortable with a nerve problem in his hamstring, Steve clocked equal third fastest time of the day to move up three places and narrow the gap to the leader to just 13 seconds.
Fastest: 1 S.Sharp (Belgrave) 16:33; 2 G.Bangs (Thurrock) 16:47; 3 S.Murphy (Shaftesbury Barnet) 16:52; 25 B.Barton 18:28.
Teams: 1 Shaftesbury Barnet 41:02; 2 Belgrave 41:15; 3 Newham & Essex Beagles 41:50; 24 Belgrave B 18:28.
The plan was to go ahead on stage three and start pulling away – it worked like a dream. Paul Freary is preparing himself for a short stage at Sutton Park but on our second long stage cruised up to the Shaftesbury man after a mile and right in front of the adoring Belgrave supporters took the claret and gold into a lead that was to grow ever wider. He admitted after the race that it felt easy and he has loads more to come when it’s needed. We had a 1:15 lead.
Fastest: 1 R.Finch (Southampton R) 23:55; 2 A.Mussett (Colchester) 23:56; 3 J.Fewtrell (Bedford & County) 24:38; 5 P.Freary 24:49; 25 R.Foley 26:49.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 1:06:04; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet 1:07:19; 3 Southampton RC 1:07:31; 25 Belgrave B 1:11:20.
As last man into the team – and the youngest – Kevin Quinn had a lot of pressure to handle; the worry of holding on to the lead and the need to show just what we all knew he could do if he got it right. This is where the shutters came down as far as the rest of the field were concerned. Kev might have turned in an 18 minute run but he rose to the occasion and now will have the confidence to do it again and again as he clocked the stage’s third fastest time. Not only did he hold that lead, he took a minute out of Shaftesbury and even though Bedford & County came into the reckoning, the Belgrave lead stretched out to 1:44.
Fastest: 1 M.Janes (Bedford & County) 17:03; 2 A.Draper (Blackheath) 17:28; 3 K.Quinn (Belgrave) 17:31; 20 L.Greatorex 18:29.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 1:23:35; 2 Bedford & County 1:25:19; 3 Southampton RC 1:25:37; 24 Belgrave B 1:29:49.
Every team has its disaster and ours came here. It had little effect on the lead but on a personal level, Charles Herrington was devastated. Eager to earn that Sutton Park slot he was looking for a long stage time of well under 25 minutes. What he got was time barely under 26 as he went off course on the far side of the circuit. The route was marked adequately but it must be said that Paul Freary had lost a few seconds at this point – and Al Stewart and Lee Hurst had done the same in previous years. Who knows how much he lost as he shouted for help and prayed that a marshal would appear and set him straight – maybe a minute? Behind him Bedford sagged and Shaftesbury came back into second – and, incredibly, our net lead had grown by another 10 seconds!
As if one disaster wasn’t enough, Mal Byansi had badly turned his ankle while warming up. He said nothing of it as he set out but required medical treatment when he finished, having run just over 2 minutes slower than the previous year – and all this with the London Marathon only 7 days away.
Fastest: 1 K.Bowditch (Newham & Essex Beagles) 23:54; 2 G.Blackman (Harrow) 24:32; 3 S.Tompsett (Hillingdon) 24:43; 11 C.Herrington 25:57; 38 M.Byansi 28:35.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 1:49:23; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet 1:51:17; 3 Southampton RC 1:51:20; 27 Belgrave B 1:58:24.
Having been told before the race that he should expect to take over in the lead, David Anderson confidently predicted that if we weren’t in front, we would be by the time he’d finished! In fact he didn’t need the stimulus of a chase as he ripped out the day’s second fastest short stage time of 16:19, missing the club record by four seconds. On an otherwise quiet leg, this had the effect of giving the Bels a lead of 3:11.
Jonathan Blackledge carried the Bs forward three places and set the third fastest for the stage with a super 17:27 – not bad for a seventeen year-old and surely giving an indication that the A team average age will be coming down a point or two in the future. Fifty teams were left in the race at the mid-point of the race and the Bs were in the top half of the field.
Fastest: 1 D.Anderson (Belgrave) 16:19; 2 D.Moulton (Blackheath) 16:39; 3 J.Blackledge (Belgrave B) 17:27.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 2:05:51; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet 2:09:02; 3 Bedford & County 2:09:16; 24 Belgrave B 2:15:51.
Those “twenty-four forty” runs just kept on coming. Lee Hurst has had a couple of months in the doldrums but every week that passes shows another improvement. It was like musical chairs in team positions 2 to 8 as yet another combination came up, Bedford once again moving ahead of Shaftesbury, but up front Lee was rock-steady and advanced the Belgrave cause by another 17 seconds.
Fastest: 1 J.Downes (London Irish) 24:43; 2 L.Hurst 24:46; 3 N.Miller (Bedford & County) 24:49; 20 W.Lynch 27:02.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 2:30:37; 2 Bedford & County 2:34:09; 3 Shaftesbury Barnet 2:34:11; 24 Belgrave B 2:42:53.
A strangely luck-lustre performance from Richard Ward came next. Your correspondent would have put money on a 16:30 to 16:50 run but after checking and rechecking it had to be acknowledged that the watch had given him a time some way over 17 minutes. Rich had had a heavy week of warm weather training, returning to the UK just a day before the race and in hindsight it looks as if it cost him a precious half-minute. Paradoxically, our lead went up yet again to 3:57 as both Bedford and Shaftesbury had to dig deep for short stage runners. Indoor European 1500m bronze medallist Michael East brought Newham & Essex Beagles back into the fray with the day’s fastest run.
Fastest: 1 M.East (Newham & Essex Beagles) 16:07; 2 R.Ward (Belgrave) 17:15; 3 A.Lynch (Thames H&H) 17:24; 22 S.Connor 19:23.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 2:47:52; 2 Bedford & County 2:51:49; 3 Shaftesbury Barnet 2:52:24; 24 Belgrave B 3:02:16.
