MEN’S SURREY CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE, DIV 1, RICHMOND PARK 13 OCT 2018
PHIL SESEMANN CLAIMS VICTORY IN THE OPENING FIXTURE WHILE THE TEAM COME HOME IN SECOND
The eagerly anticipated first fixture of this seasons Surrey Cross Country League was held at Richmond Park on Saturday. For a lot of people, it was probably the highest temperatures they’d experienced for a cross country race. The course, which was dry in the extreme, was slightly different to the one most of us were used to. However, it was actually a great spectating course as supporters had multiple opportunities of seeing the runners go by. They were also treated to an excellent race which after the opening jousts developed into contest between our second claimer, Phil Seseemann ,and Belgrave’s international, Nick Goolab. In the early stages the pair had been amongst a little group who had got away from the main field. But the pair showed their class when they injected a burst of pace that no one else could live with. As his recent relay runs testify, Phil has been in great form of late and he was able to get away from the Belgrave man on the long finishing straight. He was five seconds ahead at the finish. We then had three other runners in the first ten. Tom Mower, possibly having his best race over the country for us came in fifth, just a couple of seconds down on the legend that is Paskar Owor. Tom was followed closely in by Owen Hind (6th), and Max Nicholls (7th). As most people are aware, Owen is relatively recently back from completing his studies at an American University where his running really came on. He had considerable success in the States and I’m sure before long he’ll be really showing how much he has improved. He has just been settling back into a new routine, but in a few months’ time I have little doubt we will be seeing the sort of form he displayed while at West Texas. And yet again Max Nicholls delivered the goods for us. In recent seasons he has really played a big part in our success and it looks as though it is going to be more of the same this season.
So we had to be pleased with four in the first ten. However, as we know, Hercules have strength in depth and so it proved on the day. Our scorers were quite spaced out and we had to wait until 52 to close in. Hercules, however, had seven in the first 20 of the field and then two more under 30. As a result, they go into the next fixture with a 30 points cushion.
Our next scorer after Max Nicholls was Chris Greenwood (17th) who managed a top twenty placing despite having to nurse an injury for most of the race. Chris reported that he felt a sharp pain and had to really back off in order to ensure finishing. Just outside the top twenty was Noah Armitage Hookes (21st) Noah has been settling in to life at Birmingham University and whilst he may have been running a good few miles, he’s also been doing what freshers do – namely enjoying himself. So just outside the top twenty in such a competitive field was good going. Noah seemed to start quite conservatively but came through strongly in the second half of the race. The next man home always adds colour to these races. I wondered if he would do his trade mark start as on the road and track Dame Dibaba had been a bit more circumspect of late. However, just as in most races last year he charged off in to the lead which he held fleetingly. Whilst dropping down the field he rallied as he usually does and finished (25th) That’s strong running but you do wonder if slightly amended tactics might yield greater rewards. Anyway, we all enjoy his starts. Anthony Johnson had a prolonged spell of injury, but more recently he has been injury free and has been showing the undoubted talented he possesses. Not a lover of cross country the hard going probably suited him. Anthony came in (30th) and you just need to look at the runners around him to see the potential he has if he can keep the injuries at bay. Pete Lighting (49th) often starts conservatively and moves through. However, on Saturday this tactic seemed even more pronounced. It may have been down to his trip to altitude. Towards the end of the race he was really moving through. He just looked as though he needed the race to go on for another five miles. Closing the team in was the mercurial Neil Phillips (52nd). It sounds as though he’s putting in the miles for the forthcoming Frankfurt marathon and so it will be interesting to see how that one turns out.
In the B team stakes we were second to Hercules again. Here, though, the gap is a very narrow one. As per usual there is plenty of rivalry developing amongst the B team for bragging rights. Tim Lawrence was first B team scorer and he’ll clearly be a marked man in the next three fixtures.
Overall then we can be pretty upbeat about the day. We knew the opposition was going to be strong and pack well which is exactly what they did. There were some excellent performances from our team and we still must be regarded as very much in contention. The second fixture on November 10 is being held on Wimbledon Common.
Teams: 1. HW 183 2. Kent 213 3.THH 347 4.G&G 385 ………
WOMEN’S SURREY CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE, WIMBLEDON COMMON, OCT 13 2018
A somewhat depleted team competed in the first Surrey League fixture at Wimbledon Common on Saturday. For a variety of reasons there were quite a few absentees which meant the team weren’t able to match some of the performances of last season. Nevertheless, there were some fine, battling runs from those who made up the team. Although hosted by Thames Hare and Hounds, the course on Wimbledon Common was essentially one used by Belgrave. In unseasonably warm conditions the course was bone dry which meant most runners felt they didn’t need spikes.
With Amy Clements absent, competing in a half marathon the following day, our team was led home by Alexa Parker who has been in fine form of late. She’s run quickly in the recent relay races and her form continued here. Alexa was just outside the top 20, in 24th. Running strongly, and just outside the top fifty (51st) was Sarah Hanley. Our third runner home, not far behind Sarah, was Isabel Bradley (61st) Isabel looked as though she had sticky patch but seemed to recover well. The fourth scorer for the team, running a strong controlled race was Georgina Wiley. The five to score was completed by Sheryl Clark, who proved again that when necessary Kent AC women can muster a sprightly sprint finish. She ran well to finish inside the top one hundred (95th)
Although numbers were maybe a bit lower than some of the fixtures last year, we still had a scoring B team who competed well. In addition, we had four other runners who contributed to the Kent AC cause. Next up for the women in the Surrey League is a fixture at Nonsuch Park on November 10.
Full Results on Surrey League site