A tough time for the Belles at Nonsuch Park.
Heavy rain the previous day over ground rutted from the dry summer made for more difficult conditions than anticipated on this flattish grassland course.
Luckily, the torrential downpours soon to afflict the men’s fixture held off until this race was over but everyone in the team found it hard going. This was a depleted team too, with injuries, work and family commitments reducing the numbers quite significantly in the week before. The Belles finished eighth on the day but still stand fifth overall after two matches
Two of the Belles’ leading runners suffered. Keri Mackenzie and Saron Haileselase both had a reoccurrence of the diaphragm pain which has affected them before. In the race at Reigate the previous week, Keri had managed to stagger to the finish when it had struck her coming off the hill onto the final run in. This time the pain was so bad that Keri, third scorer in the previous league race, had to pull out.
Saron managed to keep with the leader on the first lap, but the pain which had spread up to her shoulder was so intense that she fell back several places. She soldiered on to courageously finish in fifth place ‘for the team’, but was left in real discomfort, bitterly disappointed and in the first aid tent. No doubt if she had been able to run like the previous week at Reigate she would have been competing for first place.
However, the next three Belles all ran outstanding races. Mhairi Hall and Emma Howsham, friends who train together, were both inside the top thirty and not far apart the whole race. Mhairi managed to get away from Emma on the second lap, but Emma has now perfected her ‘Usain Bolt’ like sprint, passing several runners up the final hill to finish just one place behind Mhairi.
Emma had improved from 60th to 25th from the last league race and Mhairi 36th to 24th. Mimi Corden-Lloyd also improved greatly from the last league race even though she had a slight tendon injury earlier in the week. All three are examples of what can be achieved by commitment and regular training.
With a very busy work schedule, Felicity Cole is now unable to spend the time training like she used to a few years ago. But she used her experience to run a very sensible race starting quite slowly then picking runners off over the last lap. It was important too as she was the fifth and final scorer for the team.
Lizzie Goldie-Scot found the second lap particularly hard and she too has little time to train with her very demanding job, but she soldiered on finishing close to Felicity. Lizzie is looking forward to an easier time studying next year when she will be able to fit in more training and get back to her excellent form of 2017.
Finally, Vicky Goodwin, flying in from Switzerland and supporting the Belles as she has done so often over the years. Vicky was suffering from her Achilles tendons too and had to just get round the course very gingerly avoiding those ruts.
Athletes like Vicky are so important for the team. Lovely too, to see Belgrave President Jodie Albrow there with her family supporting the team as were Steve Gardner and Nick Buckle before heading over to Wimbledon for the men’s fixture.
- 1. K. Snowden (HHH) 22:27
- 2. I. Brinsden (E&E) 23:03
- 3. S. Ward (HHH) 23:10, …
- 5. S. Haileselase 23:22,
- 24 M. Hall 25:15
- 25. E. Howsham 25:17
- 69. M. Corden-Lloyd 27:02
- 86. F. Cole 27:41
- 97. L. Goldie-Scot 28:04
- 239. V. Goodwin 37:34.
- 1. HHH 83
- 2. THH 111
- 3. Ran 139…
- 8. Belgrave 209.
Scores after two matches
- 1. THH 159
- 2. HHH 242
- 3. CC 282
- 4. Ran 312
- 5. Belgrave 352
- 6. Ful 357
- 7. SLH 359.