Alex Lepretre took fourteenth place in the South of England Cross Country Championship at Brighton on Saturday.  So far as we know, this is the club’s best ever position in the senior men’s race.  We have been able to check back to 1975 and none have finished higher in 44 races.  Well done Alex!

We were off in our minibus from Barnet Odeon at 9.30am, Chris Violet at the wheel, and were at Stanmer Park, Brighton, at midday.  The weather forecast, rain from 12 o’clock, proved correct  –  very light rain at first, heavier later.  We were glad to have our gazebo.

The women’s race was first and, with just ten minutes to go, we had a problem.  Kirsty Johnstone couldn’t find the precious chip to go round her ankle.  We all set to, turning the gazebo upside down, trying to find it.  Do they fly?  Do they walk?  Maybe they do.  We couldn’t find Kirsty’s chip anywhere.  OK, OK.  Plan B.  Kirsty would start running; we would find the chip; husband Des would get it to Kirsty during the race; Kirsty would cross the finishing mat holding the chip low down to record her time.  No doubt about it, a brilliant plan, but we found the chip only after Kirsty had finished, stuck to the back of her vest with the Velcro strap.  Attach the chip as soon as the team manger gives it to you in the envelope with your name on and full instructions.

Jo and Nina finished together, just inside the first hundred, Karen and Sarah were inside the next hundred.  The team, four to score, was 19th of 40  –  just inside the first half of the field.  Kirsty ran round, the chip went round with her, but it didn’t record anything.  Click here for full results.  Our results:

South of England Cross Country Championship.  Brighton.  27 January 2018.

  96 Jo Kent    35:49 132 Karen Murphy    37:31
  97 Nina Atherton    35:49 164 Sarah Boxer    39:09

Teams.   1 AFD.  2 Cambridge & Coleridge  3 Serps.      19 Barnet.   40 teams completed.

For the men it was nine miles:  hills, mud, cold, steady rain.  Alex Lepretre led the team home, followed by Niall Fleming.  It was six to score so, with eight in the team, we had a little to spare.  Our non-scorers, Chris and John, knocked back runners scoring for other teams, not Bedford and County’s runners of course but, more useful, runners in teams close to Barnet and District’s position.  Our team was 39th of 55, not so good as the ladies.  First half of the field at Parly Hill next year boys!  Click here for full results.  Our results:

  14 Alex Lepretre    53:06 564 Peter Ellis 1:15:19
136 Niall Fleming    59:28 567 Des Michael 1:15:29
446 Andy Cunningham 1:10:23 666 Chris Violet 1:22:23
559 Darren White 1:15:14 732 John Owen 1:32:35

Teams.   1. Bedford & County.  2 Highgate.  3 Serps.     39 Barnet.    55 teams completed.

There are three team managers’ pennants this week:  for Nina, who works on Saturdays but arranged cover so that she could make up the team;  for Chris, who hired the minibus, drove us there and back, and ran 9 miles for Barnet and District Athletic Club as well,  and for Alex who, quite simply, ran a blinder.  Thank you and well done Nina, Chris and Alex.

Click here for updated winter points tables.  After the last race the names in the top halves of the tables will go into draws for bottles of cava, Spanish champagne.

Champagne is often taken with oysters.  Indeed, team managers would recommend this, perhaps sautéed oysters with a marinated seaweed garnish for a light lunch, or perhaps choice Pacific oysters lightly poached with a guacamole dressing for a romantic evening meal for two.  Team managers will be happy to advise.

Lost property.  Still unclaimed from Wormwood Scrubs:  black “Berghaus” gloves, small black wool gloves, white scarf.  Contact John Owen.

Jenny  07970 865357
Alex  020 8441 9425
David  020 8449 2524
John  020 8445 6732