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

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…

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:

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

What a Gray day! Nikki leads Roadrunners super show at BBO

Club chair SAM WHALLEY chronicles the action after another top team effort by the Green Vests today…

Eighteen Reading Roadrunners braved the weather at the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Cross-County Championships today… and it was well worth the trip!

While it had been fairly bright and pleasant in Reading, further along the M4 at Newbury Showground the wind was such that the early arrivals made an executive decision to abandon the tent and make do without. Fortunately the rain mostly held off during the races, but there was definitely a significant wind chill throughout.

A late change to land availability meant it was a three-lap rather than two-lap course for both men and women, mostly on grass and woodland, all run over 8k.

Nikki Gray’s was the standout performance of the day, with second place overall, and first vet. 

Nikki also won a medal for third overall women’s team, along with Kat Charles and Kaja Milczewska, and third vet women’s team, with Mel Shaw and Lorna McLeod. Kayleigh Forbes, Pauline Bravet and Toni McQueen also had excellent runs.

Mark Worringham (above, right) came out on top for the men, as first Roadrunner home and winning the prize for first vet. 

The vet men’s team of Mark, Dave Parton and Fergal Donnelly was third. With six to score for the overall team awards, the men’s team was fifth. Well done to Tony Page, Dimi Gospodinov, Ian Giggs, Mark Andrew, Gary Tuttle, Eoin McLeod and Jon Green for their excellent runs too.

Full results are here:

Anyone wishing they’d been part of the team action should enter the Berkshire County XC Champs at Cookham on December 17th. Entries are open until December 11th:

There were also some super performances among the Roadrunners who competed over 42k and 21k in Verona, Italy, today.

Stand-out was David Boulton, (left), whose 2:37.37 took over five minutes off his marathon PB.

There were also PBs in the half marathon for Julie Sugden — by three and a half minutes — as well as David Clay and women’s captain Chloe Lloyd.

Back closer to home, David Dibben made a welcome return from injury with an England Masters M75 qualifying spot at the Brighton 10k. Could he be the first Roadrunner to gain an England vest in three different age groups and at three different distances?! Any offers?

Roadrunners’ magnificent seven enjoy a right royal day at Windsor

 Committee chair SAM WHALLEY reports on a big day out for the club last weekend…

Reading Roadrunners were out in force at the Runnymede Relays, with no fewer than seven of the 30 teams entered coming from our club.

The event in Windsor Great Park has long been a popular one for us, and this year was no exception, despite the threat of rain, and the strong winds preventing the assembly of our shelter.

Green vests were pulled on, picnics were unpacked, and the teams — named Barbarians, Corinthians, Olympians, Coyotes, Trojans, Spartans and Athenians — were raring to go!

In recent years the race has shifted from three long legs (five miles) and three short (5k) to just six equal legs of around 3.7 miles each.

There was talk of long grass, but not too long, undulations, a bit of road, a steep gravelly section and a strong headwind. It all adds to the fun, along with trying to identify someone’s running style from across the park.

James Armstrong was back in fourth place on leg one, recording the fastest Roadrunners time of the day, with 20.42. 

Leg two saw Daniel Zagyva’s 22.11 gain a position, and this third place was maintained by Sarah McDade (24.40), Pete Jewell (23.21), Dave Boulton (21.39) and sealed by Brendan Russell, our youngest member, with a great run of 21.23. 

Having narrowly missed out on a podium spot last year, this was a super result. Well done, Team Barbarians (top picture)!

Team Corinthians (above) was sixth, Olympians tenth, with Jon Green making up eight places on leg two; the Coyotes were 23rd, the Trojans 25th, Spartans 29th and Athenians 30th.

The Trojans (pictured left), with a combined age of 439, were beyond delighted to have beaten the mass start, held at 3pm for anyone still to start their leg. Not that any of this event is about times really — more about the camaraderie and the experience — but it is still worthy of note that the club’s five fastest men’s times all came from the bronze medal-winning team, while the women were more widely spread.

Team Olympians’ Katherine West (right) was quickest, with 23.18, followed by Katherine Streams (24.10), Nikki Gray (24.16), Sarah McDade (24.40), and Chloe Lloyd (26.13).

Runnymede Runners have thanked us for bringing so many teams to the event – same again next year?

Here’s a link to the results.. Unfortunately the official data isn’t accurate as far as our Athenians team is concerned… you’ll see a correct version when the next club newsletter is published later this week.

Farnborough, Bramley, Wokingham and Goring… Katherine won the lot

Roadrunners men’s captain TONY PAGE reports from the Goring 10k, the second club championship race of the year…

There was more success for the green vests at Goring, with trophies for Katherine Streams — the first lady — and the men’s and mixed team trophies.

