It has been a real pleasure organising the club’s first few years in cross country running. I have met many excellent people and had a lot of laughs along the way. This was our third full season and the most successful for the club by some distance.
Can I start by thanking Joanne Brown for being ladies team manager – the number of women taking part has grown significantly since she became involved and all of you have greatly contributed to the fun atmosphere and social side of cross country. The number of men running has also grown by nearly double compared to previous years and a real team spirit has developed. For the first time both men and women fielded full teams (4 women and 6 men per race minimum) for all 6 races this season.
The increase in numbers running along with some excellent performances has seen the men’s team finish 4th in division 3, and with the top 2 being promoted we are well placed to challenge for promotion next year. The ladies finished 12th in division 2 and this would have been a promotion spot had the women’s league been 3 divisions instead of the current 2 division set up. We are competing against many bigger and longer established clubs but we are more than holding our own thanks to our brilliant runners.
Cross country has a terrible reputation – I think mostly as a result of us often being forced to do it at school. As a result many never give it a try. Some try it and it isn’t for them. Others try it and love it. Whatever category of runner you are I would like to thank those people who have run any of the races this season.
Finlay Ward, Sarah Kate Huntley, Kelly Hymer, Nichola Conlon,
Laura Choake, Martin Hallissey, Matty Bell, Chris Kenyon, Simon Gaffney, Mark Lyon, Mark Perry, Kerrie Old, Tina Kelly, Joanne Brown, Sue Heppell, Alison Jurowski, Allison Britt, Alison Guadagno, Suzanne Robson, John McGargill, Elliott Ward,
David Buffham, Steve Allison, Dave Legg, Chris Wright, Peter Bartholemew, Neil Ward, Seb Aspinall, David Stroud, Paul Holborow and Andy Gowens.
I have taken all the names from the results on the harrier league website and if I have missed you off the list I apologise hugely because your efforts were greatly appreciated.
While cake eating and socialising are definitely high on the list of selling points for cross country there is also a competitive element to proceedings. 6 races are run and your best 4 finishes are recorded and runners ranked according to points accumulated in those 4 races. Completing 4 races really helps a high finish in this competition. Next year we are going to award trophies and/or prizes to the best performing male, female, veteran man and veteran woman. No trophies this season (sorry!) but the winners this year were:
Senior male – Martin Hallissey
Senior female – Sarah Kate Huntley
Veteran man – John McGargill
Veteran woman – Kerrie Old
Well done to all four for some terrific runs over the course of the winter.
Rounding off the longest post I have ever managed to produce I would again like to thank all people who have run, baked, cheered on others, taken photos, posed for photos (Joanne!!!!!! lol) and been involved in any other way. It’s been a blast this year and I can’t wait for October when it starts all over again. Jon