National XC Mudbath!

The Harriers fared well in the English National cross country championships, with some quality performances throughout all the age groups. The races will live long in the memory for all who competed with a quite brilliant, but brutal course set up on a saturated Wollaton Park in Nottingham.

The conditions were as tough as it gets with blustery winds, heavy ankle & shin deep mud in places, a challenging log jump, and many parts of the course routed through deep water from the streams which had formed over the past few weeks, all making up for a spectacular specticle.

Bottom year U20 Emily Williams was the highest placed finisher on the day with a terrific race to finish inside the top 50 finishing in 36th place over the 6km course in 28:53. Williams got off to a good start in the opening 2km loop sitting comfortably inside the top 20, but as the raced progressed the heavy conditions took their tool and she slipped back, rallying in the firm downhill section towards the finished she took a number of places on the way through the line.

U20 Emily Williams was the highest placed finisher on the day in 36th place

The U15G raced produced some good performances with Alice Bates leading the way for the Harriers with a fine 56th placing over the 4km race in 21:14. Bates again become sucked in at the start and had to work hard over the first km to try and get back into the race, a combination of this and the heavy conditions took their toll and she tired a little over the final km. Pippa Moore making her KTH debut over XC ran a solid race underlining her recent improvements in training finishing in 175th place (22:50), with Alice Bennett really struggling in the conditions worked hard to finish in 225th (23:47), while Julia Buzuk final scorer in the team stakes finishing in 364th (28:22) to help the team to a joint 27th placing matching local rivals R&N who finished on the same points total. There were 390 finishers in the race.

Alice Bates with a fine finish in 56th batteling through one of the streams

The U15B race also saw some fine performances with Luke Cole & Rio Carr continuing their season long battle with a terrific dual resulting in them both finishing inside the top 100, with Cole finishing the 4km course in 88th place in 18:33, with Carr just 2 seconds and two places behind his team mate in 90th (18:35). Ben Brooker & George Separovic both ran well for 260th & 331st respectively helping to secure a fine team position of 28th. There were 364 athletes who finished.

U15B Luke Cole fine run for 88th place

U15 Rio Carr finished in 90th place, just behind team mate

The U17M secured the best team placing on the day finishing in a highly respectable 17th place, with Dylan Bowley top scoring over the 6km course in 151st place (26:44) with a good run on route to him returning to full fitness. Josh Clutton battled well to finish in 221st (28:40), with Rylan Raulia 254th & Siddarth Zumkhawala (kette280th) completing the scoring for the team with respectable performances in the 286 strong field.

U13 Dylan White making his English National debut ran a fine race to finish inside the top 100 in 93rd place over the 3km course in 16:18, with Nathan Lamb also running well for 136th (16:18) and James Clutton final finisher in the AG in 322nd place out of the 384 finishers.

There were just two Harriers contesting the U13G race, and Magdelana Gancheva continued her great form to finish in 113th place over the 3km course in 17:38 with a strong race, and a near 100 place improvement from 2019. Ellie Separovic, competing at a National competition for the first time put in a very respectable performance to finish in 297th place out of the 357 finishers.

Magdelana Gancheva (124 centre) near 100 place improvement from 2019 for 113th place

In the Junior Men’s race Josh Cannell rand a good race to finish the 10km course in 44:57 in 142nd place, with Jack Watson having a solid run finishing in 165th in 47:32.

There was a large senior women’s field of 911 contesting the 8km course which saw Elana Albery running a fine race to finish in 281st place in 43:53, with Elaine Fairbrother running well for 475th (48:24) and Karen Albery in 614th (51:37) the final competitor for the Harriers.

The senior men’s race saw the largest field of the day with a very respectable 1710 runners completing the gruelling 12km championship distance course. The Harriers fielded 6 athletes to finish in 98th in the team results, with Luke Meyers top scoring in 445th place in 54:02, with Rafel Buzuk 742 (58:37), Edward Cannell 938th , Ross Brown 1129th, Ant Poncia 1640th & Mark Brockway 1650th all putting in respectable performances. Josh Cara, competing for Cambridge University ran a terrific race to finish in 63rd place in 47:12 to show he is well on the way back to race fitness.

Well done to each and everyone who ran in conditions that will live long in the memory for most!


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