Gwent Cross-Country League Pontypool Sunday 11th February 2018 – Senior Women and Men

11 Feb

It was a decidedly nippy day, with flurries of snow, but the sun shone, and so did the Bristol & West teams. The preliminary results indicate that both the women’s and men’s teams were first, and by a healthy margin. It was a particularly testing course, which wasn’t to everybody liking, but almost everyone ran well. Steve Grant’s magic Garmin estimated that 35% of the course was up hill, 30 % downhill leaving 35% flat. Nobody seemed to recollect exactly where the flat 35% was!

The ladies were first off and Natalie Griffiths, Catie O’Donoghue, and Amy Partridge, after suitably cautious starts, worked their way through to the fore, as did Ellen Harrison and Elaina Gard. It’s a while since we had the scoring 5 in the first 11! The final positions were:-

2 Amy Partridge, 3 Catie O’Donoghue, 4 Natalie Griffiths, 7 Ellen Harrison, 11 Elaina Gard, 14 Imogen Peck, 18 Sarah Everitt (W50), 29 Clare Jolliffe (W50, 36 Molly Chilton, 42 Nicola Oldroyd, 51 Laura Pankhurst, 68 Fleur Cockley (W40), 75 Anna Ford, 94 Harriet Middleburgh, 105 Hayley Bennett, 108 Latife Comlek (W45), 130 Lesley Evans (W45) 150 Ali Hurford W55, 217 Martha Phillips. Overall, more than 250 ladies finished.

The ladies A team were first by an amazing 300 points, the B team third and first B team, the C team was thirteenth and first C team and the D team 32nd and first D team out of 66 teams competing. In the Reserve Division overall, the B and C teams are first and second, the D team seventh and the E team seventeenth out of the sixty odd teams in the division. For the Masters the W35 team is second overall, the W45 team is first and the W55 team third.

In the M65 category (which is run within the Women’s race) Chris Pearce was fifth (113th overall) and Tom Burgess ninth (169th). Tom ran despite having a heavily bandaged shin 3 weeks after an operation! The team is holding on to second place out of twelve as a result.

The Men did equally well. Again ignoring those blasting off Jarlath McKenna, Andy Watt and notably Owain Jones worked their way through the field. By the third lap, Jarlath was comfortably in second place with Owain shooting through the field with a very impressive finish, and Andy Watt maintaining his place. Andy Salmon had an excellent run and with Master, Tim Watson, made up the A team. With 5 in the first 25, there was no doubt which team were first! Further back, perhaps the revelation of the day for Bristol & West AC was Sam Bentley who, despite a stray shoe lace, finished fifty-seventh in his first cross-country race, and led the B team home. Brad Pontin and Tom Watkins were others who caught the eye as having particularly good runs.

2 Jarlath McKenna, 3 Owain Jones, 6 Andy Watt, 17 Andy Salmon, 25 Tim Watson (M40), 57 Sam Bentley, 60 Dan Titheradge, 69 Brad Pontin, 78 Tom Watkins, 80 Andy Malloy (M40), 85 Darren Garmen (M45), 87 Bill Hull (M45), 94 Jon Bennett, 95 Michael Chandler, 97 Daryl Phillips, 99 Paul Jefferson (M40), 102 Mark Taylor (M45), 125 Krzysztof Wanat, 133 Mark Scrutton (M55), 138 Jon Goodland, 151 Steve Grant. More than 300 finished.

The A team, as suspected, was first and has a cushion of 68 points over nearest rivals and last year’s winners, Aberdare. The B team was eleventh and extended their lead to over 600 points in the B Division. The C team was fourteenth, the D team twenty-first and E team sixty-seventh out of 84 teams. The C team maintained its first place in the Reserve division, with the D team in third place and the E team thirteenth out of 37 teams. The M35 team is second, the M45 team is also second and the M55 team is third. Strength in depth?