The club got off to a bright start at Parliament Hill as young Ollie Bright (sorry couldn’t resist it) ran a tremendous race in the Under 15 Boys race. He came home a magnificent 5th – just a few seconds away from a bronze medal. Ollie has shown what a talent he is in recent seasons, but this result has to be viewed as a bit special. This season has been disrupted, by injury for Ollie, so to achieve such a high placing in this ultra competitive race was a real bonus. A little later in the day Isabel Bradley put in an excellent performance in the under 20 women’s race. Isabel wasn’t far off a top ten placing, finishing in a fine 14th place.
Both the men’s and women’s teams put in strong performances at Parliament Hill on Saturday, with the men’s team finishing ninth team and the women tenth. The revered course is always tough, but perhaps this year there wasn’t so much mud to plough through. The women’s squad for the race looked a strong one and so it proved. As per usual , they were led home by Amy Clements who came home in 18th place. A top twenty finish in this quality field is certainly good going, made more so as Amy has had her training interrupted by illness. Another determined run by Teresa Murphy saw her finish in 64th – excellent running when it’s only seconds that separate ten or so places.Our third runner home and having an impressive cross country season was Jen Smith – just inside the top hundred in (97th). It was great to see that Cath Stibbs had travelled up to London to make her customary positive contribution to the team effort. Whilst we might have been delighted to see Cath, she might not have been so pleased to be back in London. Seemed like the London air had not been good for her breathing problems – both during and post race. Anyway, it was good that she was able to make the journey and make up the scoring quartet. Just as in some of the other races so far this season, there were some impressive runs from many of the other women representing the club.
The men finishing ninth team was extremely pleasing as we were without both John Gilbert and Chris Greenwood. Fittingly, Neil Phillips, the man who’s ben so consistent of late, and has hardly missed a race since joining, led us home. Neil finished in a highly creditable 36th. The team’s second scorer was Jim Savage,(76th) who’d travelled down from Manchester for the race. We don’t see that much of Jim , but Saturday’s race again showed us just what we’re missing. After Jim, we had Gareth Anderson (111th) and Jonathan Tipper(114th) who ‘d been in close proximity for most of the race and there were only a few seconds separating them at the finish.Our fifth scorer, having a very strong run, was Rob Laing. Rob must have been delighted to get the better of some of his ‘B’ group training partners.
Then closing the six to score was another consistent performer, the ever dependable, Phil Sanders (138th). Incidentally pre race Phil’s sartorial elegance had meant several team mates had thought he was only there to watch! Not quite on the Surrey league scale, but there was another good turnout of runners representing the club.
Finally, congratulations must go to Andy Maud, the race winner, for running a brilliantly controlled race. So often battling it out with John Gilbert in Surrey League races, on the day Andy was superb. With Highgate so rich in resources, maybe we’ll see Andy running for Clapham again at the final Surrey league.
Teams : Highgate H 121; Bedford & C 196; 3 Shaftstbury BH 220 ; …..9 Kent AC 599
Apologies for errors/omissions