We made a very low-key outing to the Fraternity and Sorority Cross Country Cup meetings at Trent Park last Saturday, with some club members opting for a race-free weekend and others testing their legs on the roads, ahead of next weekend’s Perivale 5.
The fixture is unusual in that men and women run together over the same 5-mile course. Women have few races over this longer distance before the key championships in the New Year, so this was a good opportunity to test themselves.
The club fielded just enough women to close a team. They were announced as bronze medal winners at the presentations, though they dropped to fourth place following a later correction. Having dropped out of the North London Champs the previous weekend, Fiona Kennedy set off at a steady pace, determined to complete the course. She picked up a few places along the way and finished fifth overall in 33:45, gaining a silver medal in the veteran competition. For someone more used to running 800m on a clean, level surface, Nikki Shelley made an impressive debut over 5 miles of mud and hill, finishing a minute later in ninth. She was backed up by Carol Jones in 20th (37:35), and Jane Ruhland in 23rd (38:09).
There were just five men from the club, sadly just one short of a full team. The five veterans were led home by James Steel in 46th (31:33), followed two minutes later by Ian Leslie in 66th (33:24) and another two minutes later by Steve Plested in 82nd (35:20). Angelo John decided it was too easy to start with everyone else so he gave himself a five-minute handicap by arriving late then spending the race catching up. He finished in 92nd, some 36 minutes after the start – but we’d guess his true time was a good 5 minutes quicker! Despite bribery attempts from the runner concerned to suppress the final result, it should be noted that John Falvey managed to beat 14 women, finishing 125th (43:02).
Full results here