This year’s London Cross Country Championships saw typical wet and muddy conditions at Parliament Hill on Saturday, but Chris Smith once again shone in the conditions to win the men’s race and lead the Valley men’s team home in 7th place out of 24 teams.
It was a memorable performance from Chris, as Saturday’s win saw him become London Champion for the 4th time, a superb achievement and many congratulations to Chris!
Both the men’s and women’s races saw larger fields compared to last year’s races, with 203 completing the women’s race and 353 finishing the men’s race.
With the weather having provided some rain earlier in the week and rain again on Saturday, the fields over Parliament Hill were too soft and muddy to be negotiated without a good pair of running spikes and some also chose to race in long sleeves as the rain fell and temperature dropped throughout the day.
The men’s race distance of 10k was made up of 4 laps, 2 of 2k followed by 2 of 3k, which meant that they would face the longest hill near the start of each lap 4 times, while the ladies 6k race was over 2 laps.
Senior Women’s Race Report
For Saturday’s women’s race there was a large field of over 200 on the starting line, including six TVH ladies who completed a tough, muddy and hilly 6km course at the infamous Parliament Hill.
The first 4 runners home scored, bringing the team in 12th overall in the London cross-country championship, an improvement of one position compared to 2014. Well done.
First home and looking strong in 27th position, was Victoria Carter (25:42) followed by Siana Jones in 51st (26:46).
Our two Iron-man triathletes Jess Bass (29:13) and Lauren Morris (29:56) were not far behind in 110th and 124th.
Barbara Maddison (33:53) and Christine Munden (39:46) completed the 6-strong team in 172nd and 198th position.
Also of note, some of our friends, regularly at training on a Tuesday, were competing for their first claim clubs.
We were sad not to have them in our team but congratulations on excellent performances from Claire McMahon-Adie (24:34, 9th), Isobel Rae (25:34, 26th) and, returning from injury, Anna Critchlow (26:33, 43rd).
Senior Men’s Race Report
As the men’s race got underway there were over 350 men racing up the first hill looking to get a good position at the beginning of the race.
Given the hilly nature of the course the race went off at a steady pace and both Chris Smith and James Ellis made strong starts for the Valley men, establishing themselves high up in the top 10 throughout the first short lap.
By the start of the second lap it became clear that it was going to be a 2 man race for the gold and silver medals, as Chris and a Serpentine athlete had managed to create a small lead ahead of the rest of the field.
The 3rd lap saw Chris establish a small gap ahead of the Serpentine athlete and in a strong final lap Chris increased his lead to win by a comfortable margin of 18 seconds and secure his 4th London Championships title in a time of 32m46s, very well done Chris!
Following on from his positive start to the race James Ellis looked very much at home over the hills and gave a strong performance in his first ever London Championships to finish inside the top 20 in 17th place in a time of 35m14s.
Fahad Abdi continued his current run of good form with his best ever race over the Parliament Hill course to finish just outside the top 50 in 52nd place in a time of 37m47s and looks set to go even better as the season progresses.
The 4th and final scorer home for the Valley team was Andrew Mitchell, who overcame the challenging hills to finish in 38m36s, which earned him 70th place in the race and brought the team home in 7th place out of 24 finishing teams, equalling last year’s team position.
Next man home was Greg Bennett, who used his knowledge of the course to good advantage and was rewarded with a finish just inside the top half of the field, as he covered the 10k course in 42m23s to finish in 176th place.
Richard Bell ran a good race to improve by 25 places and 1m20s on last year’s race, to finish in 224th place in a time of 44m26s.
In a close race between Paul Woodgate and Scott Brewer, Paul just had the edge running in a new pair of running spikes on the day to finish in 239th place in a time of 45m09s.
Scott kept the gap between himself and Paul to just 20 seconds to finish in 244th place in 45m29s on his debut over the Parliament Hill course.
Completing the 9 man TVH team on the day was Simon Maddison, whose previous experience over the course enabled him to run a well judged race to come home in 351st place in a time of 1h01m51s.
Well done to everyone racing and supporting the team in not the best of conditions on the day and congratulations again to Chris on his golden victory.
After a long series of successive races dating back to the start of October there is now a couple of weeks break from racing, which should give everyone enough time to get ready for the final Met League race before Christmas.
It’s a home race at the Scrubs on Saturday December 5th, so we will be looking for a good turnout with good home support to see out the end of 2015 in good style.
Up The Valley!
London Cross Country Champs Results, 14-11-2015
Men’s Race Results
|1 Chris Smith||32:46|
|17 James Ellis||35:14|
|52 Fahad Abdi||37:47|
|70 Andrew Mitchell||38:36|
|176 Greg Bennett||42:23|
|224 Richard Bell||44:26|
|239 Paul Woodgate||45:09|
|244 Scott Brewer||45:29|
|351 Simon Maddison||1:01:51|
353 Finishing Athletes
Men’s Team Results – 4 to score
|Team Position||Race Points|
|2 Hercules Wimbledon||48|
|4 Thames Hare & Hounds||97|
|5 Herne Hill||123|
|6 London Heathside||126|
24 Finishing Teams
Women’s Race Results
|27 Victoria Carter||25:42|
|51 Siana Jones||26:46|
|110 Jess Bass||29:13|
|124 Lauren Morris||29:56|
|172 Barbara Maddison||33:53|
|198 Christine Munden||39:46|
203 Finishing Athletes
Women’s Team Results – 4 to score
|Team Position||Race Points|
|1 London Heathside||63|
|2 Dulwich Runners||70|
|3 Victoria Park||98|
|5 Ranelagh Harriers||182|
|6 Herne Hill||214|
|7 South London||222|
|9 Eton Manor||235|
|10 West 4 Harriers||277|
|11 Thames Hare & Hounds||311|
20 Finishing Teams