GRAND PRIX 5: Cross Country 9th October 2011

The weather was kind and very mild for the sixteen men and thirteen ladies that lined up for the first cross country event of the year at Lightwater Country Park yesterday. Consequently, the course was dry but definitely had some hills to test out the legs and off road fitness. It was also time for both the Ladies and Men to size up the competition as both teams were running for the first time in First and Third Divisions, respectively.

First off were the Ladies. Maggie Stacey and Aimee Billington both set a good pace of sub 6:45 over the hilly four mile course to come home first and second 26.2 RRC ladies. To put this in perspective their times were amazing age graded scores of 76% and 72%, respectively. If they were running in the second Division still, their times would have scored as 11th & 13th positions. However, the quality of the competition in the first division is such that this translated into a more lowly 35th and 39th. This first division malarkey is going to be challenging…Next home was the returning Katharine Wilson, running her first race in six months and still able to run sub 7 minute mile pace. Well done Katharine.

The Grand Prix leader Zoe Ashcroft was next followed by the fifth scorer Jane Calderbrook. Jane ran strongly and came through the field on the last lap to finish 92nd and to reduce our overall points tally. Libby Marchant, who has competed at all five of the Grand Prix so far this year and is now in second place in the Ladies Past the Post Grand Prix, was next home along with ever improving Nathalie Randell who both ran well under 8 min mile pace. Recent new joiner Krystal Newbury used her off road experience from this years 24 hour Thunder Run to good effect and ran strongly in her Vibram Five Finger shoes. Well done Krystal.

Nikki DeSousa, the ever smiling Zoe Wingfield and Carmela Pengelly and the running phenomenon known as Ann Bath also ran strongly, with Ann scoring just under 71% in the age grading.


Lastly, special mentions to Maria Cenalmore and 16 year old Nathalie Simon. Maria is not yet a member, but is considering joining the Club and so was running as a guest runner. So if you meet Maria on a Club night run, be sure to congratulate her on taking part in the Cross Country. Nathalie represented the 26.2 in the Girls under 17 event and aquitted herself well.


Overall, the Ladies finished with 282 points and were 13th out of 15 teams however we are not far behind the three clubs just above us and they could definitely be caught:


10th Stragglers 224

11th Clapham 243

12th Ranalagh 253

13th 26.2 RRC 282

14th DMAV 542

15th Wimbledon W 678


Turning to the mens event. It would seem that with my demise there are two “Hares apparent” that are prepared to defy sanity and set a very strong early pace that did not, lets say appear to be sustained over the final lap. These are Jim Ley and Moustafa Fawzy. Up front on the final lap it was Luke and Declan finishing one after each other. Declan was running strongly and was gaining on Luke over the last lap but was just pipped to the post but in the process recorded the highest age graded score for the day of 76.3% Well done Declan. Next was Ed Brunskill and David Pimm (who scored the second highest mens age graded score of 69%) followed by Richard Goulder and Peter Grecian. Both Richard and Peter have seen the benefits of their Abingdon marathon training translate into strong scoring cross country run yesterday. Well done guys great running. Also scoring was Simon Gerrard who ran comfortably, new father Joe Chang who didn’t, and Moustafa Fawzy who also suffered from the early pace. Good solid runs were also recorded from Robb Reeves, David Pearce, Matthew Pritchard, Greg Whiteman, Oliver Webb (in his first Grand Prix event) and Mike Gray.


Thanks also go to Binkie, Jo McDonagh, Jaqueline (& Jacob), Maryka (& Otter), Lindsay, John Matthews and Sarah Whiteman for offering such great support and Ann for offering such great cakes.


The next Grand Prix event is also the Club 10k Championship at the Oxshott 10k on 30th October 2011 (see coming events tab on main menu for details)

Full tables can be accessed from the Downloads section