As the Serpies headed north on the
train towards Sunderland's Herrington Park venue for the English National
cross country championships, the weather turned increasingly more wintery
and green fields were replaced by total snow cover. The snow stopped
falling before the senior women's race began, but the already sodden
ground, plus a few inches of snow trodden down by the many juniors' races
from earlier in the day created a mud-bath of a course.
The Serpie women's team finished in an excellent
medal position. Aldershot, Farnham & District took an unassailable
first place, with 6th, 9th, 11th & 16th places; Charnwood AC were 2nd
(3rd, 7th, 53rd & 111th). The Serpie team was Becky Glover (46th),
Sarah Pemberton (51st), Marina Johnson (52nd) & Vic Crawford (82nd).
The race was won by Louise Damen of Winchester &
The women had churned the course up even more for the men's
race, which proved to be a real battle for 1st place throughout the 3-lap
course, with Keith Gerrard of Newham & Essex Beagles outsprinting
Vernon of Stockport Harriers to take first place. Nick Torry finished in
excellent 19th place. The team gold was taken by local club Morpeth
Harriers, with the Serpie 6-to-score men's team in 15th place: (Nick
19; Richard Phillips: 81; Jonathan Poole: 97; Hugh Torry: 103; Dave
340 & Jamie Hogg: 387). Pau Herrero and Nicola Barberis Negra should
have been in the scoring team, which would have moved the team's position
up - this is currently being pursued with the ECCA!
Well done to all of the Serpies who ran the
course in such difficult conditions.