The incredible Phil Wicks’ mission to be crowned the greatest Surrey Champs runner of all time, with an eye-watering 7 titles, was scuppered at the final furlong, just as he was rounding into shape last month, by an ongoing calf niggle which is taking a while to settle down. So for now the boy wonder must reside “only” joint top on 6 titles, with Bob Treadwell.
With Ed Auden coming down with a virus, and then the organizers cruelly forbidding the returning ace Steve Gardner from running, due to the TM’s nightmarish time entering the squad that saw poor Steve get left out (Surrey can have imperfect bureaucracy on their side, but alas I can’t), we were a little short on muscle.
But great kudos to the gang who ran splendidly. What can we say about the Lithuanian dynamo? Just another stunning run. With a K to go you felt for Andrius, as a hungry gang of ballerinas were eating into his upright, ungainly stride. Surely he’d get nicked, by Quinny for one. But no! Such is his strength the gap over his chasers was 5, 7 and 14 ticks. Such a beast.
PO is perhaps finally feeling the soft tug of time’s winged chariot, after some 25 years of hard, top flight running, but still a noble 17th for the Lion. Arne’s never looked better as he continues his quiet ascent in the sport, and was hassled all day by new man Bradley. Another man who just gets better and better is Ross, kudos indeed for breaking the top 50 in a very deep field.
Then however our soft-underbelly was exposed, with a nigh on 3 minute gap before Will J’s fighting run to see us home. A championship score for a developing athlete like him is a big deal, but it’s that delay where our frailties lie. But maybe we’re exhibiting short memories. Recall the turn of the Century when we struggled to get six round for years, only to then go on a momentous 10-year medal streak. So we must just be patient.
Good sweeping came from Ollie, Rob and Chris, with James putting nearly 70 in his wake and loving every minute!
1 J Sanderson (GG) 38:03; 4 A Jaksevicius 39:15; 17 P Owor 40:30; 33 A Dumez 41:53; 42 B Courtney-Pinn 42:28; 50 R Finlay 43:37; 90 W Johnson 46:29; 102 O Young 47:12; 116 R Norville 47:51; 139 C Warren 49:42; 172 J Morris 52:08. 240 finished
1 AFD 76; 2 GG 121; 3 SLH 135;… 6 Belgrave H 236. 16 teams closed in.