Talk about “putting the boot in.” Having established a lead that had the last few Belgrave runners not knowing whether to laugh with relief or cry with the worry of it all going wrong after this, we unleashed our cruise missile. The ever popular Paul Evans – 41 next week and the only man in the team who was also in our 1990 squad – set off on a tour of Milton Keynes that will be talked about in Belgrave circles for a long while to come. After the Bath Half Marathon Paul figured that maybe he was “a bit ring rusty” needing a few races to set him up for the World Half Marathon Cup. A mere 23 minutes or so later Paul stormed up the finishing slope to all round applause having run the day’s fastest long stage time and beating our best ever of 23:55, set by Justin Chaston – who was also in that 1990 team. Within minutes Paul was busy signing autographs and looking forward to his next outing in a Belgrave vest at Sutton Park. The lead was just two seconds short of five minutes, a course record looked to be “on”, the B team were 16 places clear of Thames Hare & Hounds B team and the words of a favourite comedian from the past came to mind: “It’s turned out nice again!”
Fastest: 1 P.Evans (Belgrave) 23:47; 2 K.Stone (Newham & Essex Beagles) 24:15; 3 T.Naylor (Phoenix) 25:08; 28 L.Catley 27:58.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 3:11:39; 2 Newham & Essex Beagles 3:16:41; 3 Bedford & County 3:17:47; 22 Belgrave B 3:30:14.
Joachim Wolf was delighted to be in the team, having persuaded his employers to let him have time off from a conference in Amsterdam to fly home for the race. With the words of his boss ringing in his ears, “If I let you go then you’d better win …“ Joachim ran to his best time on the short course and the lead went up to 5:07. Yet again Bedford & County and Newham & Essex Beagles entertained by switching positions, with the former club’s Hugh Lobb running a late-race 16:33 and the Essex team plugging away with an 18:24.
Fastest: 1 H.Lobb (Bedford & County) 16:33; 2 J.Wolf (Belgrave) 17:34; 3 D.Symons (Thames Hare & Hounds) 17:48; 32 J.Galley 20:22.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 3:29:13; 2 Bedford & County 3:34:20; 3 Newham & Essex Beagles 3:35:05; 22 Belgrave B 3:50:36.
Just seven seconds covered the times set by long stagers Freary, Hurst and Nash and now Ally Stewart churned out our second best of the day – 24:41 to pip Kevin Nash by a second. Robinson of the “Beagles” came up with a good time to take their black and yellow colours into the silver medal position yet again but it was Belgrave on top by well over a mile with Stewart second fastest on the stage and the lead now nearing six minutes.
Fastest: 1 A.Robinson (Newham & Essex Beagles) 24:37; 2 A.Stewart (Belgrave) 24:41; 3 N.Sirs (Exeter) 25:19; 26 C.Dickinson 27:41.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 3:53:54; 2 Newham & Essex Beagles 3:59:42; 3 Bedford & County 4:00:01; 23 Belgrave B 4:18:17.
Surely all the Captain had to do was smile and pose for pictures – but he too was making a bid for the AAA team and far from posing in the finishing straight, had arms and legs pumping to get the best time possible. Roger Alsop’s 17:24 was his best ever at Milton Keynes and he maintained a remarkable achievement for the team: every Belgrave runner on every leg improved our position – not once did we lose ground to the teams behind and that final margin was 5 minutes and 54 seconds.
The Bs also finished with a flourish. Not at his fittest, Will Cockerell had missed out on the A team but came along to watch – and in the end couldn’t resist having a fling for the Bs. Their magnificent 21st place to win the first B team prizes was only one place away from a qualification slot for the National Road Relay – except that only one team from each club is allowed the chance to tackle Sutton Park.
Fastest: 1 L..Mathews (Thames H&H) 17:21; 2 R.Alsop (Belgrave) 17:24; 3 M.Kearns (Newham & Essex Beagles) 17:30; 11 W.Cockerell 18:29.
Teams: 1 Belgrave 4:11:18; 2 Newham & Essex Beagles 4:17:12; 3 Bedford & County 4:18:27; 4 Thames Hare & Hounds 4:20:03; 5 Shaftesbury Barnet 4:20:25; 6 Aldershot, Farnham & Dist. 4:24:59; 21 Belgrave B 4:36:46; 48 teams finished.
Fastest long stages: 1 P.Evans (Belgrave) 23:47; 2 K.Bowditch (Newham & Essex Beagles) 23:54; 3 R.Finch (Southampton RC) 23:55; 13 A.Stewart 24:41; 14 K.Nash 24:42; 19 L.Hurst 24:46; =22 P.Freary 24:49.
Fastest short stages: 1 M.East (Newham & Essex Beagles) 16:07; 2 D.Anderson (Belgrave) 16:19; =3 S.Sharp (Belgrave H) and H.Lobb (Bedford & County) 16:33; 8 R.Ward 17:15; 13 R.Alsop 17:24; 17 J.Blackledge 17:27; 21 K.Quinn 17:31; 22 J.Wolf 17:24.
A great many thanks are due to the Belgrave supporters who turned out in good numbers to urge their men on. And a special word for the Bs. who plugged away so diligently.
The congratulations were soon flying about by e-mail as is customary these days and it was good to hear from Houston based Justin Chaston: “Congratulations on another great team performance. Quite a different scenario from the last time we won. I remember taking over in 1990 on the last leg with a man breathing down my neck! “
Sutton Coldfield – here we come!
The "Valley's" road relay falls to Belgrave after 51 years
PUMA Thames Valley H 3 x 3.5 miles Road Relay, Stockley Park, 23 March 2002.
Well, it’s been a long time coming, but at last we’ve managed to break the spell and pull off a win in Thames Valley Harriers’ long standing road relay. We have to go way back for previous victories: 1945, 1947 and 1951! And not only did we come away with first team prize, but the booty included first B team prizes, fastest and third fastest laps – and perhaps more importantly the muddy waters of team selection for the SEAA 12-Stage relay two weeks later became a little clearer.
Kevin Nash seems a born relay runner. Running tired after another week of heavy mileage, he took on the mantle of “lead-off” man and pulled further and further away from the main bunch but with Shaftesbury’s Kojo Kyereme sitting on his shoulder as the final stretch was reached, Kev knew the kick was coming sooner or later – and it did. But the Belgrave man held together well to clock the day’s third fastest time. A forward placing was also claimed for the Bs with Joachim Wolf reducing his previous best for the circuit by 17 seconds.
Coming back from a nasty ankle injury sustained while slipping on ice around Christmas-time, Paul Freary set off after our North London rivals and after a mile had moved into solid lead that stretched to 58 seconds by the end of the lap. The man is back and has staked a persuasive claim be included in the squad for both “big ones” ahead of us.