This week I exchanged my running vest for a camera to watch the closing stages positioning myself at the top of the big hill and when I saw the leader in a green vest, I hoped for the best. Alas, it was a Harwell runner.

I needn’t have worried about the women’s race; our own Katherine Streams (right) took the first lady’s winner’s shield, in a time of 40.06, bettering her SuperVet (F50) course record and completing a clean sweep of wins in all the events she has contested this year.

Nikki Gray (40.42, left) was the second lady home and won the trophy for firstt senior woman with Florence Ledger (42.31, right), fresh from a PB at the Wokingham half, in fifth place. We would also have won the women’s team prize but missed out only because on-the-day entries were not counted.

Our top three men picked up a mixed team prize, with Dan Moore (35.51), in fourth place, Chris Lucas, (36.16) in sixth Callum Evans (37.24, in eighth) taking the trophy together with Katherine, Nikki and Flo.

We also took the men’s team prize with Chris Ryder (15th), Terry Dowling (16th) and Chris Webber (17th) all in under 40 minutes. 

Dave Parton, pictured with Chris Webber (below) collecting the team prize, finished 11th and was first SuperVet with a time of 38.15. But Dave was disappointed not to break the SuperVet course record set by our men’s captain last year.

There were a number of other PB’s on the day, including Sarah Richmond-Devoy (59.03), who didn’t get the hump when passed by the camel and said that she only kept going up the hill so as not to miss a photo-opportunity at the top.

* The inter-counties cross-country championship was held at Loughborough on Saturday, giving an opportunity for those who qualified through the Berkshire XC back in December to run for Berkshire.

Well done to Jacob Atwal who was Roadrunners’ sole representative, placed 46th and part of the team winning a silver medal in the Under 20s. It was a shame none of our senior men could attend this year.

* The next big event is Reading Half Marathon on April 2nd  and we can also look forward to seeing lots of green vests in round three of the club championship, the Maidenhead Easter 10 on Good Friday, April 7th.

* Goring results can be found at

Silver lining for Lance after Roadrunners suffer sinking feeling at the seaside

Roadrunners chair SAM WHALLEY reports from King’s Park, Bournemouth, on the final event of the cross-country season…

There was a tense end to the Hampshire XC League season on Saturday, with Roadrunners men’s team finishing ninth on aggregate in Division One, and in the relegation zone. 

This was despite men’s captain Tony Page’s best efforts to get a big team out. Home team Bournemouth did just enough to pull themselves out of the bottom two.

Skipper Tony said: “We’ll come back stronger than ever next season, aiming to win promotion at the first attempt.”

But he warned: “We will need to get more seniors out next year — all our runners at Bournemouth were vets.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, with Lance Nortcliff claiming an individual V50 silver, and Helen Pool seventh vet overall for the season. Julie Sugden claimed a 5k PB during the women’s race.

Roadrunners men’s scorers were: Lance Nortcliff (42nd, 9th vet, first V50), Tony Page (113th, 46th vet, 13th V50), Jamie Smith (122nd, 53rd vet), David Fiddes (184th, 105th vet, 41st V50), Mark Allen (185th, 106th vet, 10th V60). The team were tenth on the day and ninth over the season.

Our men’s vet scorers were Nortcliff, Page and Smith, with the team finishing ninth on the day and fourth overall for the season.

Full results are here:

Roadrunners’ women’s scorers were Kat Charles (30th), Helen Pool (43rd, 11th vet), and Chloe Lloyd (54th). The team were tenth and finished ninth over the season but avoided relegation.

Our women’s vet scorers were Pool, Sam Whalley (96th, 46th vet, 15th V50) and Claire Raynor (97th, 47th vet, 16th V50). The team were sixth on the day and fifth over the season.

Full results are here:

Thank you and well done to Pete Jewell, Gary Clarke, Claire Seymour and Stephanie Smith for also making the trip to the coast and giving it their all. We’re already looking forward to 2023-24.

Final results in the club’s XC Championships are here:

* Sadly, there are no images from Bournemouth. Our pictures show Lance and Helen battling it out in the previous Hampshire League fixture at Popham.


Good Golly Miss Holly, you sure like a big PB in the club championships!

Men’s captain TONY PAGE reports as the 2023 club championship programme gets underway…

Once again the green vests were out in force in Wokingham on Sunday for the half marathon,  the first race in this year’s club championship.

There were more than 100 of us on the start line out of a high-quality field of more than 2,500 runners, with a winning time of 1.05.10 and first vet in sixth place with an amazing time of 1.08.20. Also, despite the undulating course, there were lots of big PBs to report.

