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  • Noel Carmody

Weekly Update - 6th Dec. 2023

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

British Masters National 5k Championships, Battersea Park (Sun. 3rd Dec.)

Chris Loudon (pictured - No 157) won the British Masters 5k title in Battersea Park on Sunday, in a time of 15:19. Susan Dixon was third W55 in 20:39, Sally Carr 5th W50 in 22:08 and Matthew Preston 14th M50 in 18:43.

RunThrough Battersea Park Chase The Moon 5k/10k (Wed. 29th Nov.)

At this mid-week event in Battersea Park, Tom Brooke finished second in the 5k in 15:34. Jonathan Sargent on his debut in a road race wearing club colours crossed the line in 25th in the 10k with a time of 37:15.

Kent County Masters Cross Country Championships, Dartford (Sat. 2nd Dec.)

There were no medals for the club's men at the Kent Masters CC this year, writes Clem Dixon; Mick Ellsmore came closest with a 4th place in the over 70s race. In the over 50s David Reader and Christian Poulton ran well for 20th and 23rd places but they have increased the number required for a team to four in this category and we only had three. In the over 60s Graham Maynard enjoyed his first outing in his new age group taking 20th place. Hopes of team medals had been high a while back, but that was before Clem Dixon got injured, and before Martin Leat decided to go on a cruise. Martin Hawkins had his best run of the season to date having at last shaken off his various ailments but the team could do no better than finish 8th.

The final race on a decidedly cold day was for the over 40s, here too medals might have been possible had we been able to field all of our stronger runners; James Macdonald ran well for 6th place as did Steve Hodges in 20th, the team was completed by Mark Penny and Rob Shearer for 6th place. At least James got to brag about beating an Olympian; Andrew Graffin who competed for team GB over 1500m in Sydney 2000, he now runs for Tonbridge and was 15th in this race.

Olympians aside, the quality of the fields at these championships is astonishingly high, and seems to get higher every year. The regulars with a "here we go again" mindset, "another Saturday, another cross country", are joined by all sorts of people we don't usually come up against, one suspects that many of them have been targeting this event as the main focus of their season, and why not?

Mick Ellsmore - James Macdonald - Graham Maynard

The women had more success than the men; the W55 team of Christine Bond, Rose Baker and Marian Hine took the silver medals while in the W45 race Julie Backley was 5th (and first over 50) and the team were 5th.

Rose Baker - Christine Bond - Marian Hine

Full Cambridge Harriers results are here

Lanzarote International Marathon, Costa Teguise (ESP) (Sat. 2nd Dec.)

A group of club members escaped the chilly UK for the warmer climate of the Canary Islands on the occasion of the Lanzarote International Marathon and supporting races. Of the five only Maria Macdonald (W70) took on the marathon, finishing in 5:01:24 for second in age group. Keith Dungate (M75 - 2:31:45), Helen Jousselin (W60 - 2:35:50) and Stephanie Dungate (W65 - 2:42:32) ran the half-marathon and Les Pullen (M65) completed the 10k in 1:27:53.

Lesnes Abbey 5 (Ray Marshall Memorial), Abbeywood (Sun. 3rd Dec.)

The Lesnes Abbey 5 is described as a challenging 5 mile (ish) trail race with a total of 888 ft (ish) elevation held in memory of Plumstead Runners founding member Ray Marshall. Apparently the race does not quite qualify as a fell race! James Macdonald, having contested the Kent Masters CC the previous day, won by over a minute with a time of 36:40. Clinton Lowe came in in 5th. Catherine Gonzalez and Jessica Lowe finished 2nd and 3rd ladies with James Floyd (who also ran at the Kent Masters) finishing a handful of seconds behind Jessica.

Jessica Lowe - Catherine Gonzalez - James Macdonald

Hurtwood 50k Trail Running Ultramarathon, from Dorking (Sun. 3rd Dec.)

The Hurtwood 50 starts in Dorking, and follows the Greensand Way into the forested Surrey Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This race route is a ‘lollipop’ - essentially an out and back, with a 5 mile loop off the Greensand Way before starting the return journey. The race takes runners up and over Leith Hill, Holmbury Hill and Pitch Hill on a well marked, easy to follow trail through the woodlands, ridgelines and valleys of the area that is collectively known as The Hurtwood. The loop at the western end of these hills takes runners off the Greensand Way for a short time before re-joining to make their way back over the three hills and to the finish. The race includes 4192 feet of ascent.

Geoff Smith finished in a very creditable 26th place in 4:48:45. Lucy Hine was 378th and 1st W60 in 8:02:14.


Jon Wilson and daughter Delilah Lester (pictured) travelled to the Peak District for an orienteering event: visit as many checkpoints as you can and then get back to the start before three hours are up, writes Clem Dixon. They finished third in the Parent & Under 18 category. The heavy snow made it quite a challenge and there had been some doubt as to whether it would be possible to hold the event.

Mark Newell was less fortunate, he travelled to Shropshire for the Cardington Cracker only for it to be cancelled at 9am on the morning of the race. To be clear, events like this are not generally cancelled because there is snow on the course, but if the surrounding roads are impassable and neither organisers nor competitors can get to the start then what else can you do?

Ray Ramsay - Update

Ray Ramsay rounded off his 10 marathons in 10 days with a victory in the last race in 3:42:55. 262 miles covered in 43 and a half hours of running, three victories and over £4,000 (and counting) raised for charity. You can add to that total here:


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