Men’s Surrey cross-country league, Div 1, Match 3, Coulsdon, 13 Jan 2018

Down to the bare bones – but a new era dawns


To be sure we must adapt to this hard, fast changing world of Surrey athletics, where some half-dozen clubs now are outstanding, and chuck in the entire Garden of England and we’ve got a task on our hands, and no mistake.

A list of declared runners for Coulsdon should really be viewed from behind the sofa, with all other clubs between 21 and 42, and us a paltry 10.  Brutal!  But so splendidly did our hardy dectet run that 5th place in the league was maintained, and we actually took a miserly two points out of our most pressing threat, SLH.

Paskar and Nick Buckle were both quite magnificent.  The former reaching yet another podium and the latter with one of the best races of his career in a stacked field.

The skipper has struggled to maintain consistency with his running due to long hours, so his result can only be applauded, and a very light on sessions (and newly “vetted”) Nick Bundle was as immaculate as ever.

So great to see Arne back in the engine room, and he was furious to leak a couple of spots at the death [loving the passion]; whilst an on-song Patrick finally got the better of great rival Will, as they found poor Ted in their midsts, whose shoe split right open and twice had to perform emergency surgery costing him at least 40 points.

Rob scored for us again, whilst newbie Will Johnson became the 361st league scorer in Bels history – a very warm welcome to him.

Rob Norville has ‘come off the subs bench’ on 15 occasions in the last decade to put telling points on the board for his team.

Farewell, but not goodbye

This race marks a fresh approach to the running of our fabled Harriers division.  We’re taking the weight off my slim shoulders, as I’m still a competing athlete, and League secretary, so a trifle triple-booked on race days.  We’re going to look to share the team manager role around a bit more, whether it be running things by sub-committee or installing a rotating match manager for each fixture, depending on who’s running.  This is how many amateur sports clubs operate and it works very well.

I remain on call as consultant, assistant, batman and chauffeur, and 20 years into my journey with the Bels road and country squad I shake my head in disbelief at the incredible time we’ve enjoyed, with so many great days and no little swag, and I look to the future with optimism.  WVLC


1 A Maud 27:29; 3 P Owor 28:46; 7 N Buckle 29:03; 33 E Auden 30:25; 46 N Bundle 30:43; 100 A Dumez 32:41; 119 P McDougall 33:23; 122 T Oldman 33:28; 126 W Cockerell 33:38; 156 R Norville 35:16; 157 W Johnson 35:17.  209 finished.

1 Ken 184; HW 201; 3 THH 346… 7 Bel 566.


1 HW 735; 2 Ken 749; 3 THH 982; 4 HHH 1246; 5 Bel 1473; 6 Ran 1557; 7 SLH 1601; 8 CC 1644; 9 Rei 2312

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