1 TOM RUSSELL – Tom has to hit the jackpot this week after emulating his former international clubmate Rob Whalley in completing a memorable hat-trick of wins in the BMC cross-country chamionship that incorporated the 50th running of the Mike Sully trophy race on the Downs. Nor was it an easy ride as he had to avenge his recent Gwent League defeat by Wells international Ben Tickner to steal the honours. Tickner finished 10th in last year’s European championship trial and in the form he has shown this autumn is hoping to better that at Liverpool this weekend, so what chance Tom of closing in on his first senior championship vest? Whereas last year his only concern was making sure he made the U23 team, which he successfully managed, he certainly has nothing to lose this year, so give it a go Tom!
2= KATE GOODHEAD – Kate, like Claire Hallissey who followed her home in third place, suffered from the marshalling error that shortened the women’s BMC championship race to three rather that four laps. She was forcing the pace at the time and by her own admission had planned a big effort off the hill in a bid to drop the eventual winner Susie Hignett as she knew she had a quick finish. She had also become quite attached to the Gemma Butler Bowl and wanted to take it home again! Don’t worry Kate you’ll get it back next year.
3= ROBBIE BUGDEN and IMOGEN AINSWORTH – As anticipated Rob continues to improve by the week and his 6th place finish in the Mike Sully underlined this. He will be leading the Combined Services team in the European trial race at Liverpool on Saturday, and expect him to pick off a few more scalps as he works his way back to full fitness. As for Imo she produced arguably her best senior
performance yet to finish only just behind Claire in 4th place in the BMC event and ahead among others of her more highly rated clubmates Katie Knowles and Rebekah Randell.
1 RICH PETERS – In finishing a close third in the BMC championship ahead of South West champion Kevin Heywood and several other established middle distance internationals, such as Steve Davies and James Thie, Rich produced what was surely his best ever cross-country performance at this level. Not surprisingly it has encouraged him now to enter the European U20 trial race this weekend, and if he can repeat this form over the longer 6.7K distance, which admittedly will take some doing if the going is heavy, he could be knocking on the door of at least the top ten.
2 ELLIE WIMSHURST – Like Rich Ellie again underlined her burgeoning talent by mixing it with the seniors in the BMC race and ended up an impressive 5th ahead of her junior international clubmate Katie Knowles. Both of them should now go to Liverpool with a real chance of surprising a few of the more favoured contenders for places in Britain’s U20 team.
3 EMILY MERRICK – Emily eschewed the BMC event to continue her assault on the G;oucester League title and only just failed to make the top three in a competitive senior race won by international Rachael Felton.
1 MICK O’DOHERTY – There’s life in the old dog yet, and though now well into his 50th year Mick ran round with two of our top seniors Jon Wills and Steve Mithchell to take an impressive third place in the Easy Runner Avon clubs mob match that concluded the Mike Sully programme. Watch out all you over 50s in February. The Doc is coming!
2 DAN MOORE – Welcome back Dan. After nearly a year out with chronic plantar fasciitis Dan demonstrated that he could soon be back in the vets firing line by finishing only some 10 seconds behind fellow V45 clubmate Phil Parry in 7th place in the mob match that predictably was dominated by our runners.
3= JERRY HOGAN and CLAIRE JOLLIFFE – Jerry like Dan has been in the shadows recently, but took the V50 prize in the mob match, while Claire was third woman overall in the race.
Finally the best of luck from Keith and me for all our athletes entered for the Euro trials on Saturday.