The pressure was on now for Kevin Quinn and Roger Alsop to hold on to that gap. They coped admirably as Shaftesbury came back oh! so slightly to 45 seconds and then 40 seconds before Iron Man Sharp cut loose on the final stage. Steve clocked the day’s fastest time and stretched the lead out to a final 1 minute 53 second margin as Shaftesbury collapsed to third and Windsor, SE&H finished with a flourish that took them to second. The Belgrave team time was a course record. Can three wins in three weeks be classed as a win streak?
Hassan Raidi, back from training in Morocco, ran a storming 4th leg for the Bs to ensure that further prizes came Belgrave’s way. Now the owner of a British passport he is searching for a berth in England’s Commonwealth Games team.
1, Belgrave H 1:27:38; 2 Windsor SE&H AC 1:29:31; 3 Shaftesbury Barnet H 1:30:05; 7 Belgrave H ‘B’ 1:32:41; 31 teams started.
A – K.Nash (2) 17:08; P.Freary (1) 17:10; K.Quinn (1) 18:19; R.Alsop (1) 18:04; S.Sharp (1) 16:57.
B – J.Wolf (6) 18:05; J.Browne 18:39; N.Hliouat 18:42; H.Raidi (6) 17:27; S.Connor (7) 19:49.
C – R.Bale 24:10.
Gold and Silver in Bath Bonanza
Paul Evans, Charles Herrington, Kassa Tadesse and Al Stewart - AAA Half
Bath Half Marathon inc. UKA & AAA Championships, 17 March 2002.
The team travelled to the West Country, racing strategy focused by the following quote on the Bath Half Marathon website:
"Current 6-stage champions Belgrave look favourites to win the men's team event following Paul Evans' recent entry, but face strong competition from Tipton, Swansea & Morpeth. Whilst the women's team event is shaping up for a classic head to head between defending AAA's 10k champions Arena 80, Bedford & County, Belgrave & Shaftesbury. Can Belgrave sweep the board this year ? Its not too late to join in and spoil their party !"
Well, we didn’t quite sweep the board, but the party was far from spoiled as the Club celebrated its best ever day as far as combined men’s and women’s running performances were concerned.
Conditions deteriorated from being sunny and still at 8am to those of occasional light rain at race time, with a breeze which proved to be more of a nuisance than an out and out hindrance; you know the sort of thing – against on the long drag out to the turn and then no help at all on the trip back. The course was described as flat but there were certainly one or two rises that had the support team blowing.
Some 4,000 runners gathered between the warm coloured Georgian buildings that line each side of broad Great Pulteney Street and on the stroke of 11am they were sent on their way. With £1000 on offer for a win plus an identical figure for a course record it soon became very serious at the sharp end of the contest. After a mile and a half the field had settled down but a large cluster of runners had already detached itself at the front with Paul Evans and Kassa Tadesse near its head and Mike Trees bringing up its rear. Then came a short break before Al Stewart led the main field across the Avon and up into town before heading out along the Avon valley. Already Anne Hegvold was our leading female, looking so at home on the roads after a winter of cross country.
As reported elsewhere, Mike Trees had been suffering from the after effects of a crash on his bike sustained while triathlon training and, unhappily, although he had come through some fierce competition soon after the smash, his knee was now giving him a few problems. By six miles the leading group had thinned and Mike was suffering more than most. There was absolutely no problem with his breathing, it was just that cursed knee. Al Stewart was pulling him back now and Charles Herrington, minus his claret bandana was also working his way through. Up to about 13th in the women’s race, Juliette Clark was looking stronger as the distance unwound and Anne continued to go “great guns” ahead. Around about the 20s Mathilde Heaton looked very comfortable but unfortunately for us is not yet eligible to score in claret & gold. Erica Fogg was closing in our women’s team but didn’t seem to be running with her normal fluency.
Through town again with the pulsating band of drummers hammering the runners out onto their second lap. Mike Trees wisely called it a day before doing himself any more damage and Charlie was swiftly made aware that he was now closing in the team as fourth man – and didn’t he just relish that responsibility. It was obvious that there wasn’t going to be another male team to touch us on this day – and we still had Lee Hurst, Knut Hegvold and Mike Kazimierski in the wings. The women’s race was much closer to call but as our supporters made their way back to Great Pulteney Street for the finish we were at least sure that they were also in the medals.
It was not a day for fast times. Kassa’s training partner William Musyoki enjoyed a hard fought and close victory over Morpeth’s Mark Hudspith but although early intermediate times suggested a sub-63 clocking, the second lap took its toll and all runners seemed to be one and a half to two minutes down on expected times; the course record stayed intact. First veteran and fourth UK runner, our own Paul Evans missed out on automatic selection for the World Cup as he came home 5th. Paul may well get the nod through having a faster qualifying time to his name already. Kassa dawdled across the line half a minute later and when Al (a personal best and thrilled with his medal, if not his time) and Charlie (exhilarated) went under the finish banner we were home and metaphorically dry – AAA Champions.
With Anne and Juliette well up the field and through the finish long before any other club had two home, we held our breath and waited for Erica. But it was none other than Tania Sturton that hove into view next and rapid calculations showed that we seemed to be quite clear of Arena 80. However, it was not to be. A Dulwich runner had come through without being spotted and with a runner right up in third place they had done just enough to deny our women their first ever National team title.
Men: 1 W.Musyoki (Kenya) 64:14; 2 M.Hudspith (Morpeth) 64:17; 3 C.Thackery (Hallamshire) 64:28; 5 P.Evans 64:47; 6 K.Tadesse 65:19; 17 A.Stewart 68:40; 26 C.Herrington 69:41; 32 L.Hurst 70:56; 46, K.Hegvold 72:29; 71 M.Kazimierski 75:14; M.Trees dnf.
Team: 1 Belgrave H; 2 Leeds City AC; 3 Westbury H.
Women: 1 J.Lodge (Windsor SE&H) 74:01; 2 S.Dixon (Parkside) 75:14; 3 A.Fletcher (Dulwich R) 76:07; 8 A.Hegvold 79:28; 10 J.Clark 81:17; 19 M.Heaton (n/s) 85:35; T.Sturton 90:39; E.Fogg; J.Lawrence. Official times and positions not yet available.
Team: 1 Dulwich R; 2 Belgrave H; 3 Arena 80.
