Secret Cross Country – Beckenham:
Thanks to Jonathan Tipper and Pete Lighting for organising another cross country at Beckenham yesterday, and a great write up too:
This week’s races saw a stellar field take to the slopes of Beckenham Place Park, including some notable and welcome returns.
For Amelia, whose last cross country race was the Nationals in February, it had been so long that she had forgotten how to put on a pair of spikes. After 18 minutes of all out effort… Amelia was ready to start.
Before the race, accusations of ‘sandbagging’ were abound. Pete Lighting sought to dispel such allegations by opening up a 100 metre lead in the first 200 metres and continued to pull away for victory in 16:50. Simon Allen kept a cool head to finish second in 17:45 hunted down by Amelia Pettitt who had worked her way through the field strongly but ran out of time to close down Simon finishing in 18:05.
Another welcome return was Victoria Buck, whose last race was also the National XC in February. Vic ran strongly finishing in 18:40, looking closely matched to Amelia until she pulled away in the latter stages.
John Barron by his own account had a tough day in the mud, but for the first time he successfully navigated the course without error finishing in 19:51. It remains to be seen whether John will run in the notoriously disorientating Oxleas Wood next week.
Race 2 saw what on paper seemed a closely matched group.
Kieran Fitzpatrick was the first man home in an impressive 17:22 with Billy Palmer in between Kieran and James Booth in 3rd place in 18:22. He was closely followed by Paul McCrone who finished in an excellent 18:24 reaping the benefits of his consistent attendance at this event. Alan Curtis would have done well to pay more attention to Amelia’s intensive shoe preparation as he was made to pay with a mid race shoe lace tie, finishing in 18:48.
The final race of the day saw a classic boxing style heavyweight bout; the imperious undefeated champion Dan Pettitt against the rogue outsider, Rowan Crichton, a dangerous ‘nothing to lose’ opponent. After an early exchange of blows (and conversation) Dan’s class showed through as he picked gaps in Rowan’s defence to come home in 14:49. Rowan was 2nd home in 15:10.
The battle behind saw an intensely paced first kilometre with Calum Fraser and Jonathan Tipper running in genuine fear of losing to a 12 year old. However, in a cruel twist of fate Ollie Buck’s shoe was pulled from his foot at the notorious river crossing saving Jonathan and Calum from this ignominious fate. After some to and fro between the two, Jonathan pulled away and got within touching distance of the legendary Rowan Chrichton but it was not to be as he finished in 15:19. Calum ran strongly to finish in 15:33 for a PB on the course, on his birthday no less.
Next week the racing takes to the trails of Oxleas wood for its inaugural event in the penultimate clash of 2020.
Fast 5km – Ardingly:
Chris McGurk – 15:28
Jonathan Beatty – 16:05
Ben McGeown – 17:14
RunThrough Olympic Park – 12th December:
Adam Paterson – 33:46
Jake Simmonds – 34:38
Stuart Beaney – 35:08
Andrea Barber – 44:15
Shinya Hirotoh – 49:06
Kerry Gibson – 49:19
Michael Stankard – 27:39
RunThrough Chase The Moon Olympic Park – 9th December:
Heather Castle – 49:14
Katie Lang – 49:27
Eleanor Parker – 49:32
Clare Elms – 17:57
Adrian Dracup – 18:32
Paul Crompton – 19:10
John Slade – 19:15
Gary Schroeder – 19:19