Bristol and West have completed a historic double by taking both the men’s and women’s V35 team titles at the British Masters cross-country championships held at Perry Park in Birmingham.
Nor was this all as the women’s V45 team made it a hat-trick by adding their title to the medal-winning bonanza.
The women led the way by almost sweeping the board in their race, placing their three counters in the top eight overall in a field that had entered from all parts of the UK, with Amy Chalk in third place taking the V35 silver medal behind Telford’s defending champion Clare Martin and Annabel Granger 4th the bronze, while Camilla Briggs was 6th V35 age in 8th position overall.
Although not figuring in the individual medals in the V45 class Sian Davies, Ali Hurford and Nicky Bromhall were clear winners of the team title.
To complete the successful day our men’s team scored an unxpected triumph in the new V35-45 category despite the late withdrawal of Steve Goss and Dan Noad due to viral infections. With V50 hope Mick O’Doherty also absent nursing a throat infection we had the presence of mind at the eleventh hour to re-register our V45-55 trio Phil Parry (V45), Mark Scrutton (V50) and Dave Bedwell (V55) to compete for the V35 team alongside V40 pair Rob Whalley and Heath Bampton, though it was more just to have a team involvement than with any hope of success. But with hindsight it proved to be a master stroke.
Both Rob Whalley, who won the V40 title in 2009, and Phil Parry were competing after long lay-offs due to chronic injury problems, but certainly fulfilled their side of the business in 6th (5th V40) and 21st (6th V45) positions respectively of the 250 strong line-up, leaving Heath Bampton (V40) 39th and Mark Scrutton 69th to seal the victory, which is calculated on overall cumulative time rather than position as is tradtional in cross-country team events.
MIKE DOWN (Team Manager)