Race Report W/E 3 March

Storm Freya (yes that is the Norse goddess of love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold, war and death – so basically the Game of Thrones deity) has passed over this weekend, and yet we still had some racing on.

OK – some of this was in the muddy battlefields of Lloyd Park – but… not all.


1. Haute Route – Oman

Apparently Oman offers mountains high enough to provide a cycling event that the Haute Route series can include under its banner. The fact that it is also logistically easy, and seasonally great to cycle in early March can surely not also be a factor. Joking aside, it is 238km (over 3 stages) and 5,500m of climbing, so not so easy. So only sweaty cash rich tourists guaranteed on this one.

Sarah la Hausse de la Louvierre snuck in to do this race, and completed the full 3 stages in a total time of just under 9 hours. Hopefully bagging some good photos whilst out and about too.


2. Mornington Chasers Regents Park 10k

Another clandestine pop-up race: the Mornington Chasers 10k run in Regents Park is a 3 lap race sweeping past the zoo and boat house – so wildlife tutting at you, basically.

Lucy Orhnial – who hopefully wasn’t trying to run this anonymously – took part in this, running strongly and coming in the top half of her age group.


3. The FINAL Women’s Cross Country – Lloyd Park

Following much excitement and fanfare over the last race in Richmond Park – not least, the over the phenomenal 33 runners’ turn-out – the last event at Lloyd Park was a much anticipated affair.

Possibly due to the club camp in Lanzarote, the turn out was back to more normal numbers. This may have been due to Lloyd Park’s awful reputation too. Other clubs struggled to field anywhere near as much depth as in other races. Despite the challenges, we still had 15 runners on the start line – so an A team, B team, and people to spare.

If you cast your minds back to the last XC newsletter, the women had 2nd place within their sights, but it was going to take some luck and skill to get there.

Skill was certainly there in spades, with Paula Rutherford taking her third win of the season, and Ursula repeating a solid set of seconds for the club. Depth of talent was there again. Our B team finished in 8th when many other clubs failed to field a full squad.

However, the strength of Woking AC and Stragglers proved too great. So, despite our A team coming 2nd in this last muddy contest, overall we have to settle for a combative 3rd place in the division.

Now… were there to be a true B-team competition, the silver lining is that the women’s B-team runners actually placed 1st overall.


To cap off the stats:

  1. Running all 4 races, and therefore earning that coveted XC wine bottle: Ursula Hankinson; Ceri Ruzzi; Christina Archer; Gina Siebler – great work, and true XC ambassadors!
  2. The better late than never brigade of new members Lyndsay Aqui and Katie Rose, and non-mud-fearing Bethan Williams and Claire Atkinson – now you’ve got the thirst, you’re the marketing bow wave for next season!
  3. The person (men and women) who has made the most demonstrable progress (when neutralised for race difficulty and top runners), by a country mile, has been Christina Archer.
  4. The trend for the women racers to more commonly finish together continued on Saturday, with Holly Hardy and Katie Holmes crossing the line in the same blink of an eye.

Hopefully everyone has their best party head on for Friday, as this is definitely a season to celebrate properly.

As usual, and particularly for the new Club Members (not all of whom I know of know of), please do contact me if you have any extra race feedback, or questions about the upcoming race schedule – including how best to use the Race Calendar on the club website. All questions and commands to: fixtures@fulontri.com