1 ROBBIE BUGDEN – Robbie proved his Midland championship silver medal was no flash in the pan by literally putting his fellow airmen to flight by landing an overwhelming victory in the RAF cross-country championship. He finished more than a minute and a half clear of his nearest pursuer to add his name to a host of former club members who have previously won the race. On this form he must have an excellent chance of taking the Inter-Services title too.
2 TIM WALLIS – Due to work commitments Tim has only been able to do a few races this winter, but he has certainly left his mark on the Gwent League and made the top three for the first time in the latest event at Brecon. We are now hoping he may yet be available for next week’s National championships as with him we could mount a real medal challenge.
3 = DAN WOOLFORD & DAVE GREEN – Dan admitted he started too fast and paid for it later, so ended up disappointed with his 9th place finish in the Gwent League race at Brecon though it was still the first time he had made the top ten, while Dave continued his gradual return to full race fitness by clocking the 8th fastest time in the annual Hyde Park students road relay, covering the 5.164K course in 16:13, a time that equates to aroung around 15:40 for 5K.
1 CLAIRE HALLISSEY- Pride of place this week goes once again to Claire, who seems to be nudging closer by the week to matching her road race performances over the country. Making her first international appearance for Britain in one of the major European cross events, the Belgium Cross Cup race at Hannut, she was the second Brit home (Hatti Dean was best in 4th) in a very creditable 10th place and in doing so avenged her narrow defeat in last month’s Midland championship by Gemma Steele, who had to be satisfied with 15th position this time.
2= REBEKAH RANDELL & IMOGEN AINSWORTH – Having her first race for more than a month after suffering a typical winter chest infection Rebekah chose a low key return in her home town’s annual Tough Ten multi-terrain race. Winning was never an issue as she finished nearly five minutes ahead of her nearest challenger Robyn Goulding, who had finished as high as 7th in the
previous day’s Gwent League race. More significantly only 14 men of the 1000 strong field beat her! Imo for her part achieved just as notable a feat by clocking both the fastest and second fastest lap times as the Bristol University women’s teams dominated the Hyde Park students road
relay. Her fastest was a full ten seconds faster than her best last year.
3= SUSIE RICHARDS & VICKY TESTER – These two earn their places this week because they both produced by far their best League race performances this season. Susie made the top ten for the first time with 6th place in the competitive Surrey Women’s League, while Vicky, who readily admits to never having a love affair with cross-country, achieved a highest ever 13th in the Gwent League.
1 SEAN HAZELL – Sean kept up his challenge for the Gwent League U20 title by finishing a creditable 6th in the latest combined U17/20 race at Brecon.
2 VANESSA BRANN – Vanessa maintained her recent progress by entering the senior race in the Gwent League and did well to finish as high as 15th just in front of Ali Hurford.
3 CHRIS DODD – Chris’ anchor leg of 16:26 in the Hyde Park relay – just 13 secs slower than Dave Green – could arguably be considered the best junior performance of the weekend as it equates to a sub-16 minute 5K time, but regardless it suggests he could be a real asset to the team when he makes his debut in the National.
1 ALEC WOODS – Alec continued his growing interest in the multi-terrain scene by taking the vets prize with third place overall in the popular Dursley Dozen 12M slog.
2 HEATH BAMPTON – Heath again underlined what a valuable addition he is going to be to the club’s National Masters road relay team by clocking 56:17 to finish top vet in a very respectable 7th position overall in the Bramley 10M road race.
3= HELEN FINES & ALI HURFORD – Helen will hopefully forgive me for including her in the vets section again, but she needed mentioning as she continued her comeback following the car accident she suffered at the end of last year by finishing second woman in the Dursley Dozen, while Ali too proved that she is getting back to full race fitness by making the top 20 in 16th place in the Gwent League.