Another successful weekend of cross-country racing for Reading Roadrunners, and here’s another in-depth report from ladies’ captain Sam Whalley…
IT WAS touch and go whether Jane Davies would be able to defend her FV60 title in the Southern Masters XC Championships in Oxford, but fortunately or us all, her new granddaughter Mollie arrived the previous weekend, leaving Jane able to slip away briefly and take on the ‘technical’ 6k course, with its grass, steep hills and plenty of mud.
Jane and fellow FV60 team-mate, the relatively new to XC Tracey Lasan, described their approach to the rooty descents as ‘geriatric’.
Despite their claims, Jane covered the course in a gold medal-retaining 28.46, in 33rd place overall including FV40s and FV50s, with Tracey in 30.09, 45th place overall, and picking up the bronze for the age category.
The team was completed by Cecilia Csemiczky, in 45.53, 75th place, and the three women were crowned South of England FV60 XC champions.
Cecilia (right) was ninth in the FV65 age category, but will not know her true position as the SEAA does not have an entry option for FV70s. Maybe time for change?
In the same race, the MV70 team of Eddie Thorpe, Jim Kiddie and Ken Beck fared well in spite of a fast-paced start. Eddie was first to finish in 34.14, in 9th, slowed by a slip on a wooden bridge on the final entry to the field, which saw him taking a dip in the stream.
Jim had been allowed to make up a bit of distance on Eddie, though, and finished just behind, in 34.16, and 11th. Ken Beck was 12th, in 36.04, having not run XC for twenty years. Results show that no other club had managed to put together a complete team, and there was no team prize awarded. Perhaps that’s something else for the SEAA to review.
Also in the women’s race, Sarah Dooley was 30th (seventh FV40), in 28.03, Sam Whalley was 55th (18th FV45), in 32.18, and Claire Seymour was 65th (9th FV40), in 34.15. The FV40 team was sixth, while overall on the day the team of Sarah, Jane and Tracey was eighth out of 10 complete team
Colder air had arrived by the time of the main ‘younger’ men’s 9k race. First Roadrunner home was an impressive Tony Page in 36th (10th MV45), in 35.21, Fergal Donnelly, complete with sore ankle from a twist at Handy Cross, was 84th (22nd MV45), in 38.14, and Bryan Curtayne was 153rd (29th MV45), in 45.33. The MV40 team was 12th.
Sadly Fergal’s injury makes him a big doubt for both next weekend’s Berkshire XC Championships and our home TVXC fixture at Ashenbury Park on December 22nd.
Despite suffering the after-effects of a flu jab, Pete Jewell led the MV50s home in 102nd (19th MV55), in 39.08, followed by Gavin Rennie, in 105th (20th MV55), in 39.28, and Mark Andrew, in 116th (24th MV50), in 41.15. Non-scorer David Fiddes was 138th (28th MV50), in 43.32.
It goes without saying that these were excellent performances all round, in an event of such a high standard.
In other news, our second-claim runner, Ben Paviour, was fourth overall, and 2nd MV45, in 32.09, running for Herne Hill. But we won’t mention that. And another second-claimer, Sarah Urwin-Mann, was second lady overall, and first FV45. She was wearing the Reading AC kit, so we won’t mention her either.
Thanks for that, Sam! Now here’s the rest of the weekend action…
No foreign Sunday marathon this weekend for our usual international jet-set foursome… but that’s only because they raced on Saturday! This time they had the company of some real quality towards the front of the field, Brian Kirsopp running 3:28.06 in finishing 71st.
Paul Monaghan and Caroline Jackson ran 4:38.31, Martin Bush 4:52.36 and Pete Morris 5:09.10, despite a heavy fall. Once again they were moaning about having to run in baking hot temperatures, without too much sympathy from back home.
Another Roadrunner doing something a bit different was Joe Blair, who competed in the eight-mile Grim Challenge, an endurance/obstacle event run over an Army assault course near Aldershot. It made for a doubly grim weekend after he watched Reading get stuffed by Birmingham City at the MadStad on Saturday.
Joe — who finished second MV60 in 1:15.54 — said: “The good news is that I wasn’t too muddy at the end; the bad news is that the mud washed off during the last three miles, which involved wading waist-deep through seven or eight gullies of cold water. The whole thing was tough but fulfilling in a weird way.”
So when he lines up for the Muddy Welly 10k at Crowthorne next weekend it might not seem quite so…. muddy!
Nick Adley was the only Roadrunner to contest the Tadley Xmas XC, and he finished 71st in 1:02.25.
Pictures: Sarah Dooley, Pete Jewell.
Masters results link: https://www.race-results.co.uk/results/2019/seaamasters19.htm