We enjoyed a successful morning at the Middlesex Masters XC Champs at Trent Park on Sunday. It was a well-attended event, with over 100 athletes, though ESM sent a relatively small squad of 10 (plus a guest). However, we were rewarded with two sets of team medals and two individual medals.
With the event scheduled right at the end of the cross country season, Spring-like conditions prevailed, and some sections of the undulating course were very firm underfoot. To wear spikes or not to wear spikes, that was the question much debated before the race (but most shoes returned from their outing looking pretty muddy).
Our men took gold in the M40-49 team event over an 8k course, improving on last year’s silver medals. Steve Elson, a recent entrant to the veteran ranks, led them home in 4th, missing an individual medal by just four seconds. Club-mate Pete Flewitt (5th) closed him down in the latter stages but a gap of six seconds remained at the finish. The fast-improving Mark Kencroft completed the scoring team in 18th. Steve Morris was not pre-entered but ran as a guest, finishing 23rd, while Ian Leslie was the sole representative in the M50-59 category, placed 32ndoverall.
The men aged 60+ ran the shorter 6.5k course concurrently with the women. Graham French led the ESM team throughout the race, followed in the early stages by Alan Keeler. After a conservative start, Martin Wilson worked his way through the field, overhauling Alan and closing the gap on Graham to just 11 seconds by the finish.
The club’s women have a good record at these championships, having taken medals every year since they were first held in 1999. Fiona Kennedy could not match her outright win of last year, but finished 4th overall and took gold in the W55 category. She was followed in by club-mate Lynn Wilson who took individual silver in the same category, while Jane Ruhland completed the team.
It was a small squad but a highly efficient medal-machine: eight medals out of 10 runners ain’t bad. This event is always friendly and enjoyable and we have enough good veterans in the club to put up a full team in all age groups (OK maybe not M70) so it would be good to see more support for it next year.
M40-59 (8k): 4 Steve Elson (M40) 30:59; 5 Peter Flewitt (M40) 31:05; 18 Mark Kencroft (M45) 33:02; 23 Steve Morris (M40) 34:49; 32 Ian Leslie (M55) 37:06
M60 (6.5k): 9 Graham French 34:33; 10 Martin Wilson 34:44; 11 Alan Keeler 35:26
W35+ (6.5k): 4 Fiona Kennedy (W55) 29:19; 19 Lynn Wilson (W55) 32:18; 37 Jane Ruhland (W50) 35:13