Belgrave ran well, we had Sarah came 4th in the South of England Cross Country Championships at Beckenham Place Park, leading home our team who also finished in 4th place. Our team that all 12 who ran finished in the top 100 out of nearly 500 who started the race. The Championship was originally du Although 14 degrees was forecast a stiff breeze lowered the temperature considerably.
The team’s score of 114 points would have often secured either second or third spot in previous races and was a long way ahead of all our local teams. In fact, when I headed the team home in 16th place at Brighton in 2012, Belgrave won the bronze with 239 points, over twice as many as Saturday.
Next to finish was Rachel Brown in 21st. Rachel has been in fine form this season, having won the South of Thames at the same venue but a different course before Christmas. Then Olivia Papaoiannou and Alice Reed finished together in the 44th and 45th. Liv is gradually getting back to her best form after suffering from Covid over Christmas, and Alice ran remarkably well despite announcing she hadn’t done much training. That was the scoring four.
A common feature of the Belles team this year has been the strength in depth. A trio of Belles finished together in 60th, 61st and 62nd included Me, despite not feeling too well but supporting the team as well as ever, then the very promising Flora Whyte in only her second race for the team, and Ella-May Hards continuing her improvement with every race. Then not far back was another group of five: Lizzie Goldie-Scot’s 76th was her highest ever position, followed by Mimi Corden-Lloyd in 78th, Laurel Bray smiling as ever in 87th, just ahead of Alix Vermuelen suffering from the stitch and blisters 89th, and finally the ever-dependable Sarah Dewhirst in 96th. It is so important that they all ran – not only pushing other team’s scorers further down but also giving the newer members experience of racing at this level.
- J. Gibbons (Reading) 28:16, 2. N. Brown (AFD), 29:06, 3. B. Howley (London Heathside) 29:13, 4. S. Astin 29:16, ……21. R. Brown 31:03, 44. O. Papaoiannou 32:22, 45. A. Reed 32:24, 60, S. Amend 33:02, 61. F. Whyte 33:05, 62. E-M. Hards 33:06, 76. L. Goldie-Scot 33:30, 78. M. Corden-Lloyd 33:35, 87. L. Bray 34:13, 89. A. Vermuelen 34:19, 96. S. Dewhirst 34:34.
- AFD 51, 2. London Heathside 79, 3. Basingstoke and Herts 83, 4. Belgrave Harriers 114, 5. Highgate 233, 6. Stragglers 245.