National XC Results (24/02/2020)

Tony Phillips provided his view of this years championship event:-

"The 133rd National Cross Country Championships were held at Wollaton Park, Nottingham, for the third time. I attended for the 63rd consecutive time to follow the fortunes of Tipton Harriers. The 88th Women's Championships were also held, together with boys and girls age groups, ten events in total.

The Men's course was held over 12k and the Women's 8k. After the recent heavy rain the course presented a tough challenge for the runners, with water covered patches, soft, wet, muddy stretches, paths and flat grassland, and challenging hills. A  cold breeze blew across the course, but it was fine, and fortunately didn't rain. The course included a small, medium, long and very long lap, four in all, that made it difficult to follow the runners. Some of the mud splattered runners and their numbers were difficult to identify.  The start saw a charge of over 2000 runners that soon began to stretch out over the course. of these there only 9 Tipton senior men.  Why do our runners miss this exhiliarating experience, and a disappointing number for from a club with an outstanding record in the event. It was the last club event of the season, and it was not far to travel, only just over an hour from the West Midlands. Those in the men's team battled against the course conditions, finishing mud splattered and tired after giving of their best. All deserved a medal for finishing. Experienced officials though it one of the most muddy courses, alongside Milton Keynes, 1985, Epsom, 1989 and Alton Towers, 2011.

Peter Brookes was the club's best performer, as he has been throughout the season, and was in the upper group of runners, a determined run, though tiring on the final long lap  to finish 192nd. 49 mins. 50 secs.. Jonathan Carter put in a run full of effort to  finish 372nd, 52.57.Third team finisher was Robert Meredith, 560th, 55.35, in the top quarter of the field, Dean Hil, a vteran of the team, slogged his way to 635th, 56.51, while Zabie Hassan's good effort on the tough course ended with 1146th place 64.54, and the last counter was Andrew Acha 1198th, 65.53. Also, completing the course was Myles Wilson, 1320, 68.11,  Paul Lucas, 68,36, and the last club finisher, Carl Gayle, 1660, 83.13.

In the 9 to count team position was 38th, but in the Club were 54th with 4095 pts. out of 146 complete teams. This was a very disappointing result, but only 9 turned out from a club entry of 22. Where were the rest of the Club's runners - 31 ran in the league, and no doubt many more will run in the forthcoming road relays.

There may some errors in the results, but two versions of the results were printed on the ECCA website, and the computer company's results, listing all finishers and team position for the main 6 man team competition: - 1. Tonbridge AC  246 pts. 2. Leeds AC 280   3. Bristol and West AC  301. Individual:- 1st C. Johnson 48.36; 2nd J. Steward 43.59; 3. L. Taylor  44.13.

Only two Tipton  Senior Women competed, another disappointment, but it was a good run from Rebecca Turton, 150th. 40.39. Evergreen  Penelope Barber came in 500th, 48.51. 920 finished. The only other Tipto team to finish were the U13 Boys William Evans leading the team in 157th, 16m 59 s, and Tom Lucas 178th in 17.13, Others in the team, 275th Elliott Boden, 18.19 Thomas HYnes-Oughton 303th, 18.19, Zak Lindop 364 21.01.  U15 Boy to finish Cameron Lomax, 183, 19.52. U17 Women Holly Graham, 186th, 27.58 . U15 Girls Rosaa Shadforth-Grocutt 252, 24.19. Claire Parker 289. 26.07.

Conclusion: Tipton Harriers turnout and results could and should be better. Well done to those who competed.

It  was good to meet two old members of our senior winning teams in the past - Nigel Stirk and Kevin Lamb."