Juliette Clark, Tania Sturton and Anne Hegvold - AAA Silver Medallists. Photo by Patricia Mead
Fast 5k times in spite of the wind - Bels. win but Mark Miles just misses record bonus
Solent 5kms, Ocean Village, Southampton, 10 March 2002.
With the wind strength chalked up on the nearby Harbourmaster’s Board as 6 or 7 (moderate gale) and to the accompanying metallic cacophony of the masts in the nearby marina being lashed by their rigging, a classy field lined up for Team Solent’s 5k promotion. Steve Sharp has a winning record around this course but was not going to find it easy with Rod Finch (Southampton Runners), Angus Maclean (Team Solent) and our own Mark Miles among the throng.
With the sounding of the klaxon Belgrave vests were immediately prominent and within the first kilometre Sharp and Miles went clear with, perhaps, Steve looking the more comfortable as they made the most of the wind at their backs. The three kilometre point was reached in a speedy 8:20 but as the field returned they had to bear more and more of the gale against them. The next kilometre took around three minutes and then, into the very worst of the wind, it was Mark Miles, pushing on away from his club mate in an attempt to crack the course record and pick up the £100 bonus. He had 14:23 to beat and as he entered the finish area he tore across the final stretch with one eye on the clock and the other on the line – 14:20, 14:21, 14:22 – missed it! Or rather equalled it – but as far as the bonus was concerned, it was gone.
It was a great run from Steve too who ran his fastest ever time around the course and set a 5k road personal best. Al Stewart also had a cracking run with no easing down for the event, setting himself up nicely for the Bath Half Marathon the following week, and it was great to see Kevin Nash back in action. Both these men put some fine runners behind them and it was a shame that the wind cost them all 15-20 seconds
Maria Sharp’s preparation for the race was not all that it might have been as she had suffered a bout of food poisoning during the preceding week. Shaftesbury’s Lucy Elliott was a clear winner with Maria finishing 17 seconds down on Wells City Harrier Jane Livings.
Men: 1 M.Miles (Belgrave) 14:23; 2 S.Sharp 14:30; 3 R.Finch (Southampton R) 14:58; 5 A.Stewart 15:12; 6 K.Nash 15:18.
Team: 1 Belgrave H 14; 2 Southampton R 35; 3 Southampton University 71.
Women: 1 L.Elliott (Shaftesbury Barnet H) 16:24; 3 M.Sharp 17:42.
Allen Graffin wins "National" silver
National Cross Country Champs., Bristol, 23 February 2002.
Officially the temperature was just three degrees centigrade at noon but with the race course at Ashton Court perched high on the ridge overlooking Bristol and a howling north westerly gale carrying sleet and rain in squalls throughout the day, it felt considerably colder. Our support team were on the course at 7:30am trying to put up the Belgrave tent but having just about decided that the wind was far too strong to leave it unattended, a huge gust caught the half erected structure, snapping the frame and rendering it useless – no shelter for Belgrave Harriers on this occasion. Conditions were at their worst for the senior men’s race late in the day when horizontal sleet painfully stung any exposed flesh and runners shivered uncontrollably after the race as they tried to don warm clothing.
But while bodies were cold, hearts were warmed by some terrific Belgrave performances, not least being the silver medal winning performance by Allen Graffin. No Belgravian has won an individual medal in this event since 1948 (V.Blowfield – 2nd), with our only other individual medal coming in 1937 (J.Ginty – 3rd). If you’ve not believed it before – believe it now: we can win team medals in this event in the next few years.
Jonathan Blackledge set things up for a good day with a fighting run in the Under 17 Men’s event – the first race of the day. In this his last run in the age group the Belgrave man was hoping for a position in the top six and he did not disappoint. Cannock & Stafford’s Humphries made an early and successful bid to get away but the fight for the remaining places was far from over. As the race progressed Jonathan looked stronger. He moved from 6th up to 5th, then into 4th and for a while it seemed that he might even get into the bronze medal position. Turning into the finish straight and fighting the full force of the gale he was caught again but all was not over and he rallied to just get into 4th place as the funnel was reached. Contact between the runners resulted in him being pushed as he crossed the line and unfortunately the race officials read this as an attempt by Jonathan to push ahead after the finish had been crossed. Unfairly he was placed in 5th spot (with an “Oi! Belgrave. Get back”) and given the same time as 4th. It was obvious that no amount of arguing was going to change the decision and he had to accept his fate but it was a good job that a medal did not hang in the balance. Jonathan now looks forward to life as an Under 20, a bit more distance in his races (which he prefers) and in the short term some road relay runs.
One of the drawbacks of this venue was the fact that having parked the car one was faced with a bus ride to a dropping of point which was still some 15 minutes hike from the course – not too good for those travelling down on the day. The Hegvolds arrived with just enough time for Anne to warm up for the Senior Women’s race but poor Tania Sturton’s appearance coincided with the sounding of the starter’s maroon. The four hundred starters were some two minutes down the course before she’d got her shoes and number on and set off in their wake.
Within a mile Anne Hegvold was running strongly in the 40s and each time she came into view more runners had been put behind her. By the finish she’d reached an outstanding 32nd place – the highest position that we’ve ever had in the women’s race – and all her normal Surrey League rivals were left trailing. Clearly the outstanding runner of the winter season Anne had a huge advantage in carrying off our Ladies Cross Country Plate – and wouldn’t it be nice to put a solid team around her for next year’s “National” at Parliament Hill. Tania, meantime, having caught the rear half of the field, had decided that the exercise was pointless and came out.
Allen Graffin places second to win Belgrave's first individual "National" medal since 1948.
Into the second lap and Allen Graffin tracks Matthew Smith of Tipton. Windsor's Sam Haughian is away
but Shaftesbury's Emile De Jonge is just ahead of these two.
With just nine men turning out in the Senior Men’s race we could not afford to lose a single body during the contest; and in spite of the weather doing its worst and the fact that two of our number were short of training after injury problems, we are happy to report that once again we achieved our target of a top ten place at both six and nine to score.
Claret and gold was prominent in the initial charge – and positively dazzling after a mile when Allen Graffin had taken close order in a pack of half a dozen or so that was headed by Blackheath’s Dave Taylor. Soon it was time for Sam Haughian to begin his push and as the Windsor man drew away the pack behind him thinned and just four men were left in contention for the minor placings. Already Al Stewart, the pace-king who comes through as the race unwinds, was in the 60s but he had close company in the form of Charles Herrington, shielding his eyes from the sleet as he ran.