The first Roadrunner to finish was closely contested between Seb Briggs in 1.16.26 (98th overall, 32nd M40) and Chris Burt (1.16.41, left), a three-and-a-half minute PB, with Joe Bend (1.18.51) and Chris Moseley (1.19.51) next.

Jeff ArmstrongDimi Gospodinov (1.20.21, PB), Dave Parton (11th M50, PB 1.20.35) and Callum Evans (1.20.52) all narrowly missed out on a sub-1.20 finish.

It was nice to see some strength in depth and hopefully this will continue throughout the other rounds of the championships.

Katherine Streams was first female RR to finish in 1.25.26 (32nd and first F50), followed by Nikki Gray in 1.26.26. Third place was closely fought out between Holly Sedgwick (1.27.49) and Flo Ledger (1.28.01, right, with Brooke Johnson), both sub -1.30 for the first time, and Kat Charles (1.29.29).

Helen Pool (21st F40), Katherine Streams (F50) and Stephanie Smith (34th F60) were first RR in their respective age categories.

Top age group places for the men were Seb Briggs (M40), Dave Parton (M50),  Alan Freer (1.36.19, 21stt M60) and Eddie Thorpe (1.56.01, fifth M70).

It was pleasing to hear of other landmarks being achieved — Pip White (1.32.48 PB, left), Liz Johnson (1.41.28 PB), Mark Allen (15-year PB, 1.46.04), Julie Sugden (1.48.13, PB) and Becky Mellor with a 19-minute PB (2.28.46), to mention but a few. 

Do please email with your PBs so that they can be included in the results pages of the newsletter.

Well done to everyone who ran, and a huge thank-you to all of our volunteer marshals and to other members than turned out to support us.

Next Saturday, March 4th, is the last Hampshire League XC fixture of the season at Bournemouth. The next club championship race is the Goring 10K on 1March 12th. I hope to see lots of green vests there!

Here’s your link to the results and pictures from Wokingham:

Katherine the Great sets new age group course record at Bramley

Club chair SAM WHALLEY has once again been busy on her keyboard and has filed this report on a special day for Reading Roadrunners…

What a great weekend of running it has been! After three years of cancellations, due to flooding, coronavirus and storm damage, it was a relief and a joy to see the club’s flagship event, the Bramley 20/10 road race, finally take place.

Ryan O’Brien was first RR home in the 10 miles, fifth overall, with a PB of 56.03, with Dimi Gospodinov making his debut in 1.01.45, albeit hampered by a stitch late on in the race. Terry Dowling was third V50, in a PB of 1.03.59. In his last race in a green vest, Brian Kirsopp took first V60, with 1.05.41.

Katherine Streams (left) was first female RR to finish, also fifth overall, with a PB of 1.04.42, smashing the V50 course record set by Lesley Whiley in 2012. Nikki Gray was sixth, in 1.04.50, with Sarah McDade seventh, in 1.05.34.

There wasn’t much between the first RRs in the 20 miles either, with debuts for Callum Evans in 2.15.05, Matt Davies just behind in 2.15.09, and Chris Webber with a PB in 2.19.39.

Flo Ledger was first female RR, in a debut of 2.27.52, with Jane Davies first V60, in 2.37.54, and Mary Janssen in 2.45.21.

The 20 winner, Ronnie Richmond from Bideford (right), took a massive eight minutes off the course record for V40s.

Well done to everyone who ran, and a huge thank-you to the race committee and volunteers who made the event happen.

Some of our members had got their race fix on Saturday in the penultimate event of the Hampshire League, at Popham Airfield, where conditions were dry and rather mild, a huge improvement on last year’s wind and rain.

With one race to go, it was imperative that the men had a good turn-out to lift themselves out of the relegation zone. 

The scoring team of Mark Worringham (38th, fifth vet, left), Chris Burt (42nd), Lance Nortcliff (46th, 10th vet, 1st V50), Pete Jewell (93rd, 38th vet, third V60) and Tony Page (98th, 42nd vet, 10th V50) was seventh, moving up to eighth on aggregate, with the vets team (Mark, Lance and Pete) in 4th. Jamie Smith, Mike Worsfold and Gary Clarke also ran, with Gary making his debut in this league.

Scoring for the women’s team were Helen Pool (33rd, 7th vet), Sam Whalley (82nd, 35th vet, 11th V50), and Katie Rennie (86th), placing 13th. Claire Seymour (101st, 50th vet) completed the vets team, which was sixth. Kerri French also ran for the women, improving on her debut performance at Prospect Park last month.

Photos are here:

With the final fixture of the season on March 4th in Bournemouth, and the last chance for some XC for most of us, it would be great to finish on a high. Details here: and on our Facebook event page.

