Storm Brendan fortunately decided to arrive after the weekend, resulting in relatively “pleasant” off-road conditions for our two penultimate Cross Country matches of the season. Alongside these, we also had racing at Dorney Lake, a race in Portugal, and a trail run in Hampshire.
Men’s Cross Country Race 3 – Oxshott Woods
Conditions were significantly better than November’s race at Epsom Race Course. Gone was the freezing rain, and, despite a bracing breeze, this was a pleasant as cross country gets.
We had a great turnout for this 3-lap affair at Oxshott (just beyond Esher) – 28 club members!! Out on the course were: Aaron Morjaria; Peter Moore; John Borton; Alexie Calvert-Ansari; Stephen Flexer; Richard Bridger; James Nellany; Euan Lees; Stewart Juroszek; Joe Croft; Freddie Skarbek; Xavier Faux; Jonty Bloomfield; Rob Argles; Mark Benton; Richard Harper; Andy Brewer; Sean Clancy; Alex Naudi; Andrew Jack; Jose Lopez; Keiran Allen; Christian Marcos; Will Averill; Tim How; Andrea Sala; Dominic Masters; and, yours truly (litter picking near the back).
We had some fantastic individual performances, with nearly everyone completing the tough 5 mile course in under 45 minutes, and nearly all our Team A & B finishers in under 40!
Epsom & Ewell put forward a strong squad, resulting in a mass of red and yellow flying past on the last lap, and helping them take both A and B team wins. However, our own great athletes put us only 3 places down in the A list, and 2nd for our B team!
In the words of Mark Benton:
“All, many thanks to 28 people who showed up at Oxshott Woods for race 3 – a great turnout over a technical course ensured a strong performance.
- A Team: 4th (386 points); and, B Team: 2nd (186 points)
First home A: John Borton, Alexie Calvert- Ansari, James Nellany, Euan Lees, Freddie Skarbek.
First home B: Christian Marcos, Will Averill, Dom Masters, Andrea Sala, Tim How.
We now lie in a very interesting position in both leagues;
- A Team: 5th (1097 points); and, B Team: 2nd (694 points)
We have a real opportunity to finish 3rd in the A league and win the B league. In the A league only 24 points cover the clubs between 3rd and 5th place. (K&P 1089, DMV 1073). Whilst FOT B team sit just 113 points behind E&E.
A strong turnout at our favourite race venue Lloyd Park, Croydon at midday 8th February could secure both positions and something to celebrate over the evening’s end of season curry.”
Women’s Cross Country Race 3 – Wimbledon Common
Closer to home the women were racing amidst the far tougher competition of Division 1 on Wimbledon Common. So far this season, climbing the rankings has proved a Herculean challenge.
However, this masks a steady improvement in finishing positions for our A Team runners, and, on Saturday, we finally saw this effort pay off with an 11th place Team finish!
This was undoubtedly helped by the huge turnout of 32 club members: Alexandra Richards; Megan Whewell; Christina Archer; Ursula Hankinson; Beatrice Carlini; Rachel von Maydell; Victoria Carter; Olivia Ross Hurst; Laura Eddershaw; Eleanor Doody; Jayne Edwards; Krista Kojecky; Nicky Huskens; Katie McCreadie; Leanne Kelsall; Sybille Schorm; Deepa Bala; Helen Fagan; Bryony Allen; Sian Morgan; Nell Kenny; Camilla Rogers; Alex Courage; Sally Benton; Eszter Szadeczky-Kardoss; Ana Berenguel; Heather Mayer; Catherine Spurin; Stephanie Wise; Chloe Farrar; Jane Osborne; and, Celeste Gardner.
First home, as part of our A Team, was Christina Archer (back to flying form), alongside our 4 other As: Ursula; Victoria; Olivia; and, Jayne – all finishing within 2 minutes of each other!
Our speedy B Team were: Krista; Leanne; Sybille; Bryony; and, Sian.
Great running all around, with everyone completing the tough 5+ mile course in around 55 minutes or less.
Now, this is the toughest Division we can race in. Clapham Chasers are virtually untouchable in 1st – certainly helped by some ex Ful-on Tri members. And, despite a great result this weekend, our A team continues to sit in 15th place, and B team at 11th.
There has however been movement – particularly in the lower places – with Dulwich Runners and Epsom & Ewell dropping like stones down the ranks, and our fellow local club, Fulham Runners, rising from 14th to 9th.
We do have a slim opportunity to climb up to 14th or 13th but it involves doing even better than this weekend in our last race at Richmond Park on 8th February.
Our best shot is to score dramatically better than Epsom & Ewell. Doing this means we need to somehow get 2 of our A Team into the elusive top 30 finishing spots! This would be well worth a massive celebration at the Curry!!
Windsor Winter Duathlon & 15k
F3 Events organise many events at Dorney Lake over the season. In the Winter and Spring these are duathlons and running races.
Taking part in the 15k running race was Francine Evans. She completed the course in a fantastic time of 1hr 10min, coming 7th overall, 3rd in her age group and 3rd female!!
In the Olympic Duathlon (10k run; 40k bike; 5k run) was Freddie Coleman. He sped around the course in 2hr 31min, coming 20th overall and 6th in his age group!
Well done both, particularly Francine for racing this and Cross Country the day before!
Maverick New Forest Trail Run
Maverick offer a series of trail runs around the country. On Saturday, the New Forest played host to racing distances from 6km to 24km through the picturesque landscape.
Running the long route was Jessica Rice, which in her own words was “more hills than I’d anticipated”!
She finished in a strong time of 1hr 54min, coming 20th out of a 200 strong field, and crossing the line as 4th female!!
Sao Silvestre da Figueira da Foz – 10km
One of our regulars at pretty much every Ful-on Tri race took a break from Cross Country this weekend to go running in Portugal.
Gina Siebler was racing a 10km event in Figueira de Foz on the Portuguese coastline, about halfway between Porto and Lisbon.
She ran a course PB (impressive as this was just after a wisdom teeth operation!) and finished in 1hr 3min! Great stuff!
And that’s your lot for this week.
- CROSS COUNTRY – THE FINAL – 8th FEBRUARY – YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
- KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR NEWS OF CLUB CHAMPS ENTRY INFO & DISCOUNTS
- KEEP USING THE RACE CALENDAR & EMAILING ME WITH UPDATES
- CHECK OUT THE TT RACES (post just before Christmas on this! And shortly to be on the Race Calendar too)
Any omissions let me know – as per usual at firstname.lastname@example.org