1 ROBBIE BUGDEN – With his impending ankle operation which will put him out of action for up to six months having been brought forward to next week Robbie opted to finish his season by testing himself over the half marathon distance rather than contest the World champioship cross-country trials, and it certainly proved a profitable decision. Not only did he smash his previous personal best for the distance with a time of 65:16 in the Bath Half, but was the first Brit to finish in 6th place which earned him the princely bonus of £500 to add to his other prize money. We offer our congratulations and wish him a speedy recovery from his impending surgery.
2 ANGUS MACLEAN – Angus made a remarkable debut for the club in the Bath Half. He has not raced at this level of competition for some three years due to the demands of his medical career, and despite an inevitably sporadic training programme he still underlined his past international talent by finishing a very competitive 14th in the impressive time of 68:26. With a range of PBs from 3:38 for 1,500m on the track to 48mins for 10M on the road, he is clearly going to be an asset to our road team even if only half race fit.
3 TOM MERSON – Tom finally put the injury/illness problems that have wrecked his winter season behind him to finish a much happier 64th in the Inter-Counties/World trial cross-country championships in Birmingham. Hopefully this return to something like his true form will put him in top shape for the forthcoming road relay season.
1 HOBIE MARTIN – Hobie once again raised more than a few eyebrows by mixing it with the best boys in the Inter-Counties U17 championship to finish as high as 6th less than half a minute behind the winner and actually second best among those at the bottom of the age group. Clearly he is going to be a potential medallist next year.
2 RHYS PARK – Rhys put his disappointing performance at the National behind him by finishing only nine seconds down on Hobie in 11th place in the Inter-Counties. His long raking stride had been no match for the squelchy mud at Alton Towers, but on the relatively firm ground at Cofton Park he was able to show his true ability and he is going to prove a real asset to the senior team when he moves up to the U20 age group next year.
3 ZAK TOBIAS – Like Hobie young Zak has only just moved up to the U17 age group and did well to finish just inside the top 30 in the Inter-Counties race. This time he turned the tables on his training partner Luke Jacobs, who was still by no means disgraced in 51st place, and the fact that both of them finished only just over a minute behind the winner proves that we have one of the best U17 squads in the country.
1 MICK O’DOHERTY – Mick duly took the V50 prize in the Bath Half. His time of 75:29 was good enough to rank him among the top ten V40s overall and is the fastest time by a V50 over the distance so far this year even though he admitted to feeling under the weather.
2 ALEC WOODS – Alec continued his recent venture into multi-terrain racing by finishing as high as 4th overall in Wiltshire’s aptly named Terminator 11 mile challenge. At his best when the going gets tough Alec was a clear winner of his V45 age group and should be a lead contender in this weekend’s National Masters cross championships.
3 HEATH BAMPTON – Heath represented Berkshire in the Inter-Counties championship, and as a vet did well to finish in a respectable 224th position. This followed the final race of the Oxford Mail League in which he clinched second place overall in the V40 category.
1 LUCY MACALISTER – Lucy produced her best ever performance over the distance when she clocked a new PB of 73:42 to finish as high as 4th among one of the best women’s fields for years in the Bath Half. Some idea of the quality of her performance can be guaged from the fact that she finished within a minute of the newly crowned National cross-country champion Louise Damen who was third just behind the leading Brit Alyson Dixon. Like Louise Damen, Lucy is preparing for a spring marathon, but has opted for Brighton rather than London where she could get better assistance with the pacemaking provided.
2 JENNY JAGGER – Jenny continued her comeback following the birth of her first child with an unexpected victory in the recent Castle Combe 10K, while her winning time of 37:13 suggests that she could soon be challenging for a place in our top team.
3 VICKY TESTER – Vicky continued her successful move up to longer distances by setting another personal best of 84:18 in the Bath Half, which gave her a place in the top 30 women (27th) and ensured we won the team race.
1 ANNABEL GUMMOW – Annabel repeated her fine run in last year’s World championship cross-country trial by again finishing runner-up to National champion Emilia Gorecka to seal her place in the U20 team for the forthcoming World championships in Spain. In fact she finished closer than ever to her Aldershot rival after closing the gap to no more than 20m after storming up the final hill only for Gorecka to respond on the short downhill run to the line when her margin of victory was still only eight seconds. In this sort of form she could well be among the top European finishers in Spain, and like Gorecka is still only 17.
2= HANNAH ALDERSON & OLIVIA SADLER – Hannah and Olivia both produced their best ever performances in the Inter-Counties cross-country championships to finish 8th and 5th respectively among all the country’s top runners in the U20 and U17 events. Hannah was less than 25 secs away from joining Annabel in Britain’s World championship team, but will almost certainly have the consolation of being selected for the England U20 team for the Home Countries international later this month. As for Olivia, like Hannah she was a different proposition on the firmer footing afforded by the Cofton Park course compared to last month’s endless slog through the mud at Alton Towers in the National and finished only 15 seconds outside the medal positions.
3 NAOMI SPEAKE – Naomi has never done anything by half measures, so chose to make her comeback after her long absence due to injury in the most competitive race of the year. It was a daunting challenge, yet she should be satisfied at finishing within a minute of Olivia and in the top 40, as should Victoria Kenny who was no more than 20 seconds behind Naomi in 55th place in her first major outing at this level.
1 AMY CHALK – Amy warmed up for this weekend’s National Masters cross-coutry championships by scoring a runaway victory in the Devizes 10K road race. She won by nearly five minutes and was only a minute away from making the top three overall.
2 CAMILLA BRIGGS – Camilla chose the longer distance of the Bath Half as her warm up for the Masters cross championships and improved her best time to 83:03 to finish in 21st place, and along with Vicky provided Lucy with the backing to clinch victory in the team race.
3 SIAN DAVIES – Sian only used the Bath Half as a training run, but even so what she would consider a pedestrian time for the distance of 96:20 was still good enough for 4th place in the V50 category.
MIKE DOWN (10-03-11) .