A lap later Tipton’s Matt Smith was dropping out of medal contention and it was now left to Emile de Jonge, the Shaftesbury Barnet “Southern” winner, and our own Allen Graffin to duel for silver and bronze in the ice laden wind. Gradually the Belgravian prised open a gap and from there on he just seemed to fly and even the margin to Haughian at the head of the race seemed to shrink. Alaster too was on a charge – he was into the 50s and running down training partners Major (SLH), Kyereme (Shaftesbury Barnet) and Wurr (Thames H&H) – and then into the 40s as he completed the cross country race of his life.
The rest of the team was holding up well. Lee Hurst and Will Cockerell faded a little but at last Joachim Wolf was digging out that good run for which we’ve been waiting. Back from a four month stint in India James Browne could not have found the conditions more different from those on the Indian sub-continent had he landed in Alaska but he fought hard to lead in the men that made up our “niners” – Mal Byansi and Alister Jones.
As far as the Cross Country Plate was concerned it was no change at the top and “Our Will” came away with yet another trophy. He was the only man from forty scorers to turn out in all six races. However, just out of the medals it was all change as Alister Jones and Joachim Wolf shot up the list but just failed to dislodge a non-competing Stephen Sharp.
Senior Men's 12 kms. 1 S.Haughian (Windsor SE&H) 39:26; 2 Allen Graffin (Belgrave H) 39:51; 3 E.DeJonge (Shaftesbury Barnet H) 40:02; … 46 A.Stewart 42:14; 69 C.Herrington 42:49; 155 L.Hurst 44:42; 201 J.Wolf 45:23; 220 W.Cockerell 45:40; 286 J.Browne 46:43; 336 M.Byansi 47:13; 392 A.Jones 47:55; 1220 finished.
Teams: Six to score 1 Bingley H 184; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet H 198; 3 Salford H 247; 4 Leeds AC 250; 5 Bedford & Cnty 348; 6 Tipton H 497; 7 Notts AC 561; 8 Blackheath H 654; 9 Belgrave H 693; 10 Aldershot F&D 718; 92 clubs closed in.
Nine to score: 1 Shaftesbury Barnet H 499; 2 Salford H 519; 3 Bingley H 527; 4 Leeds AC 673; 5 Bedford & Cnty 808; 6 Tipton H 1307; 7 Blackheath H 1429; 8 Notts AC 1597; 9 Aldershot F&D 1630; 10 Belgrave H 1707; 43 teams closed in.
Under 17 Men's 6 kms. 1 T.Humphries (Cannock & Staffs) 19:29; 2 R.McLeod (Elswick) 19:35; 3 O.Freeman (Invicta EK) 19:47; 4 T.Lancashire (Bolton) 19:51; 5 J.Blackledge (Belgrave) 19:51; 204 finished.
Senior Women's 8 kms. 1 L.Yelling (Bedford & Cnty) 27:36; 2 A.Allen (Birchfield) 28:39; 3 L.Elliott (Shaftesbury Barnet H) 29:04; 32 A.Hegvold 31:07; dnf T.Sturton; 385 finished.
Belles win Surrey League Division Two
Women’s Surrey Cross Country League Division One, Race Four, Farthing Downs, Coulsdon, 2 February 2002.
Catherine Eastham writes:- The Belles’ track and field success from last season was followed by an equally superb win and promotion in the cross country where they dominated Division 2 throughout the season. Unlike the track competition, weather conditions for the cross country were considerably worse, and Saturday’s blustery conditions at the top of Farthing Downs were not ideal.
Despite a strong showing for the first three matches the Belles team was lacking in numbers (comparatively) for the final race, and there were fears that although promotion was probable, it might not be as Division 2 champions.
However, with the individual overall Division Two winner Anne Hegvold at the front of the pack, claiming third overall and first for Division 2, strongly supported by Juliette Clark in 2nd (8th overall), the front end of the team looked promising. Syreeta Stracey’s performance has improved considerably over the season and her 8th place enabled her to claim the medal for the 2nd placed individual Division 2 athlete.
Our usual packing near the front was lacking in final race and after a tumble on the course Catherine Eastham was the Belles fourth scorer, with Team Captain Nina Mills bringing the team home in 54th. With the fear that we weren’t going to have a full team out Jacqui Smiter bravely donned her spikes despite being injured most of the season and supported Diane Hopkins to ensure that a complete scoring squad finished.
Provided we maintain similar performances throughout the season next year, and build upon the solid individual and team performances, the Belles look set to make their mark in Division One.
Our juniors also showed good form on the day, with Kim Collier rounding up a team that earned silver medal positions for their overall performance this season. Individual U13/U15 Gold went to Louise Collier and with the majority of the team still qualifying for the age group next season as well, could team gold also beckon?
Louise Collier came home 2nd but for the third time this season athletes were misdirected off course. Kirsty Burns, still only U13, came home 12th, although Catherine Olawore had been ahead of her the entire way only to collapse on the finishing line and be leapt over by several athletes including Kirsty.
Our supporting sprinters in the shape of Shareena McGregor, Emily Collins and Charlotte Hopkins packed closely together to complete the team.
1 A Hegvold (Belgrave) 22:14; 2 J.Clark (Belgrave) 22:41; 3 D.Smale (Stragglers) 23:39; 8 S.Stracey 24:11; 37 C.Eastham 28:29; 54 N.Mills 30:57; 67 D.Hopkins 33:06; 68 J.Smiter 33:09; 80 finished.
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 101; 2 Holland Sports 105; 3 Stragglers 112; 16 teams closed in.
Final Individual positions: 1 A.Hegvold (Belgrave); 2 S.Stracey (Belgrave); 3 C.O’Neill (British Airways).
Final team positions: 1 Belgrave 64 (218); 2 Stragglers 61 (324); 3 Reigate Priory 52 (556); 18 teams took part.
Under 15/Under 13 Girls.
1 A.Beverly (Ranelagh) 15:57; 2 L.Collier (Belgrave) 16:18; 3 I.Stoddart (Hercules Wimb. U13) 16:29; 12 K.Burns (U13) 17:16; 16 C.Olawore 17:20; 30 S.McGregor 18:44; 33 E.Collins (U13) 19:19; 34 C.Hopkins 19:39; 40 finished.
