The first Winter race was Hog Hill on 4th October, the last, the Chingford League relays on 25th February, a 21 week season comprising 17 races including the County Seniors race. We also enjoyed the inaugural Met League Trent Park race, designed and excellently organised by our own Rob Scott, a ‘proper’, testing, scenic and undulating cross country course that hopefully will become a regular Winter fixture.  It is remarkable that the two standout contributors for the Club this Winter season and winners of the WPT raced a remarkable 16 times and 14 times respectively, in addition to racing extra races at Vets events.

The Womens WPT winner is Kirstie (Johnstone), who ran all but one race, and raced additional Vets events on behalf of the Club. This was an exceptional performance compared with the best of any year. Kirstie ran six more races than Danielle (Savvas) who was runner-up, separated from Sarah (Boxer) who also ran 10 races but finished with lower league points than Danielle in their respective divisions.

Andy (Cunningham) raced 14 times and is Mens WPT winner, an exceptional contribution …….. and this from an athlete who I’m sure would describe himself as a track athlete! Andy ran three more races than our runner-up John Clarke, John having combined the effort of team management and racing. Chris (Violet), David (Scott) and Yours Truly also raced on 11 occasions but finished with lower league points than John in their respective divisions so finished just behind him in the WPT placings.

A season of cross country requires strength, endurance and commitment….. to turn out and compete  in all weather, on cold, wet, windy days and afternoons when you feel a bit under par. As runners we all know there are times when we have to grit our teeth to get to the start line,  for Kirstie and Andy to have done it week in week out makes them worthy WPT champions.

It seems that to compete in 10 races on behalf of the Club over the Winter season is a tough ask. The roll call of those doing so is a list of familiar and supportive faces for all those that competed regularly and in addition to our WPT winners includes:

Sarah Boxer and Danielle Savvas for the Women.

Dave Byrne, John Clarke, Peter Ellis, Michael Martin, David Scott and Chris Violet for the Men.

The WPT placings can be summarised  as follows:

Race Points     League points

1     Kirstie Johnstone                   16
2     Danielle Savvas                    10                     99
3     Sarah Boxer                          10                     82
4     Jo Kent                                  9                     94
5     Clare Boutle                            9                     83
6     Karen Murphy                         8                     77
7     Danielle Stapleton                   8                     62
8     Nicola Froud                           8                     46
9     Margaret Butler                       7
10   Annabelle Lee                        6                     69
11   Almeida Allesandra                 6                     56
12   Davina Gutteridge                   5                     48
13   Nina Atherton                         5                     40
14   Zoe Levin                               4                   44
15   Pauline Michael                      4                    20
16   Helen Hoyle                            3                    36
17   Shanya Godin                         3                    26
18   Linda Dworowski                     3                    24
19/20   Ros de la Bertouche           2                    19
19/20   Alison Hope                       2                    19
21   Emma Salmon                         2                    18
22   Kath March                              2                    17

14 competitors raced in                1 race

Total 36 Women raced.

Race Points     League points

1    Andy Cunningham                  14
2    John Clarke                            11                 104
3    Chris Violet                            11                   89
4    Peter Ellis                               11                  71
5    David Scott                            11                   65
6    Dave Byrne                            10                 112
7    Michael Martin                       10                   77
8    Alex Lepretre                           9
9    Will Morris                               8                   65
10  Steve Holmes                          8                   41
11  Steve Norris                            7                    85
12  Tom Butler                              7                    71
13  Nick Barber                            7                    70
14  Darren White                          7                     67
15  Alex Horton                            7                   65
16  Adrian Mason                         7                    55
17  Dan Nichols                            6                   69
18  Paul Carter                             6                  56
19  James Sarner                         6                   52
20  Ed Price                                 6                  50
21  John Owen                             6                  40
22  Raj Patel                                 6                  38
23  Costa Michael                         6                  30

5 competitors raced in                5 races
6 in                                                  4
5 in                                                  3
5 in                                                  2
17 in                                                1

Total 61 Men raced.

It’s a terrific achievement that the Team Managers, John C, John O and Jenny Mc, helped and encouraged almost one hundred members to run at least once during the Winter season for the Club…. As ever, thanks.

It’s been a pleasure to be responsible for the WPT for the last couple of seasons, attempting to maintain an egalitarian, anyone can win approach…. but there are many equally valid ways to run any competition or league. It makes sense to separate the WPT and B&D Winter League and next year John (Owen) as Team Manager will run the Winter Points Trophy. I will continue to present the Winter League, excluding however Chingford League races which have relatively few runners regularly racing in it from the Club which distorts the League. I am sure John will keep the Chingford League as a component of the WPT.

Thanks all for a superb season together.