LADIES SEAA CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS, PARLIAMENT HILL, 28 JAN 2017

Top: Helen White, Becky O’ Kill, Iona Cousland, Sophie Carter, Charlie Dickinson, Christina Pennock, Lizzie Goldie – Scott, Zoe Doyle Front: JoJo Rhodes, Sophie Harris

LADIES SEAA CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS

Parliament Hill, 28 JAN 2017

For the Belles it was the event which saw many of our “marathoner’s turning out for one of the highlights to the clubs year at the “historical Parliament hill”. As the commentator mentioned you either “love it” or “hate it”.  My perception is the latter however with the ever growing Belle team and determined to be part of it.  Only myself and Christina Pennock had previously run SEAA out of the eighth.  Surprising on arrival for those who had raced the course before either at the SEAA or Nationals or even spectated it was a scene “most unexpected”.  What can I say it was relatively dry and the “Famous Hill” was lacking its usual slurry giving us more options of the ability to wear 12mm spikes rather than 15mm.

With neither of our “Zoe’s our regular Belles for the Surrey league runners we managed to persuade Sophie Carter with her new strength and confidence growing off road to join the London regulars along with myself.  Having won the Gold medal as a team in the SOT 7.5 and a great start to the Cross country season we gave it our all.

So a little on how the race turned out with Sophie Harris working off my pacing early race clipped passed me on one of her lighter training weeks to secure the  first team spot in 32nd place in a time of 32:10.  Some 11 secs after with sluggish legs Sam Amend (I) came in for a solid 37th place. For our third spot,  Sophie Carter in 69th with a time of 33:41,  Charlie witnessed her strength on the uphill sections.  Our fourth scorer was  Christina Pennock continued her improvement, 50 or so places up from last year’s result to finish in 91st position and a time of 34:36.

The rest of the running support came from the rest of the  Belles team with Iona Cousland in 142nd in 36:12, possibly suffering on the second lap after keeping up with Becky O Kill on the first lap. Becky was running a blinder until she sadly sprained her ankle with less than a mile to go to the finish but still ran a solid 93rd position in 34:40. Great support came from Lizzie Goldie – Scott in 196th finishing in 37:42 and Helen White in 277th in a time of 39:34, sadly for both suffering with illness, neither feeling 100% but still fought strong in the race to finish.

We must also thank our team management support from Charlie and the loyal supporters not running but came to support Jojo Rhodes and Zoe Doyle for their support.

Individual Standings

1 E Hosker Thornhill ( Aldershot) 28:42, 32 S Harris 32:10, 37 S Amend 32:21, 69th S Carter 33:41, 91st C Pennock 34:36, 93rd B O’Kill 34:40, 196th L-G Scott 37:42, 277 H White 39:34. 574 finished.

Team Standings:

ALDERSHOT FARNHAM & DAC ( 1 2 5 9 ), HIGHGATE HARRIES ( 12 15 16 55 ), CAMBRIDGE & COLERIDGE AC ( 25 28 31 42 ) WINCHESTER & DISTRICT AC ( 4 27 35 137 ) , LONDON HEATHSIDE AC ( 20 29 82 95 ), BELGRAVE HARRIERS ( 32 37 67 91 )

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