Teams: 1 Kingston & Poly H 41; 2 Belgrave 59; 3 Ranelagh 63; 11 teams closed in.
Final individual positions: 1 L.Collier (Belgrave); 2 S.Holverston (Herne Hill); 3 A.Beverly (Ranelagh).
Final team positions: 1 Sutton & Dist. 43 (226); 2 Belgrave 40 (275); 3 Dorking MV 36 (308); 14 teams took part.
Surrey Cross Country League title goes to Belgrave
Big guns - and "Foley on Fire" - save the day
“Sweatshop” Surrey Cross Country League Division One, Race Four, Farthing Downs, Coulsdon, 2 February 2002.
Well, the Surrey League was finally won but not without an almighty battle against Thames Hare & Hounds on Farthing Downs in which our rivals all but carried off the league title. Just six points in it at the end – probably the narrowest winning margin ever – and two incredibly low total team scores. With the rivalry between Thames & Belgrave as it is now, an average score for each match of 180 has got to be looked for to be in with a chance of topping the league. It must be stated, too, that that rivalry is of the most friendly variety and if the positions had been reversed then one could only have said that they’d have truly deserved to have won.
Six points. That means that every runner throughout the season who overtook a man in the final straight and every man who turned out when he felt like staying at home had a hand in this win – from Lee Hurst, 2nd in match one, right through to Ray Foley, placing 45th and scoring 41, our tenth man in match four. More of Ray later!
Hurst, Freary, Moss, Hegvold, Zawadski – what a line-up – and all currently on the injured list. Ward, Anderson, Sharp, Nash – all racing indoors in the AAA held on the same weekend. Miles – at the British University Champs. Match four was always going to be difficult, but it was no easy path for Thames either – they had placed seven men in the finishing funnel before we had one man home the previous weekend, so the majority of their team on Farthing Downs had nine miles of Parliament Hill still in their legs. Luckily we were able to wheel out some big guns new to the league in Paul Evans, Kent Champion Allen Graffin, and the ubiquitous Mike Trees who seems to be popping up at the sharp end of races every weekend.
In blustery conditions the field set out taking the clockwise route around the course. The home club’s Stuart Major took the initiative up the first long drag with Evans, Graffin and Don Naylor of Thames settling in close behind. Mike Trees was chasing hard but while we were well represented at the front, a whole posse of white vests, maybe ten of them, came through in a bunch while we were having to go some way back for the rest of our team. Not only that, we found to our consternation that our own Stephen Kennefick, tipped for a final place not far short of 10th, had dropped out at the top of the rise! Stephen had kept knowledge of his cold to himself but once the race was under way, knew that on this day he would be unable to help.
Approaching the end of lap one Major had dropped away. The leading Belgrave trio were looking strong but those Thames men were swinging the race their way with a vengeance and as we were going back to Ray Foley or Alister Jones in the high fifties for our last man it looked as if the league title was going to slip away from us as we were at least 50 points adrift, far outweighing the 37 point advantage we took into the race.
The team manager and supporters urgently made our runners aware of the situation and every one of them pushed hard and tried to take a man or two around that second circuit. Alaster Stewart was now into the top ten but Paul Evans took a tumble whilst leading, and with the wind temporarily knocked out of him it was left to Allen Graffin to tackle Don Naylor. Drama though that was, the most exciting event for us was occurring three minutes back down the field. Ray Foley was setting about the men ahead of him like a demon. He’s run some good races for the Bels in the past and has gained SEAA and Surrey medals in our colours but there was probably never a more significant run for us than this one. Some ten or eleven men felt his draught over the final 2 miles – ten or eleven points that saved the day.
A few final statistics: Twenty-two different runners scored for the Bels throughout the series but only two men scored in all four races – Will Cockerell and Cap’n Roger Alsop; no fewer than forty-two Belgrave runners featured on the four results sheets. Well done to all of them.
In the younger age groups we were within striking distance of pulling off two more team wins but the home club were too strong for us in the under 17/15 event and we were unable to turn out any under 13 lads so had to settle for a couple of second places.
1 D.Naylor (Thames H&H) 28:06; 2 Allen Graffin (Belgrave) 28:08; 3 P.Evans (Belgrave) 28:26; 5 M.Trees 28:58; 9 A.Stewart 29:40; 17 C.Herrington 30:05; 20 R.Alsop 30:15; 23 W.Cockerell 30:27; 34 J.Wolf 31:04; 35 K.Quinn 31:13; 45 R.Foley 31:46; 56 A.Jones 32:18; 70 W.Lynch 32:59; 71 L.Greatorex 33:02; 76 S.Nelson 33:14; 80 C.Dickinson 33:24; 96 S.Connor 34:20; 101 M.Anderson 34:37; 110 J.Skilbeck Nelson 35:38; 113 R.Marcus 36:08; 141 E Asiedu 45:11; 145 finished.
Teams: 1 Thames H&H 150; 2 Belgrave H 181; 3 Herne Hill H 284; 4 Aldershot F&D 498; 5 Reigate Priory AC 529; 6 South London H 531; 7 Ranelagh H 531; 8 West 4 H 644; 9 Boxhill R 747.
Final League Result: 1 Belgrave H 730; 2 Thames H&H 736; 3 Herne Hill H 1176; 4 Aldershot F&D 1979; 5 South London H 1999; 6 Ranelagh H 2054; 7 Reigate Priory AC 2340; 8 West 4 H 2519; 9 Boxhill R 2855.
Under 17 Men/Under 15 Boys.
1 M.Lloyd (South London) 16:17; 6 P.Cowling 18:26; 8 E.Rimdap 18:36; 9 J.Ordway 21:28; 10 R.Collier 21:40; 11 J.Simes 30:00; 12 R.Bailey 30:00.
Teams 1 South London 18; 2 Belgrave 44; 3 Herne Hill 118.
Final team positions: 1 South London 243.5; 2 Belgrave 281; 3 Herne Hill 390.5.
Under 13 Boys.
Final team positions: 1 South London H 240.5; 2 Belgrave H 367; 3 Herne Hill H 382.5.
Will leads the team on the "blasted heath"
Jonathan Blackledge sixth in Under 17 race
SEAA Cross Country Championships, Parliament Hill, 26 February 2002.
