For the time of the year it was a glorious day and the sun shone on Bristol & West colours at the third Gwent League Race at Bath University on Sunday 8th December 2013 which incorporated the Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire individual County Championships.
The ladies race saw Kate Goodhead and Jessie Sanzo dominating the ladies race after starting steadily on the first lap finishing first and second. Kate confided that she hadn’t won a cross-country race for a while so it was an early Christmas present for her. For Jessie, it was her first ever cross-country race and what a debut for the new Avon County Ladies and F35 Champion. Helen Sharpe did a remarkable double coming fifth in the East of Scotland Championships in Dundee yesterday and then coming seventh today, while Anna Burton and Grace France completed our A team in eighth and eleventh places. I think we can safely say they won the team event and that the B team were either first or second B team with Clare Jolliffe having an excellent run followed by Marie Berryman, Sarah Everitt, Ellen Harrison and Caitlin Lloyd. Aimee Davies is moving up nicely over the series and Becky James and Nina Davies should be pleased with their debut runs – as best friends they tracked each other round to finish 75th and 76th respectively. Overall there were over 200 running.
1 Kate Goodhead, 2 Jessie Sanzo, 7 Helen Sharpe, 8 Anna Burton, 11 Grace France, 31 Claire Jolliffe, 32 Marie Berryman, 42 Sarah Everitt, 51 Ellen Harrison, 52 Caitlin Lloyd, 64 Aimee Davies, 75 Becky James 76 Nina Davies, 92 Hayley Bennett, 100 Rebecca Colquhoun, 113, Nicky Bromhall, 114, Ali Hurford, 115 Tanya Chowdhury, 140 Emma Withers, 148 Rosey Mushens, 181 Christine Burren, 189 Marie Lakin
The men’s race was dominated by Tom Merson who looked remarkably comfortable in first place following his victory in the South-West League the previous week. Content to sit with the leading pack through the first three laps Tom kicked on to win on the fourth and final lap always looking as though he was well in control. Then it was all about packing. Dan Edmund started conservatively, but then strode imperiously through the field to finish 12th. With Ben Robinson 15th, Nick Weyman 22nd, Torran Elson 27th, Jarlath McKenna 29th, Matt Krelle 30th, Will Russell 35th and super-vet Alec Woods 32nd we have a really strong squad of runners. Further back, Andy Malloy had his usual dependable run, Dan Noad, Phil Lucker and Tom Galvin were on the come back trail and there was another group packing in the 160s. There were almost 400 finishers.
1 Tom Merson, 12 Dan Edmund, 15 Ben Robinson, 22 Nick Weyman, 27 Torran Elson, 29 Jarlath McKenna, 30 Matt Krelle, 32 Alec Woods, 35 Will Russell, 79 Andy Malloy, 107 Dan Noad, 118 Phil Lucker, 132 Trystan Daniels, 134 Steve Swann, 137 Tom Galvin, 144 Gary Betty, 160 Paul Jefferson, 161 Neil Light, 163 Tom Watkins, 167 Colin Traer, 168 Mark Burley, 207 Daryl Beggs, 211 Bruce Sellers, 216 Jason Bidwell, 248 Gary Jennings, H-P Kiekuth 384.
As soon as we have more details of the results they will be posted on the club web-site with a link to the Gwent League web-site. A special mention must be made of Chris Elson who worked tirelessly to ensure the club fielded two very strong senior teams on the day, ably supported by Keith Brackstone and Mike Down.