National Cross-Country Championships – Parliament Hill – Saturday 24th February 2018

25 Feb

Girl’s and Ladies Write-Up

A lovely day out, the sun shone, the ground was frozen, soft, firm, bumpy and boggy, but all ran well and seemed to enjoy themselves and the experience. The hoodies also went down and on a treat!

Under-13s: First in was Florence Harley in 191st place in 14:40, still in her first year with us and running well. Carmen Chance was 320th in 15:38 then Poppy Radford finished 368th  in 16:06 as third scorer team. We had no fourth runner so a team position was not available.

467 girls completed this race.

Under-15s: Alice Bridger Morales finished 65th in 16:05 and Claudia Spice 70th  in 16:05 (the level of competition is intense and seven runners finished all with same time and sixteen girls within 10 seconds): this shows the quality in depth at this event! Danni Sinclair was 161st in 16:57 (similar story with around 20 girls within 10 seconds of each other) Grace Claridge was 338th in 18:30 then Jemima Dutton 438th in 20:48 was our final runner in. 464 girls completed this race. Fantastic effort from the girls who finished 22nd as a team from 50.

Under-17s:

Although three girls entered Rosie WHITEHEAD was the only Bristol & West athlete to start and Rosie finished 208th in 23:48

Overall Girls Performance

It is worth making a ‘rough’ comparison to football/hockey etc. This was the National Cross-Country Championships, therefore the best of the best in the country. If divided up into teams of say 14 (like football/hockey) then finishing in the top 280 would be like a premier league team. As I said it’s a ‘rough’ guide but an indication of the quality and ability you have which can be difficult to appreciate in an individual sense, but more helpful when seen as a team.

Bring on Blaise next Saturday!

Paul Owen Reports

Senior Women’s Race

A pre-race walk of the course persuaded the team that a conservative start would pay dividends – and so it proved with most of the team finishing in the highest position they held in the race. The team was led home by Natalie GRIFFITHS  in fifty-ninth place (32:13) which was her best ever National finish. Behind her several athletes produced strong runs in their first ever National. Catie O’DONOGHUE finished in eighty-eighth place in 33:02 closely followed by Ellen HARRISON who finished ninety-fifth in 33:13. Imogen PECK was fourth scorer in 125th place in 33:59 as the team finished twelfth overall.

Elaina GARD (141st in 34:21) found the distance and under-foot conditions challenging after only a couple of months of regular training and Fiona MARKS (144th in 34:33) again found hills and soft going not to her liking. Naomi AYLWIN finished 167th in 34:56, while Sarah EVERITT showed that she is in good shape finishing 183rd in 35:22. Ana Maria DURAN MINGO finished 206th in 35:50 with Nicola OLDROYD in 485th place in 40:17. A gallant effort by everyone and it is an experience that will surely see this team finish higher with a further year’s training and big race experience behind them. Most of this team are more at home on the road and we still expect a strong performance in the Midland and National six-stage relays – had it been six to score on Saturday the ladies would have finished sixth!