• Clem Dixon

English National Cross Country Championships

Updated: Mar 1

There is nothing to beat the Nationals when it comes to Parliament Hill, as it does every three years, and this year we couldn't have asked for more; two weeks of rain had left the ground at its muddiest but gave way to glorious sunshine for the day itself. Stand at the top of the first hill among the club tents and flags jostling for position and watch each wave of runners charging up the hill towards you, the London skyline as a backdrop, culminating in the senior men's race with over 2000 competitors - if that doesn't give you goose pimples, well, perhaps you are in the wrong sport.


Young Age Groups

Under 13 girls, Ingrid, Anagha, Delilah, Celia Y, Iris, Celia A, Sophia


24 of our young athletes took part; our largest turn out for many years. For all of them this was their first experience of running over the iconic Parliament Hill course.


We had a fantastic turnout of eight in the under 13 girls race including two (Ingrid and Emily) who were representing the club for the first time. All successfully completed the course with Iris Williams placing an impressive 38th out of a field of 395.


In the under 13 boys race there was only 16 seconds between our first two finishers, Joshua and Aniket. First timer Monty Brown enjoyed his debut when placing 248th.


Monty


In the under 15 girls race, Amelia Lawrence was first to finish for the club, placing in the top half of the field.

Under 15 girls team, Mia, Abigail, Amelia


Samuel Scrase-Field was our first finisher for our under 15 boys in 148th position. Aidan Newton did start the race but his name does not appear in the results.


Evie Ravenscroft had her best run of the season when coming home in 159th place in the under 17 women's race.

Under 17 women, Inez, Evie & Bella


Well done and thanks to all of our young athletes (and parents) for turning out for the club during the cross country season.


Results:


Under 13 girls, 3000m

38 Iris Williams 13:34

151 Celia Allen 14:55

220 Sophia Pawa 15:35

231 Celia Yeatman 15:39

328 Ingrid Lake 16:45

335 Delilah Lester 16:51

363 Emily Beckwith 18:08

378 Anagha Pai 18:53


Under 13 boys, 3000m

90 Joshua Wellings 13:20

115 Aniket Iyengar 13:37

248, Monty Brown 14:41

378 Rhys Joyeux 17:06

381 Oliver Hill 17:27


Under 15 girls, 4000m

143 Amelia Lawrence 19:51

275 Abigail Richards 22:04

306 Mia Harris 22:52


Under 15 boys, 4000m

148 Sam Scrase-Field 17:05

214 Sam Holloway 17:40

270 Felix Tynan 18:08

322 Luke Bridges 18:50

Under 17 women, 5000m

159 Evie Ravenscroft 24:29

239 Inez Rice 27:56

251 Isabella Richards 28:53

Senior Women

Holly and the leaders on the first hill

Holly Dixon continued her impressive set of performances over the country placing 17th despite having to stop very early in the race to replace a spike that had been claimed by the mud. Inevitably that meant she lost a little ground but she was soon back in the hunt. Next up for her is the Inter Counties/ UKA Cross Challenge final in Loughborough in March. Megan Marchant took a different approach when she lost a spike at the beginning of lap two. She just carried on with one shoe off and one shoe on. Amazingly given the number of fallers Megan stayed upright although clearly her race was impacted. Her 63rd place was an excellent result. When she got back to our base camp she found that some kind soul had brought her spike back for her. Lara Atkinson(99th) was next back and was justifiably pleased to have made it into the top 100. Not far behind and completing the scoring was the first of our super vets Julie Backley 156. This gave us a total of 335 and 9th place out of 104 teams beating local rivals Blackheath and Bromley as well as Kent AC. This was very pleasing especially as we have previously struggled to raise a team for the national championships.

Maria, Marian and Christine before the start


Just outside the scoring places was Katie Sanders (206). The field was now beginning to finish thick and fast with fractions of a second meaning several places -Jessica Lowe (351), Susan Dixon (385), Christine Bond (542), Hayley Newman (559), Marian Hine (690). Last but not least came Maria Macdonald (919). Sally Carr also started the race but had to drop out for fear of aggravating a previous injury by sliding about in the mud.

Katie Sanders


Senior Women Results (8k):

17 Holly Dixon 30:58

63 Megan Marchant 33:20

99 Lara Atkinson 34:37

156 Julie Backley 35:40

206 Katie Sanders 36:47

351 Jessica Lowe 39:36

385 Susan Dixon 40:23

542 Christine Bond 43:25

559 Hayley Newman 43:52

690 Marian Hine 46:37

919 Maria MacDonald 54:30


Senior Men

All smiles (and clean legs) before the start


There was another bumper turnout for the senior men, 20 of us, including yet two more new faces, Charlie Allen and Joe Sheldrake both choosing to go straight in at the deep end of cross country running and both swimming rather than sinking, indeed Charlie, our 7th finisher, professed afterwards to have "had an absolute blast".


Chris Loudon was again our first finisher (245th); scoring is for teams of six in this one and our next five were James Macdonald, Dave Worden, Tom Brooke (just 4 seconds and 5 places behind Dave), Luke Martin and Christian Poulton, the latter having one of his best runs of the season. 46th team may not sound like much but that is against all of England, over 300 clubs of which 133 had complete teams of six, and it would have been about ten places higher by my reckoning had Peter Reynolds appeared in the results, usually the problem is that people ask to be entered and then don't show up, Peter did the opposite! (He ran, but without a chip).

Chris Loudon

James Macdonald

Dave Worden

Tom Brooke


As this is a championships rather than a League fixture, Angus Vosper had to run in his age category rather than as a senior, he was our only runner in the Junior (i.e. Under 20) men's race finishing 119th in 38:56 over a 10k course.


Senior Men Results (12k)

245 Chris Loudon 48:54

327 James MacDonald 50:08

584 David Worden 53:38

589 Thomas Brooke 53:42

725 Luke Martin 55:41

978 Christian Poulton 59:09

1053 Charlie Allen 1:00:11

1101 Mark Penny 1:00:44

1152 Clinton Lowe 1:01:33

1214 Guy Swarbreck 1:02:21

1240 Peter St-Amour 1:02:48

1393 Graham Maynard 1:05:04

1728 Joe Sheldrake 1:11:17

1767 Clem Dixon 1:12:00

1841 Luiz Custodio 1:14:18

1864 Martin Hawkins 1:14:44

1970 Stephen Brown 1:20:14

2031 Patrick Austin 1:24:56

2060 Mark Newell 1:30:12

2067 Peter Hadley 1:31:19


So there it is, another cross season comes to an end (with the exception of those lucky enough to have been selected for the inter-counties). Our Grand Prix competition also comes to an end, to win this you don't just need to be quick, you need to compete in as many of the qualifying races as you can, there are 8 races and your best 6 performances count. This season the women's title went to Megan Marchant with Julie Backley and Holly Dixon taking silver and bronze, while for the men Chris Loudon was the winner followed by Tom Brooke and James MacDonald.


You can find the full tables (plus an explanation of the scoring) here.