It was grey but mild on Sunday for the County Masters championships, held at Berkeley Fields – the playing fields on the far side of the infamous Horsenden Hill course. A cold little breeze from the south dropped the temperature, but was of little impact on the race itself. This year the event was combined once again with Herts, which understandably shares the organisation overheads, but also makes it a little less clear as to who is running against who during the race.
The race was run over the ‘standard’ Met League course for Horsenden Hill, but starting on the far side in the playing fields, which meant heading into the hills sooner than usual, and a long flat run after the fast descent into the sharp turn parallel to Horsenden Lane. However this course, notorious for its wet and mud, was unconscionably kind and made for firm going almost all the way around with only a few sections of wet turf and mud. This made the hills way easier than is normally the case, and dare I say it actually a pleasure to go up? It also made for a fast course.
First off were the M40-49 & M50-59 running over 9 km – 3 full laps of the course. The leading 6 split off quickly and were neck and neck until the last half lap when they finally opened up into a sprint finish. Steve Norris ran very well and managed to pick off several places as the race progressed, finishing in an overall position of 8th, which earned him a well deserved bronze medal in the MV40 category for Middlesex (when the Herts and two MV50 runners were separated). Christian Neilson also ran a steady race to finish in 16th, with Richard Hooley and David Ford at 22nd and 26th in the MV40, having been put in a younger category to make up the team.
In the second race, run over two laps and 6km, the women and the 60+ men ran together, one of the features that gives this event its exceptionally friendly and special atmosphere. Lauren Morris ran exceptionally well and was clear ahead to win gold, showing again the club’s pedigree in this event. Frankie Lynch and Marion Brydson valiantly made up the team finishing in 19th and 21st, also having been put into the FV35-44 category to make up the team. In the same race, in what was probably the last of his regular races with the club, Simon Maddison ran strongly to finish 10th in the MV60 category and very much enjoying the day.
It was a shame that several other good runners were not available and with drop outs on the day we just managed to make up a single 4 man and one 3 girl team. As shown last year, we have even more potential for success in this race!!
Very many thanks to Phil and Barrie for their support at the event and through the season.
Sunday 19th February, Middlesex County Veterans’ Championship, Horsenden Hill (Cross Country), Results:
MV40/ MV50 9km
3 Steve NORRIS MV40 33:24;
16 Christian NEILSON MV40 36:43;
22 Richard HOOLEY MV40 38:56;
26 David FORD MV40 41:35;
1 Lauren MORRIS FV35 25:56;
19 Frankie LYNCH FV45 34:39;
21 Marion BRYDSON FV45 35:42;
10 Simon MADDISON MV60 30:33;