A very successful day at the Scrubs.
An incredible five complete Belles teams with three in the top ten and bronze medals for the A team, add that to the wonderful team spirit a beautiful sunny day and a very exciting men’s race to support, it really was a great day.
With the short 3km lap on an almost flat grassland course, this is always the most popular events of the cross country calendar with middle distance track runners happy to supplement the usual distance crowd but the turnout this year surpassed all. Medals have frequently been won too, but we haven’t won since 2012.
The five first leg runners were; Saron Haileselase, Keri Mackenzie, Emma Howsham, Lizzie Goldie- Scot and Mimi Corden-Lloyd.
They finished in that order with Saron leading the field by almost 30 seconds. There were fine runs by Keri and Emma too, Keri off only a couple of runs a week and Emma running perhaps her best race for the Belles only ten seconds behind.
Taking over on the second stage were; Sam Amend, Mhairi Hall, Jurgita Levertaviciute, Fiona Maddocks and Mhairi McDonald.
It was a very strong run by Sammi maintaining the lead. She has supported this event many times and was only a few second off her very best time. Next to finish was Mhairi in another good time giving her all as usual, then Jurgita bettering her performance a year ago and a terrific run by Fiona Maddocks, her track season blighted by injury but managing to stay fit and strong. Lovely to see Mhairi McDonald in the team again who only returned from working with refugees in Beirut the day before, What commitment.
So Katie-Ellen French had the unenviable task of bringing the A team home being chased by International Pippa Woolven of Wycombe and 2;01 800m runner Katie Snowden of Herne Hill. The lead was just not enough and although Katie ran a very good leg, the Belles had to settle for the bronze medals. With the gaps increasing further back Stephanie Hewitt set off rather in no mans land and was relieved to be joined and then passed by Georgie Fenn who had a storming run after weeks with a knee injury. These two teams finished 9th and 10th in the race an incredible performance by all in this South of England Championship. Rose O’Brien completed her team a little further back in 17th and finally a huge thank you to Mimi Corden-Lloyd who kindly agree to run again to complete the fifth team.
1 Wycombe 34:48; 2 Herne Hill 35:11; 3 Belgrave A 35:22 (S Haileselase 11:11; S Amend 12:03; K-E French 12:08)… 9 Belgrave B 37:52 (E Howsham 12:33; J Leverticiute 13:12; G Fenn 12:07); 10. Belgrave C 38:17 (K Mackenzie 12:23; M. Hall 12:47; S Hewitt 13:07); 17 Belgrave D 40:31 (L Goldie-Scot 14:06; F Maddocks 12:59; R O’ Brien 13:27); 24 Belgrave E 43:09 (M Corden-Lloyd 13:22; M McDonald 15:35; M Corden-Lloyd 14:12).
K Snowden (HHH) 10:59; 2 P Woolven (Wycombe) 11:01; 3 S Haileselase (Belgrave H) 11:11.
Report by Charlie Dickinson.