Promotion plus another super Bramley makes it double joy

Last weekend was a double success for Reading Roadrunners, with the Hampshire XC League promotion and the faultless staging of another exceptional Bramley 20/10 event. Men’s captain TONY PAGE tells how we did it…

Reading Roadrunners’ men have been confirmed as winners of Division 2 of the Hampshire Cross-Country League and will be promoted back to the top division for next season.

This was all but guaranteed after our third consecutive win at Prospect Park last month and it was finally secured with a third-place finish at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Outstanding on the day was Lance Nortcliff, in 31st place, fourth veteran and individual gold medal winner in     the V50 age category across the four races in the league. 

Next month, Lance will be representing Berkshire at the Inter-Counties XC Championships in Nottinghamshire. His performance was closely matched by Pete Jewell, with individual series gold in the V60 category.   

Six men made up the squad for the race. The team were led home by Ryan O’Brien (22nd), Lance Nortcliff (31st, fourth vet, first V50), Pete Jewell (73rd, 21st vet, first V60), Tony Page (104th, 40th vet, 14th V50) and Ian Giggs (120th, 51st vet). Gary Clarke (174th, 97th vet) also had good run. 

Lance, Pete and Tony made up our vets team, which finished in fifth place on the day and also fifth best team across the four races. 

This 23-24 season saw a great RR team effort, which saw 23 different runners across the four fixtures and nine different runners making up the scoring team in our best three races, each of whom will be getting a winner’s medal. 

Ryan was in the scoring team in every race and finished in 16th place overall, in the highly competitive, senior men’s category. Second-claim member Jacob Atwal, running for Southampton University, came in second place (first U20).

In the women’s race, Sam Whalley (89th, 48th vet, 16th V50) and Claire Seymour (95th, 52nd vet, above) both ran well, but sadly we fell short of the required number of runners to make up a senior or vets team. 

For full results see https://www.afd.org.uk/hampshire-cross-country-league-results-2024/

There was a rather better turn-out from the women’s team at the Bramley 20/10 yesterday, with our ladies finishing on top of the podium in both the 20-mile and 10-mile races. 

The two-lap race was another triumph for Katherine Streams, (above) who won the V50 age group with a four-minute PB and an age grading north of 88 per cent.

She was followed home by training partner Nikki Gray, who also ran a huge PB and was first senior lady to finish. Mary Janssen (right) completed the winning team.  

Roadrunners also had the first V50 home in the 10-mile race — Saba Reeves, who carried off  the team prize with ladies captain Chloe Lloyd and Pip White, who ran a PB.

The two team prizes were the icing on the cake for the club after the organisational triumph of race director Adele Graham, her committee, volunteers and marshals in staging our flagship event despite last week’s Noah’s Ark weather — see picture left for the bit we missed out!

The forced farmyard detour in mile five might have added a handful of seconds to runners’ times but there were still plenty of PB’s. Here’s where to find the data… https://results.sporthive.com/events/7161372179512076288

Roadrunners going up… now for a fun day out in Bournemouth!

The Green Vests defied the mud and cold to clinch cross-country success yesterday. SAM WHALLEY reports on how our men kept up their perfect record… 

The Reading Roadrunners men are destined for promotion back to Division 1 of the Hampshire League after they topped Division 2 for the third time this season.

With one fixture to go, and the best three results to count, the team that travels to Bournemouth on Saturday, February 10th, will have something to celebrate.

Lance Nortcliff and Pete Jewell are currently leading the individual V50 and V60 age categories.

Fifteen men made up the squad for the race in Prospect Park yesterday. Second-claim member Ben Paviour (25th, sixth vet, first V50, left) led the winning team home, followed by Ryan O’Brien (34th), Callum Evans (60th), Lance Nortcliff (72nd, 17th vet, second V50) and Keith Russell (80th, 22nd vet). The vet men were third.

Pete Jewell (1st V60, below right), Tony Page, Jon Lloyd, Mark Andrew, Tom Wright, Jon Green, David Fiddes, Antoine Chabran, Steve Cunningham and Gary Clarke also had really good runs over the tough 10k course.

Last week’s TVXC winner, Jacob Atwal (below left), was fourth (second U20), albeit running for his first-claim club, Southampton University.

Eleven women lined up for the start of the most local of the league fixtures, with Kayleigh Forbes calling it a day at the mid-way point, not quite recovered from a heavy cold.

Helen Pool (49th, 18th vet) led the women home, with Kaja Milczewska (59th) and Hampshire League debutante Charlie Siveter (60th, 26th vet, sixth V50) completing the team. 

Charlie’s first XC outing had been at the club’s home TVXC race in Ashenbury Park the previous week, which she said she had found hilarious! The women’s team was eighth overall.

The vet women’s third scorer came in the shape of Angela Burley (90th, 39th vet, eighth V50). The vet women were seventh.

Pauline Bravet (72nd), league newcomer Liz Gantpatsingh, Alex Bennell, Sam Whalley, Claire Seymour and Becky Mellor also toughed out the 6k race, which for the first time included an extra hill (twice!), to finally make it the advertised distance.

Well done to everyone who ran and thank you to those who supported.

The results are here: https://www.afd.org.uk/hampshire-cross-country-league-results-2024/

Don’t forget the two remaining TVXC fixtures at Handy Cross next Sunday and the TVT race on February 4th.