Performances of the Week – 7th to 14th February 2011

20 Feb
With the National championships this coming weekend few of our seniors were in action last week.
1 NATHAN YOUNG – Though still technically a junior Nathan has been competing largely in low key senior events this winter and recorded an easy double success, cruising round the latest midweek Street 5K road race in an unpressed 16:35 some distance ahead of his younger brother Kieran and then scoring a runaway victory – by nearly three minutes – in the Inca Trail multi-terrain 7M at Ilchester.
2 TOM KINGSNORTH – Tom continued his well planned preparation for the London Marathon by finishing 18th in the Stamford St Valentine’s Day 30K road race. He finished comfortably inside 2 hours and feels he is on target for a six minute mile marathon.
1 HOBIE MARTIN – Nursing a niggling calf strain Hobie did no more than needed to make sure of taking the South West Schools Intermediate boys cross-country title and now heads to next month’s English Schools championships in his bid to earn selection for the Home Countries Schools international.
2 LUKE JACOBS – Luke maintained his recent progress to take the silver medal behindf Hobie in the South West Schools race and could feel well pleased to finish only seven seconds behind Hobie who was a hot favourite to take the gold medal.
3 ZAK TOBIAS – Zak duly competed a clean sweep for our talented trio by finishing only a further six seconds down on Luke in the bronze medal position, but what a pity from the club’s point of view that their combined efforts were spent here rather than at this weekend’s National championships for which as Midland champions they must have been genuine medal contenders.
1 MICK O’DOHERTY – Mick made his annual pilgrimage to Ireland’s top road race  – the Armagh 5K – and duly landed the V50 honours in an impressive time of 15:49. Significantly too he was the second vet overall and looks sure to be a force in next month’s Masters cross championships.
2 ALEC WOODS – Alec too proved that his preparations for the forthcoming Masters championships are well on course by finishing a creditable third in the gruelling Dursley Dozen 12M multi-terrain slog less than two minutes adrift of the previous week’s Gloucestershire League race winner international Martin Cox, who himself was content to settle for second place behind the winner Gary Hughes of the host club. 
1 KATE GOODHEAD – Kate produced her best performance yet at international level when she was the second finisher for the England team in 10th place in the Eurocross Cup race at Hannut in Belgium. Significantly too she was less than half a minute down on several African runners and just ahead of one of Aldershot’s international stars Emma Pallant. Although the race was marred by the accident Steph Twell suffered when apparently heading for an impressive victory – she slipped on a muddy corner and ended up breaking her ankle in three places – it also produced a ground-breaking victory for the other member of the England team Gemma Steel.
2 LUCY MACALISTER – Forever a glutton for punishment Lucy followed up a second successive victory in the Surrey League on Wimbledon Common – she led virtually all the way to win by nearly a minute and as a result secured the overall League title – with second place less than 24 hours later in the Wokingham half marathon. Not surprisingly in the circumstances she was no match for three times English cross-country champion and Olympian Liz Yelling, but her time of 75:53 was still her fastest since starting a family last year and only just over two minutes behind Yelling, much of which she lost after the 10M mark that she passed in 57mins.
3 ANNABEL GRANGER – Annabel continued her comeback with another impressive victory in Weston’s annual Tough Ten 10M M-T Challenge. This followed her second place behind Rebekah Randell in the Christmas Cracker 10K, and in this sort of form she could well do some damage in next month’s National Masters championships.
1 ELLIE WIMSHURST – Ellie warmed up for this weekend’s National cross-country championships with a runaway triumph in the Gwent League combined U17/20 race at Brecon.
2 OLIVIA SADLER – Olivia went very close to adding the South West Schools senior girls cross-country title to her other achievements over the past year, but eventually had to settle for the silver medal behind Dorset runner Ann Jones though there was only four seconds in it at the finish.
3 VICTORIA KENNY – Olivia’s training partner Vicky continues her rise up the rankings and was rewarded with the bronze medal in the intermediate girls race behind two of the most talented young runners in the South West Isabelle Steele from Cornwall and Wiltshire’s English Schools medallist Loren Bleaken, who was only four seconds ahead of Vicky. 
1 HELEN FINES – Helen continues her exploits on the fells and followed up her hard-fought victory in the previous week’s Carding Mill Canter, a 4M/1800ft  event at Church Stretton in Shropshire, with an overwhelming triumph in the formidable Wadsworth Trog at Hebden Bridge – a 20 miler embracing some 4000ft of climbing that Helen covered in under three and a half hours. Who says the marathon is tough!
2 VIV McCONNELL – Viv again belied her age by finishing in the top 20 in the latest Gwent League race at Brecon and is building her fitness to head a major challenge for the club in next month’s Masters championships.
3 ALISON HURFORD – Viv’s return to the club is inspiring Ali to greater efforts and she underlined this by producing her best run to finish on Viv’s heels in the same Gwent League race.
MIKE DOWN (18-02-11)