Another good turnout by the Belles on Mitcham Common saw the A team finish 4th and the B team 12th overall but 2nd of the B teams.
Luckily, the rain held off until the end of the race and the course was surprisingly not too muddy despite heavy overnight rain. Several found the wet grassy downhill sections difficult but overall the conditions were good.
The Belles were led home again by another fine run from Sophie Cowper in 6th place. Sophie is studying for a medical degree and combines the race with a visit to her parents who live in Surrey and is using the league races to get back to her very best.
Rachel Brown in 10th had another very strong run despite not feeling 100% and preferring races longer than the short 6km.
Alice Reed has been piling on the mileage in preparation for her big endurance race at the end of November. She showed no sign of tiredness with an outstanding run in 15th, her best ever for the Belles. Alice will also be targeting the London Marathon next April.
Next, finishing almost together in the low thirties came Emily Barrett improving with every race, and new member Alysha Goddard. They ran neck and neck all the way round and could hardly be separated at the end. Unfortunately, Alysha’s change of club had not yet come through so she was unable to score for the A team as teams are only allowed one second claim member in each scoring team. She is however, a great addition to the team.
So it was Orna McGinley in 52nd who closed the scoring for the A team, just three points off third place, a very encouraging performance. 800m runner Orna has already supported the team wonderfully this season. Cross country is not her favourite, particularly when it gets muddy, but she is using the races for endurance which will bring reward next summer on the track.
Stephanie Hewitt is another using the cross country races to get fit, this time for an indoor track season. She is competing for Imperial Collage in the Wednesday University races as well and as a result getting stronger and improving with every race. Here she was in the low sixties followed closely by the ever reliable Felicity Cole just a couple of places behind her.
Then not far behind, Jojo Rhodes starting rather cautiously but coming through massively on the second lap.
Closing the scoring five for the B team was Mimi Corden-Lloyd, a little short of training because of studying and work pressures, but as ever one of the Belles’ most reliable runners.
Then surprised at finishing 105th, well within the first half of the field of 241 runners, another new welcome addition to the team, Natalie Nash.
Finally, flying over from Switzerland again to support the team, Vicky Goodwin. In the summer, Vicky does a lot of training on her bike, but this proves very difficult in the winter where she lives, so cautiously increases her running being very prone to injury. Last year she had achilles problems which took a long time to heal so she was delighted with her pain and injury free race.
Teams: 1. HHH 77, 2. CC 79, 3. THH 111, 4. Belgrave A 114, …..12. Belgrave B 329.
Individual: 6. S. Cowper 21:48, 10. R. Brown 22:03, 15. A. Reed 22:18, 31. E. Barrett 23:20, 32. A. Goddard 23:20, 52. O. McGinley 24:06, 64. S. Hewitt 24:39, 66. F. Cole 24:41, 76. J. Rhodes 24:59, 91. M. Corden-Lloyd 25:18, 105. N. Nash 25:39, 175. V. Goodwin 29:21.