Bronze for the ‘Toughees’
Will Cockerell writes: From the gloomy depths of when we last visited this venue 10 months ago – the scene of our Surrey League relegation – things are looking chipper again. This is the third set of medals the squad have picked up since then, and we finished ahead of current Surrey League leaders, Thames H & H, who had 15 out at the last league fixture and provided the individual winner here.
It was a very close run thing either way: just a tantalizing single point off the silver medals, but we were lucky to exist at all, as we flirted with the agonies of being one short of a team for the fourth time this season. The TM awoke to 10 yesses, but one by one they were felled during the morning, until we couldn’t afford any more slip ups, as a brave sextet ventured forth.
We topped and tailed with a couple of champs in Sam Amend (full of cold), and race-walker Maureen who not for the first time came to our rescue in an emergency, to run round well. Fee pinged a hat-trick of great runs for the Belles; closely followed by 800m purist Nellie, who turned down a trip to Venice for this and had an entertaining rant on Facebook after the race about how ghastly it was, but finished like a hurricane. Kerri again proved to be a reliably safe pair of hands, and then we had Vicki who really did ‘take one for the team’: a pulled calf led to her hobbling the last 26k of the Valencia Marathon three weeks ago, but here she was looking smooth again and hoisting us up onto the podium.
Bouquets to everyone – a team of six for 7.5m in wet mud on a freezing day in mid-December is a big ask – 11 teams started, 5 finished – but we responded to the challenge with true grit.
Women 12k. 1 R Clifton (THH) 46:48; 2 E Alden (E&E) 47:10; 3 C Elms (Dulwich) 47:29; 7 S Amend 49:04; 10 F Maycock W40 50:23; 12 N Quispell 51:00; 24 K Renshaw 55:58; 33 V Goodwin 58:52; 37 M Noel W45 59:53. 60 finished.
Teams: 1 South London H 98; 2 Dulwich R 122; 3 Belgrave H 123; 4 Brighton & Hove AC 146; 5 Thames H & H 160.