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  • Noel Carmody

Weekly Update - 29th Nov. 2023

British Athletics Cross Challenge, Sefton Park, Liverpool (Sat. 25th Nov.)

Competing against the UK's best, at the UK Cross Challenge event, at Sefton Park, Liverpool, which doubled as the GB trials for the upcoming European Cross Country Championships, Holly Dixon finished 59th in the women’s race with a time of 29:38 (8.1k), Arthur Roux crossed the line in 213rd in 35:36 (9.8k) in the senior men's race and Aniket Iyengar was a very creditable 44th place in the U15B 3k race in 10:29.

Kent Cross Country League, Swanley Park (Sat. 25th Nov.)

There were some excellent performances by the club young athletes, reports Mark Newell. Charlotte Foster equalled her previous best Kent League performance placing 5th in the U13G race. Lizzie Sanders and Daisy O'Brien made it four out of four, placing 17th and 23rd respectively. Ester Yeatman made her cross country debut for the club, having sat out the previous fixtures due to a long term injury. Twin sister, Seren, was running well before sustaining a sprained ankle loosing a lot of places before finishing. The U13B race again saw Alex Van den Berg-Hows as the clubs first finisher in 14th place.

Charlotte Foster - Meredith Cummins

Delilah Lester had her highest place finish in 10th in the U15G. She was closely followed by Celia Yeatman (11th) and Isabel Brand (14th). Isabel's position was a big improvement on her previous performance. Great credit to Meredith Cummins, who suffered a nose bleed early in the race, but managed to finish with a smile on her face. In the U15B race Oliver Cook had a good race to finish10th.

Under 15 & Under 13 Girls Teams

Amelia Lawrence (pictured below), for the fourth time finished in third place, meaning she picked up the trophy for finishing second overall in the U17W age group, a fantastic performance. The under 17 men's race saw Sam Scrase-Field and Olly Buck in first and second place early on. Both eventually slipped back a couple of places but none the less these were both excellent performances.

Erwan Rostan did his usual thing, powering away from the start of the U20M race. He continued to dominate the race to again finish in first place. David Poungui crossed the line in 4th.

Well done to all of our young athletes who have represented Cambridge Harriers during the season so far. The next competitions will be the Kent, Southern and National Cross Country Championships during January/February. More to follow from team managers.

The ladies team maintained our record-breaking attendance streak, with fourteen members lacing up their shoes (or Velcro) at Swanley Park, writes Rose Baker. Well done everyone, and especially those who have competed every race so far. On Saturday we grappled with the usual questions of how many layers do we wear; vests, base layers and arm warmers (it was cold!), what length spikes should we have and how to pay for the car park. A few of us regretted long spikes afterwards as although I think we cleared up most of the fallen leaves (I have a lot stuck on my shoes), the course was stony and hard in places. As Chris Bond said, we looked suspiciously clean when we finished! After making the first fixture nearly 9k, no one was complaining that this one seemed to come up a little short (and if you are complaining, I wasn’t listening 😊).

Everyone who runs is part of the team, but just to flag some stand out performances - Katie Sanders finishing 16th overall, and currently in a podium spot for the W35 category with just one fixture to go. Similarly, Julie Backley and Chris Bond are also in the mix for trophies in the standings for W45 and W55. W65 races are on a different timescale and at Swanley Maria Macdonald and Stephanie Dungate ran the final W65 Kent League fixture (don’t worry, there are lots more cross-country events coming). Maria finished an impressive second overall in the category.

We were missing our usual photographer(s) so apologies for a partial team photo.

Full Cambridge Harriers results are here

South of the Thames 5 Mile Cross Country, Beckenham (Sat. 25th Nov.)

Fixture congestion is such that in most years the shorter of the two annual South of the Thames races clashes with a Kent League fixture, writes Clem Dixon, fortunately for the senior men this year it clashed with the league event at which they had no race and sixteen of them took the opportunity to head to Beckenham Place Park which was looking at its best with the autumnal trees bathed in sunshine.

It was Bobby Babaker and Tom Brooke who were again the leading runners for the club, this time with Bobby (13th) getting the better of Tom (19th) and taking the head to head score between them for the season to two all. There had been much talk before the race over what footwear to choose, in the end Bobby ran in short spikes and Tom in trail shoes. Did that account for the 37 seconds that separated them? Probably not.

Tom Brooke & Alfie Oliver

Team scoring is for four and eight at this one; our next two finishers were James Macdonald (29th) and Alfie Oliver (48th) taking us to 4th team, although shown as 7th in the results which allow for multiple teams per club: hosts Kent AC were out in force and our "A" team couldn't even beat their "C" team! In the eight to score we were also 4th beating South London Harriers by a single point, the team being completed by Mark Penny, Christian Poulton, David Reader and Will Longhurst in that order.

All in all it was a good day out, if there was a quibble it was that the distance was considerably shorter than the billed 5 miles, we look forward to the next South of Thames race (7.5 miles at Lloyd Park Croydon on the 16th December) and of course to coming back to Beckenham for the Southerns on 27th January.

Full Cambridge Harriers results are here

Benidorm Half Marathon (Sat. 25th Nov.)

Graham Maynard finished the Benidorm Half Marathon in a time of 1:35:46 for 344th place.

SEAA Indoor Combined Events Championships, Lee Valley (25th/26th Nov.)

Elijah Olaleye, had his first outing as an U17 at the SEAA Indoor Combined Events Championships, writes Mick Bond. This meant automatic personal bets for the hurdles and shot, which when added to a good run in the 1000m and a 1.83m clearance in his first pole vault competition meant a 4th place finish.

In the U17 women’s pentathlon Gabby Noyce set an excellent personal best in the high jump of 1.53m with decent hurdles, long jump, shot put and 800m results, gave her 5th place overall with 2868 points.

Other News - Ray Ramsay

At the time of writing results for the first four of Ray Ramsay's ten marathons in ten days are available, reports Clem Dixon. Ray started the first race at a sensible 4 hour pace before sensing the possibility of a victory which was duly achieved in 3 hours 30. Perhaps not the wisest move with nine marathons still to go but that's Ray for you! He paid the price the following day, recording 4 hours 28 but then got round race 3 in a more sensible 4 hours 8. By race 4 the relentless distances were starting to take their toll: 4 hours 46. The event is taking place at the Gravesend Cyclopark and concludes on Sunday, supporters welcome! You can follow day by day results here.

Ray is doing this to raise money and awareness for cervical cancer following the untimely death of his sister Rebecca. You can sponsor him here.


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