In the worst conditions that we can remember at “Parly Hill” Will Cockerell shrugged off his disappointment that many of our top guns were giving this one a miss and fought his way around 15 kilometres of leg-sapping terrain to become our first ever holder of the Endurance Cup. He also moved into first place in the Cross Country Plate competition and, barring injury, will be difficult to dislodge in the remaining two races.
Louise Collier was first in action for the Bels. and as the rain drove horizontally across the slopes and the ground began to churn up nicely, she came home in the middle of the under 15 girls field.
Suffering from a run of colds Jonathan Blackledge has managed to keep to his racing itinerary and having bagged the Hampshire Schools title the previous weekend at Gang Warily, near Fawley, now tested himself over the North London hills. A steady start saw him working his way through the field until coming out of the final clump of trees he found himself in 5th place but under attack from a small group behind him. Jon must have been pleased with this result, bearing in mind missed training through the “sniffles”, and now looks forward to the Inter-Counties in a few weeks time.
With the wind now at hurricane force and rain and sleet having found its way through every seam of clothing and into every sportsbag, our senior women gathered for their event. Even the liquid mud was now being whipped across the landscape and the Belgrave flag, that has seen so many glorious and grim occasions in the last six years, finally submitted in its battle with the elements and flew off to lie in the morass. Anne Hegvold and Juliette Clark looked at the scene and decided, as we did not have a full squad anyway, to save themselves for better days. It was left to Tania Sturton – the tougher it is the more she seems to like it – and Mathilde Heaton (not yet eligible to score) to tackle the 8 km course. Both gave a good account of themselves and edged closer to Anne Hegvold’s score in the Ladies Cross Country Plate competition.
Some 1600 pairs of feet had now tortured the terrain and finally it was the turn of 900 senior men to battle three times around the course. Will made the strongest start for the Bels. with Roger Alsop and Charles Herrington chasing him hard up the slope. Roger had to call it a day after one lap, having lost the sole of one of his shoes in the sticky mud. The second lap saw Charles get close to Will’s back as both made progress through into the 60s but a jarred ankle put paid to the former’s charge – and from the look on Will’s face over the last three miles, no-one was going to pass him now as he forced his way up to 50th.
Mal Byansi had only returned from three weeks in Uganda the previous day but the change in temperature did not seem to have done him any harm as he steadily held his place throughout the race and with solid performances from the rest of the lads, at least we finished a team.
As sodden trousers were pulled on over mud streaked legs Alister Jones summed it up – “What an experience!”
Senior Men. 1 E.DeJonge (Shaftesbury Barnet) 51:41; 2 D.Taylor (Blackheath) 51:42; 3 M.Simpson (Windsor SE&H) 52:36; 50 W.Cockerell 57:46; 58 C.Herrington 58:08; 152 M.Byansi 62:24; 217 L.Catley 64:25; 239 A.Jones 65:08; 291 W.Lynch 67:03; 497 Don Anderson 73:41; 810 finished.
Teams: 1 Bedford & County 99; 2 Thames H&H 133; 3 Shaftesbury Barnet 193; 14 Belgrave H 1007; 64 teams closed in.
Under 17 Men. 1 S.Jacobs (Ipswich) 23:50; 2 L.Cadman (Bedford & County) 24:39; 3 D.Lacy (Cambridge & C) 24:40; 6 J.Blackledge 24:48.
Senior Women. 1 H.Yelling (Windsor SE&H) 35:01; 2 J.Wilkinson (Bedford & County) 36:02; 3 C.Dickie (Windsor SE&H) 36:05; 45 M.Heaton 40:36; 68 T.Sturton 42:45; 281 finished.
15 Girls. 1 H.Sykes (Leighton Buzzard) 19:06; 2 I.Lee (Aldershot
F&D) 19:09; 3 H.Jones (Aldershot F&D) 19:23; 103 L.Collier
23:59; 165 finished.
Knut's injury rules out team medals - but new men show their mettle
South of Thames Cross Country Championship, 19 January 2002
With our own Alan Black President of the Association this year, the normal etiquette of this organisation was followed and the course of the Championship race was laid out on his club’s home ground – Wimbledon Common. And there was some excitement on the first lap when it was seen that we had three Belgrave vests in the first five – Mike Trees, Knut Hegvold and SoT “Junior” Champion Stephen Kennefick. In spite of having lost the probable winner Steve Sharp overnight, forced to pull out to avoid aggravating a groin strain, it looked as if we were still going to be in with a chance of a team victory.
South London’s Stuart Major and Mike Trees were setting a strong pace with Stephen Kennefick, psyched up for an attempt at winning himself, the only man to attempt to go with them. Stephen backed off after a while when he realised that the pace was too hot for him and soon found himself being attacked by Knut Hegvold and Herne Hill’s Ian Munt.
Sadly, that early excitement evaporated when, as the runners came around to complete the first lap, it was noted that Knut was nowhere in sight. Going up the steep hill from Queensmere to the Windmill and lying in third position, a calf muscle had twanged sharply and even walking back to the end of the lap proved to be a painful experience. One can only hope that it will not affect Knut’s preparation for the London Marathon too much – and of course we are unlikely to see him in our teams in the races of the next two weekends!
Trees and Major were now well clear with the South London man gaining some advantage as they progressed around the second circuit. But the new Belgravian was not giving up yet and closed again as the finish neared, getting to within 3 seconds of a win.
Stephen Kennefick had a terrific battle on his hands for that third place, eventually overcoming the challenge of Munt by 5 seconds. Lloyd Catley was next in for the Bels. and new member Steve Nelson turned in a promising performance not too far behind.
So, Mike Trees celebrated his first race in Belgrave colours by claiming a silver medal in the 103rd running of the South of Thames Championship. At 39 years of age and becoming a veteran next September, he has returned to the UK after living in Japan for ten years and competing at international level in triathlon events. Unfortunately he has to leave us for a year starting in June but will be back and looking for a home south and or west of London. He’s been under 50 minutes for 10 miles, under 30 for 10k, and one of his ambitions is to go sub 30 again as a veteran. You know, with Knut and Paul Evans and one or two others we really could be unbeatable as a veteran team in the next few years.
Many thanks to Don Anderson, Tony Binda and others who marked and marshalled the course and to Gordon Biscoe for undertaking much of the organisation – including the now additional overhead of undertaking a risk assessment of the course, procuring medical back-up and the availability of an ambulance and obtaining a race permit. Organising events does not get any easier!