Big Roadrunners turn-outs for a weekend of double mudbaths

SAM WHALLEY reports on another busy weekend of cross-country racing…

Mud, mud, glorious mud, was the theme for the weekend as a total of 63 Reading Roadrunners lined up for the Hampshire and Thames Valley Cross Country Leagues, including Chloe Lloyd, Tony Page, Jon Green, Stuart Lunn and myself, who braved the double.

After the recent heavy rain leading up to Saturday, Prospect Park, the venue for the Hampshire League, was as muddy as we’d ever seen it, and those without spikes were relieved to have managed to remain upright on the undulating course. It was something of a baptism of fire for Eoin McLeod, running his first ever XC race.

Leading the way for the men was Ben Paviour (right),  in an excellent 12th place (second vet, first V50), backed up by Ryan O’Brien (23rd), Dave Boulton (39th), Chris Burt (54th) and Mark Worringham (57th, 11th vet), bringing the men’s team home in sixth. The final scorer for the vets team was Lance Nortcliff (18th vet, fourth V50), giving the vets team second place.

First to finish for the women was Kat Charles (left) in an impressive 24th place, followed by Helen Pool (44th, 12th vet) and Chloe Lloyd (51st), to give the women’s team eighth. 

Completing the vets team behind Helen were Ann Rostern (29th vet, tenth V50) and myself (34th vet, 12th V50), making the vets team fifth.

Hardly surprising that this local fixture produced the highest turn-out and the best team performances of the season so far.

Similar numbers at Popham, on February 11th and Bournemouth on March 4th, could save the men from relegation from Division 1. 

For full results, and current team standings, visit and

It was Matt Sarjent (below) who led the green vests home at Sunday’s mudfest in Lightwater Country Park, finishing in 11th place. In support for the men’s team were Fergal Donnelly (15th), Dimi Gospodinov (35th), Gavin Rennie (61st), Tony Page (65th) and Ian Giggs (66th). The men’s team was sixth.

Scoring for the women were Pip White (16th, right), Chloe Lloyd (25th), Mary Janssen (30th) and Claire Marks (43rd), with the women’s team also sixth. 

This overall team ranking of fifth puts the club in third leading into the final event of the season at ‘the hilly one’, Handy Cross, this coming Sunday.

Full results are here:

Thank you to everyone who turned up to run this weekend, and to the supporters who helped create the team spirit.

It’s not too late to take part in the XC Championship. Rules are here: and latest standings will be available here soon:

Here’s some links to photo albums from the weekend’s races…

Tidings of comfort and joy as Jacob’s cracker earns county call

Define ‘finger-in-every-pie’! SAM WHALLEY is not only the Roadrunners’ chair but also the secretary of the Berkshire Athletics’ XC section and a top runner herself as well as an ace reporter for this website. Here’s her offering from the weekend action…

Reading Roadrunners braved the freezing conditions at the Berkshire Cross-Country Championships yesterday, with medal-winning performances from our vets.

On a lapped ‘lumpy’ 10k course around fruit fields at Cookham, Under 20 Jacob Atwal came fifth in his 8k race, with Ryan O’Brien 13th in the senior race, which was won by GB steeplechaser Zak Seddon.

Both Jacob and Ryan received invitations to run for Berkshire at the Inter-Counties XC Championships at Loughborough in March, Ryan currently a reserve. Completing the fifth-placed senior team were Nathan Davies (27th) and Dimi Gospodinov (35th).

But it was bronze medal glory for Chris Burt, Fergal Donnelly (first V50) and Tony Page, who finished as third V35 team, a result only corrected after the event. That meant they were denied their moment on the metaphorical podium. 

Helen Pool was our only female entrant, finishing an excellent 12th in the 8k race, and picking up an individual medal for third V35 with her reserve place for Berkshire.

It was the second consecutive week that our vets were in medal-winning action, after the SEAA Masters XC Championships in Horspath last Saturday. 

In rather different weather conditions, the V60s team of Jane Davies, Tracey Lasan and Cecilia Csemiczky won gold, with Jane first V60 and Tracey third.

The men’s V50 team of Fergal Donnelly, Lance Nortcliff and Tony Page was third, with Ben Paviour first V50, running for his first-claim club, Herne Hill.

The women’s V50 team (Ann Rostern, Sam Whalley and Becky Mellor) managed fifth — even with Ann mistaking the women lined up for youngsters, missing the gun completely, and starting the race behind everyone else!

Helen Pool (seventh V40) and Claire Seymour were an incomplete team. Pete Jewell was eighth V60.

  • There’s plenty more XC action for everyone in the New Year — starting with the Hampshire League event at Prospect Park on January 14th and the sixth race in the TVXC at Bracknell the following day.