1 CLAIRE HALLISSEY – Claire makes a habit of producing her best in the big events, and despite nursing a knee injury she ran true to form by finishing 14th in the European cross trial in Liverpool, her highest position ever in a national cross-country event and less than a minute away from a medal position.
2 REBEKAH RANDELL – Like Claire Rebekah too produced her best ever position in a major national cross event, pacing her race perfectly to work her way relentlessly through the pack to finish 27th only 10 seconds behind Kate Goodhead, who failed to heed her coach’s advice and starting too fast fell away on the last lap from a position just outside the top ten to finish a disappointed 23rd. But don’t fret Kate your turn will come!
3 ROBBIE BUGDEN – Robbie, who in his new role headed the Combined Services team, continued his week by week progress to finish an encouraging 40th in what was one of the highest standard men’s trial races in recent years. It left him only half a minute down on our leading runner on the day Phil Wylie, who tired on the last lap and failed to meet his top 20 target in 25th place, though to put that in perspective he was still only just over a minute down on the winner Mike Skinner.
PS Our commiserations go to poor Tom Russell, who committed himself from the start to lead the field round the first of the three laps only to go belly up and end up on his face on a slippery section of the course. He did manage to pick himself up and continue, but all hope of a place among the leaders was lost and he ended up a frustrated 29th.
1= KATIE KNOWLES & ELLIE WIMSHURST – I’m fence-sitting again, but how can you split these two who both ran magnificently to finish 7th and 8th respectively in the Junior trial race. Katie just outsprinted Ellie in what was undoubtedly her best performance of the season so far and has been rewarded by being named as first reserve for the European championship team, while young Ellie’s fine effort in her first such championship trial as an U20 suggests that she will be back next year as a major contender. Significantly too the pair of them were only 5 and 6 seconds respectively away from certain selection.
2 RICH PETERS – Rich may not have got as close to selection as Katie and Ellie, but in finishing 10th in the Junior men’s trial he was as close to the winner as the two girls. All three of them.were only just over half a minute down on their respective winners. What’s more, but for suffering a bad patch after putting in a big effort to pull the leaders back at the end of the opening lap, he might have been even closer as he finished faster than anyone to pick up some six places on the run-in. He should be well pleased as it was only a week before that he decided he was fit enough to give it a go as he has missed so much training time due to the chronic achilles tendinitis that ruled out his track season .
3 EMILY MERRICK – Emily may have been disappointed with finishing only 50th in the Junior women’s trial, but it was better than she probably thought as she was little more than a minute behind Katie and Ellie, which could be good enough to get her close to a top 30 place in next year’s National championship.
PS – Nathan Young opted not to go to the trial this year so has not made this week’s top three, but he still made good use of his time by winning the latest senior Wessex League race.
1 MIKE TAYLOR – Clearly benefiting from Chris Elson’s training sesssions Mike was our leading vet in the latest Bridge Inn 5K, finishing only just outside the top 20 in a fair time for the windy conditions of 18:34.
2 JON GOODLAND – Still struggling to find his best form after a recent chest infection Jon was still the first V50 in 33rd place in the Bridge Inn event.
3 DAVE TAYLOR – Like his namesake Mike, Dave is a V45, and he too did well in the windy conditions to dip under 20 minutes in the race at Shortwood.
PS With the lack of vets performances to consider this week, Keith almost made it for running himself hoarse at Liverpool!