Charity Cup Report

There were record entries for one of the oldest open cross country races in the country which took place at its traditional home of wicksteed park on a bright and surprisingly mild late November weekend. The conditions were ideal for racing with little rain in the preceding week it was firm under foot, and the course altered from its traditional route due to work in the park flowed well, finding favour with both athletes and spectators alike.

There was plenty of success for the Harriers with some excellent individual & team performances with all U11–U17 age groups for both boys & girls enjoying team medal success, and plenty of youngsters having their first taste of cross country running. There was also excellent competition on the day with good representation from local clubs and from clubs/ schools further afield.

The only wins of the day came from the two of the rising stars from the Junior ranks Dylan Bowley & Emily Williams. Dylan Bowley who has been in great form was first off and the 10 year old ran superbly winning the U11 combined race in typical style by hitting the front from the start and setting a scorching pace over the 1.6km course, he carved out a substantial lead after 600m and won comfortably from R&N Mac Ryder in 6:25. Next home for the Harriers was Ethan Nelis (7:07) who had an excellent race to finish 6th overall with debutant Hal Robinson third harrier home enjoying a solid run in 9th position (7:11), all three being rewarded with a silver team medal. In the Girls race Daisy Robinson led the charge for the Harriers enjoying a good race in 11th with 8:07, with Harriet Drake-Lee & and Millie Toseland packing well in 12th & 13th respectively to earn themselves a Bronze team medal.

Emily Williams was a joint winner in the U13 combined race, Emily who has also been in great early season XC from was in action against her friend and local rival Poppy Carmichael from R&N, the two quickly established a substantial lead from the remaining U13 girls and were neck and neck throughout the twisty 2.6km course, with 200m to go Emily opened up a small gap from Carmichael who responded and gave chase, in the final closing stages of the race Emily let off slightly allowing Carmichael to make a late challenge on the line. The two were inseparable both completing the course in 10:13, with Carmichael given the verdict as she was the stronger finisher. This was quality running from both who impressively beat all but 3 of the 35 strong boys field, the two will line up again for a rematch in 5 week’s over the same course at the county championships, which will be eagerly awaited. Next home for the Harriers was Fay Robinson enjoying a solid run in 14th (11:59) & Jennifer Robinson in 18th (12:25) being rewarded with a team Bronze medal behind R&N & NVH.

In the Boys U13 race over the same 2.6km course Henri Codling was the First Harrier to finish with a solid run for 5th position with 10:20, with Josh Cannell running well for 17th (11:09) & Nathaniel Farr in 22nd (11:39) ensuring there was a team Bronze medal to show for their efforts.

The U15 Girls race saw a dominant display from ex Harrier Tabatha Walford easily winning 4.2km race in 16:40, The Harriers had 7 athletes competing in the age group and top of the pile was the rapidly improving Claudia Nevett who ran an excellent race after a busy racing week for 4th position in 18:12, with Beth Gordon also running a solid race for 9th (19:28), and the improving Sophie Moss 3rd Harrier in 10th (19:30), with the three securing a team Bronze medal.

The U15 Boys race over the same 4.2km course saw the Harriers secure a Gold Team Medal with Ethan Mehmet running well for 4th in 16:52, Jake Trent and Jai Sharma enjoying solid runs in 7th (17:21) and 8th (18:10)

The Harriers also secured a Team Gold in the woman’s U17 race over the 5.2km course with Jess Gordon leading the way for the Harriers and probably enjoying her best XC outing to date with a superb solo 2nd place in 21:26 behind R&N Kirsty Goddard, and Fran Ashworth also enjoying her best race of the season with a solid 4th position (22:54), and Lauren Mehmet 3rd scorer running well in 6th (23:46).

The U17 men’s race saw Jack Hope running a typically strong race to secure 3rd individual position with 18:43, with Edward Cannell & Matt Brookes both enjoying a great race to secure 7th (19:46) & 8th (19:52) respectively to ensure the Harriers won a Team Silver medal behind NVH.

In the senior men’s race Twins 17 year old Lewis and Jed Hayes enjoying only their 2nd full 10km XC race both put in excellent performances to help the Harriers run well. Lewis enjoyed an excellently paced race to finish top scorer in 7th position overall in 38:46, with twin Jed enjoying a much improved race for 15th position (39:58) other scorers for the Harriers were Stephen Thompson 14th, Matt Fowler 18th, Andrew Clawson 30th, Martyn Winstone 43rd

There was further success for the Harriers in the NAA Masters championships with team Silver for the Masters Men with Stephen Thompson 14th/ Matt Fowler 18th/ Andrew Clawson 30th & Martyn Winstone 43rd all running well while WDAC took the team championship.

All in all it was a great days racing and some very encouraging performances to build upon, well done to all athletes who participated.

Also a big thank you for all the helpers/ marshals on the day who ensure the race went smoothly, particularly Martyn Winstone/ Andrew Clawson/ Peter Goringe/ Bill Bailey & Adam Henley who were present from the early hours of the day to ensure the course was excellently marked out, and the tents/ results desk & medals all ready for the mass arrivals later in the day.

The County Champs on Jan 4th 2014 will be held on the same course at the same venue - entry forms now in the results & Fixtures section - closing date is 31/12/13 with no exceptions. 

Shane Smith XC team Manager

PS - since writing this report, Harriers are very proud to learn that U13 athlete Harry Hunt won his district xc race on Thursday 28th November. Harry was competing against 80 athletes overall and was able to use his Harriers experience to bring him home first in his age. Well done Harry.