25.01.14 NVH athletes shine in the wind, rain and mud

Another great day for the club at the Southern XC Championships at Parliament Hill, London. Five athletes made the top 50, all in different age groups. Here's Russ report.

The day itself was very muddy right from the first race, which was the U/15 boys. It was in this race we had our first top 50 placing - Austin Herbert committed himself right from the start as seen on John Pryzbyl photos, he remained at the top end of the field to finish in a very good 45th. Team mates Ollie bowling having a good season was 106th, Will Baker 139th and Bradley Allan 202nd with Edwin Flack just 43 seconds behind in 220th and Lucas Fidler doing his best (with no spikes!) in 251st.

Next race away was the U/13 girls. Kelsi Ellis led the way with a fine performance in 118th, just 30 seconds behind was Amber Park in 162nd with Ellie Piccaver also 30 seconds behind in 186th - both girls are having a good season. Libby Burchnell closed the team in with 291st.

The U/13 boys followed with the course getting worse with every race, first home for the club was Harry Burchnell with one of his best races of the season in 108th , Ollie Smith came in second for the club in 168th, then packing closely was Ethan Ellison 217th, Ollie Oakley in 222nd, Charlie Bamford 232nd only 14 seconds covered the three lads, closing the squad in was Mapeshho Mukutuma in 265th.

Emma Gibb raced really well for her 91st in the U/15 girls where she was well supported by Megan Ellison in 115th and Imogen Woodard in 215th.

Under four minutes covered the finishing U/17 girls from the club with Georgia Gibb first home in 86th. Just behind was Emily brand in 91st, with Leigh Ann Rose in 128thand Annie grey 133rd .

Alex Hampson, last year’s U/15 champion, now in the U/17 age group was our second athlete to be in the top 50, never too far away from leaders at the start it was the older boys’ strength that showed, but his own strength of character meant that he held on to 24th place. Having one of his best races of the season Michael Cawood finished 106th, Bradley Spurdens also improved with 123rd, Damian Rutterford finished strongly in 196th.

Lloyd Kempson was our only U/20 making the trip - he was also our third top 50 finisher in 36th, another excellent performance in a very good season.

Also U/20 is Grace Mullins who after being top in her age group in the North Midland league added another fine performance with 20th. Emma Penniston in her first season for the club race well for her 55th as did Charlotte Harris for her 77th.

Our top two senior ladies made the trip & Cat Foley was the clubs fifth runner to make the top fifty in 42nd never far behind was Ruth jones in 71st.

For the final race the weather got worse strong wind and heavy rain along with a deteriorating course made this a very tough senior race seven of the clubs runners got through this test of endurance. Michael Moore led the squad in 140th, Rob Prady 185th, Paul Lunn 224th, Mike Chapman 323rd, Sean Beard 384, James McDonald 473rd and Tim Hunt 938th .

Well done to all who made this trip and race extremely well on a tough wintery course!