1 S Major (South London) 29:02; 2 M.Trees (Belgrave) 29:05; 3 S.Kennefick (Belgrave) 30:19; 24 L.Catley 31:57; 39 S.Nelson 32:46; 44 M.Kazimierski 33:09; 60 W.Lynch; 152 E.Asiedu.
Teams: 1 Thames H&H 114; 2 Herne Hill 122; 3 Kent AC 142; 5 Belgrave 172.
County Cross Country Championships
Surrey County AA Cross Country Champs., Lloyd Park, 5 January 2002.
Despite the relatively mild but foggy weather, writes Catherine Eastham, the field at the start of the senior ladies race seemed smaller than in recent years.
The first three had already set their mark on the race by the end of the first lap, with the Belles following quite closely in their trail. Medal positions seemed guaranteed from an early point in the race provided disaster or injury didn’t strike. The biggest competition was always going to be from SLH who turned out in force.
Juliette Clarke was the first Belle home in 6th, with another very strong cross country performance to reinforce her road running abilities. Erica Fogg, another of our superb triathletes, came in just over a minute later. Fortunately for Belgrave, Erica managed to fit the race in before heading back to University in Bath following her Christmas break.
Tania Sturton and Syreeta Stracey battled out for third and fourth scoring positions pulling each other along over most of the course. Syreeta began to go ahead at the start of the second lap and ended up finishing very strongly, just half a minute down on Erica.
Despite all four Belgrave athletes returning home before the fourth SLH runner, we were pipped to gold by the strong packing of the first three SLH athletes. Still, we can’t complain at silver, and next year, who knows…..
1 J.Kelsey (Army) 33:15; 2 E.Nelson (Epsom & Ewell) 33:25; 3 Z.Hyde-Peters (Woking) 33:28; 6 J.Clark 35:20; 12 E.Fogg 36:24; 15 S.Stracey 36:56; 16 T.Sturton 37:44; 68 finished.
Teams: 1 South London Harriers (5, 6, 7,14) 32; 2 Belgrave Harriers (4, 9, 11, 12) 36; 3 Ranelagh (16, 17, 18, 23) 74; 11 teams closed in.
It's second again for Wardy
Richard Ward was second Under 20 last year to Reigate’s Ed Prickett. Both are still juniors this season and Richard was determined to even up the score this time around in spite of having had months out through that terrible arm injury. A trip round the course with brother Ray a week before the event (in hard and frosty conditions) gave him a time two and a half minutes faster than a year ago so he had every right to feel confident.
Both lads were caught napping by the starter’s gun as they chatted to each other on the start line but in the space of a few hundred metres they were clear of the field and it was a two man race from thereon. Unfortunately a fall by Richard on the first circuit gave Ed just the break he needed and from that point the Belgrave man couldn’t get back on even terms again. Conditions were very muddy and it was obvious that Richard was going to be unable to match that time trial. A ten metre gap became twenty and as the second lap unreeled, twenty became forty – and silver medal had to be settled for again; nevertheless, it was a fine run for a man with only seven weeks running behind him.
1 E.Prickett (Reigate Priory) 28:24; 2 R.Ward (Belgrave) 29:19; 13 finished.
And so to the last race of the day at Lloyd Park – the senior men. Once again it was almost a non-event for the Bels. and it was left to Will Cockerell to fly the Belgrave (and USA colours) as South London and Herne Hill battled it out for the team race. Will worked his way through the field to get up to 20th but professed to finding it rather hard without a team to fight for. Mike Kazimierski had taken a training spin on his bike in the morning and after 12 kms of running we wondered whether this “iron man” was scheduling a swim for the evening!
1 D.Taylor (Herne Hill) 41:51; 2 G.Staines (SLH) 42:01; 3 A.Moses (Reigate Priory) 42:12; 20 W.Cockerell 46:30; 52 M.Kazimierski 50:18; 100 D.Anderson 55:16; 169 finished.
Teams: 1 Herne Hill H 71; 2 Boxhill R 102; 3 South London H 107; 14 teams closed in.
Allen Graffin wins in Kent . . .
Allen Graffin showed that he is making good progress after months of hamstring problems. At Sevenoaks he came home in 38:08, 11 seconds clear of the Medway & Maidstone duo of Mike Coleman (38:19) and Barry Royden (39:14) to become Belgrave’s first ever winner of the Kent Championships and the only man to have won the championship three times in a row.
. . . and a new man takes Silver in Berkshire
In the Berkshire Championship, 39 year old triathlete Mike Trees surprised by placing second. This man has run sub-30 for 10kms in his time and we look forward to him racing in Belgrave colours in the very near future.
1 T.Antao (Windsor SE&H) 39:16; 2 M.Trees 39:47; 3 R.Lee (Windsor SE&H) 40:17.
Another fine run from Jon Blackledge in Hampshire
Down at Dibden Inclosure, Appledore, near the New Forest, the Hampshire Under 17 title went to Jonathan Blackledge. Mike Blackledge tells us that it was the 10th and last race of the day over a distance of 5.8 kms. It was already a very overcast day and by the time they ran, conditions had become very gloomy. The field was small but of a high quality, as witnessed by the fact that the Hampshire team recently convincingly won the South of England Inter-Counties match and stand a good chance of a very high finish in the UK Inter-Counties next month.
The course comprised a small loop followed by a larger one across heath and heather, with about a third of each loop through dense woods on steeply sloped, narrow and root-covered paths before emerging back onto the heath for a very long, flat and fast straight. Jonathan's time was 18:40 with the runner-up 8 seconds behind him and the rest of the field very dispersed.
Not surprisingly Jonathan was the only Belgrave runner at the meeting and obviously wore his kit and track suit a fact which was soon noticed by the Hampshire team manager and Belgravian Gerry North. No doubt the sight of Jonathan in full flight at the head of the field brough back memories for our Gerry!
1 J.Blackledge 18:40; 2 T.Davies (Team Solent) 18:48; 3 J.Hogan (Winchester) 19:00; 23 finished.
Championships, Cranford: Senior Men 1 J.Downes (London Irish) 38:30; 6
R.Ashe 40:23. Senior Women 1 E Fisher (Shaftesbury Barnet) 30:12; 8