Very muddy conditions apparently… well, would we expect anything else at Parliament Hill? Though of course, there’s mud and there’s mud, as Lynn Wilson puts it: “there was the wet mud that you could breeze through, well sort of, then there was that sticky mud which sucked your feet down and made your spikes feel like lead weights, and then of course the hills which are always testing whether muddy or not”. So, yes, it was tough.
Not many of our juniors were out for the early races, but we had three in the U13 boys’ race. Ed Flewitt, Alec Edgar and Kevin Prempeh were one short of a full team, but Ed did well to lead them home in 67th, in a field of 300+.
Next up was Mo Ali in the U17 men’s race, just outside the medals but with a very competitive fourth place. U20 Elias Ahmed also did himself proud with 36th place – and he has another year to run in that age group.
Our senior women’s team was quite depleted by injury and illness on the day, but seven lined up to do battle. Lynn appreciated the support around the course from long-time members Bill and Julia Gristwood, Steve Plested and Rob Howells.
The women’s fields have got larger in recent years, and team manager Shona led them home in 173rd out of nearly 700. It was good to see Megan back in action, finishing second for the club. Lynn made her usual cautious start, passing other runners in the later stages: “the gap to Megan seemed to be narrowing but she had a really strong run and there was no way I was going to catch her”. The familiar sight of Heathside’s Caroline White just ahead gave Lynn something to focus on in the finishing straight, though Caroline still had the edge as they crossed the line. Aneta completed our A team, with Carol, Barbro and Bev just short of a full B team. For Bev, it was a lesson in the benefit of good shoes: “After my terrible run at Ally Pally two weeks ago I came armed to Parliament Hill with new shoes and 15mm spikes. The confidence that came with wearing the longer spikes cannot be ignored! I took the most direct route, watching other ladies skirt round the edge. No way did I want to add any more mileage to this course. Yes, it was tough on the hills and very muddy in parts; yes, I was slow in places and I’m still scared of downhill; but I finished the race on such a high for the first time in ages“. The club finished 49th out of 70 teams.
We had 14 senior men, reports team manager Jamie Taylor-Caldwell, our A team coming in 19th. (81 clubs closed a full team of six).
Hugo, a marathon-ultra runner, not surprisingly found this course to his liking, and was tracking Jonathan Poole of Serpentine for most of the race. Hashi wasn’t far behind, and recorded his first finish in the top 100. Ben decided 15km of cross country wasn’t enough for one day and did a speed session on the Parliament Hill track in the morning before slogging it round. This did cost him a loss to our Sunday training run partner Mike Boucher, whose day only got better when his Aldershot team won the title! Excellent runs from John and Nick, they were back and forth all race, with John finishing just seven seconds in front. Reece, Elliot and Sean were also very close for most of the race, with Reece eventually taking the sixth and final scoring spot on the A team. Rob, Akira, Mark and Mukhtar completed the B team, and supervets Ian and Ricky took the team count to 14, our biggest attendance since 2004!
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ESM results summary:
SM (15K): 70 Hugo Blatgé 53:07; 89 Mohamed Hashi 53:36; 214 Ben Waterman 57:02; 246 John Robertson 57:48; 248 Nick Steel 57:55; 448 Reece Asik 1:02:01; 464 Elliot Jones 1:02:18; 467 Sean Hanrahan 1:02:20; 585 Rob Brown 1:04:49; 651 Akira Anzai-Jackson 1:06:11; 700 Mark Kencroft 1:07:07; 758 Mukhtar Farah 1:08:40; 903 Ian Leslie 1:13:07; 1037 Ricky Grimes 1:19:13
U20M (8K): 36 Elias Ahmed 28:41
U17M (6K): 4 Mohamed Ali 22:17
U13B (3K): 67 Edward Flewitt 12:53; 110 Alec Edgar 13:16; 264 Kevin Prempeh 14:59
SW (8K): 173 Shona Cowper 36:48; 373 Megan Hubbard 42:09; 386 Lynn Wilson 42:28; 448 Aneta Neumann 44:10; 558 Carol Jones 47:48; 592 Barbro Julin 49:43; 594 Beverley Packwood 49:51
Full results on power of 10