1 ROBBIE BUGDEN – In his first major national championship event since his enforced lay-off from competition due to his year long basic and trade training after enlisting in the RAF, Robbie finished well pleased with his top 20 finish in the Inter-Counties championship. He purposely started steadily and gradually worked his way through to his eventual finishing position, which confirms he is now back to where he was in his last full winter season when he made the GB U23 cross-country team.
2 PHIL WYLIE – As he prepares for the coming international duathlon season Phil set a new pb of just over 67 minutes for the half marathon in an international race at The Hague and felt he could have run closer to 66 minutes had he not ended up isolated and running for much of the way on his own.
3 TOM MERSON – After a frustrating but enforced interruption to his training due first to a bout of swine flu and then an achilles tendon strain Iron man Tom, determined to make up for lost time, did a 15 mile training run the day before the Inter-Counties championship on Saturday, while to make sure he warmed up for the race with six laps of the 3K circuit! So not surprisingly he was not unhappy with his 82nd finishing position in the 300 strong elite field and thought he had passed his own self-imposed fitnes test! So do we think so!
1 CLAIRE HALLISSEY – As consistent as ever Claire followed up her top ten
place in the National by finishing off her cross-country with 12th place in
the Inter-Counties, which was a comparable performance as the field was
slightly stronger due to the accompanying World championship trial. It left
her less than a minute from a medal-winning position and only half a minute
outside the top six.
2 REBEKAH RANDELL – Rebekah also franked her National championship form by
making the top 20 in the Inter-Counties race, but finished rather
disappointed with her 19th position as she did not feel anything like as
strong as she had at Leeds. Still I am sure that if she had been told at
the beginning of the winter season that she would end up disappointed at
only finishing in the top 20 in the World trial race, she would have
thought you were having her on!
3 NO CANDIDATE
1 ANNABEL GUMMOW – Wow! What a run by Annabel, who is still only a first year U17, to finish second in the U20 World championship trial and earn herself automatic selection for next week’s World chamionships in Bygdoszcz, Poland. What’s more she did it despite suffering a fall after being tripped in the initial starting surge. Sensibly, and no doubt much to coach Chris Wooldridges’s relief she set about closing the ground she had lost on the leaders in a measured way. Nor did it take her too long to make her way back up to the top six, though by then the winner – her young rival Emilia Gorecka – had already taken off, and it’s to her great credit that after moving into second position she was actually closing the gap on the winner in the closing stages.
2 ELLIE WIMSHURST – Ellie only just missed out on joining Annabel in the World championship team after finishing an impressive 6th in the trial race ahead of European U20 bronze medallist Kate Avery. Not surprisingly perhaps, considering her fine overall record this winter, Avery was preferred, leaving Ellie as first reserve for Poland. None the less this was a formidable achievement considering she had missed a couple of months racing due to injury and illness since her fine performance in the European U20 championship in December. Clearly she has demonstrated conclusively that she is a runner for the big occasion.
3 SEAN HAZELL – Sean maintained the progress he has made this winter, following up his victory in the previous week’s Gwent League race by improving some 30 places on his National performance to finish a creditable 54th in the Inter-Counties U20 championship.
1 HELEN FINES – Helen made her pilgrimage to Belfast worthwhile by taking her first National Masters title when she won the V35 gold medal in the BMAF cross-country championships. She did not actually win the race overall – that went to Clare Elms – though she took the initiative and led for much of the way. A well earned reward for all the hard work Helen always puts in.
2 MICK O’DOHERTY – Mick made an auspicious start to his V50 career by beating all bar the defending champion Ian Furness in the British Masters cross-country championships held in Belfast. But predictably he was not happy at having to settle for the silver medal as he felt he still had the Bath half marathon in his legs.
3 ALEC WOODS – Alec just failed to make it a hat-trick of medals for the club when he was just pipped for the V45 bronze medal in the BMAF champs. Yet he felt he could well have succeeded if the competitors had been given age-group identification numbers to put on their backs as he made the mistake of thinking the runner just ahead of him was in the V40 category.