January results round-up

With thanks to David Chalfen for writing this up, here's just some of the highlights from the few weeks.  Well done to everyone involved.

Club highlight of the year so far must be the coveted bronze medal won by the men’s team at the Southern Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill. It must be coveted as Nick Torry (33rd) was still wearing his in the pub four hours later.  Over the 14km of hills, the scoring 6 ended with a nice cushion of 60 points over 4th placed Bedford whilst being some way behind the mighty depth of Aldershot Farnham and District and Tonbridge. With four internationals in the team, it was very close to the strongest Serpie sextet as could be gathered currently, and was headed by the trio of Chris Wright (8th, equalling the highest ever Serpie result in this race), Andy Greenleaf 11th and Callan Moody 13th who all stuck with the sizable lead pack before things broke up after about 5k. When you have an England International  Jonathan Poole (43rd) and the UK’s 2nd fastest V40 marathoner Will Green (59th) as the detached 5th and 6th scorers you know that the team is fast and the race is somewhat stacked. Power of 10 aficionados (most of the membership, surely?) can observe that Andy G seems to have a slot between 10th and 12th permanently booked, tremendous consistency in a race this tough and varying in its demands. Behind them, the likes of Hugh Torry, Ben Tolputt, Kit Grierson and Joost Vogel ran well and can have sights on some engraved Southern metalware in the 12 stage relay two months hence. The men finished ahead of Highgate (obvious from the above, I know, but I just like to write that sentence when chance arises).


The women’s race was, by contrast to the tight men’s event, dominated from the start by a runaway winner, with the Serpie scorers of Anna Lawson (49th), Anna Hollingsworth (54th), Tash Sheel (55th) and Megan Roberts (58th), packing incredibly tightly across about 80 metres, and ending with a solid 6th team place. Again, with two fast roadsters to add, they could also make the Southern 6 stage podium in late March.


Two weeks earlier at Wormwood Scrubs, the 4th Met League restored something closer to normal service for senior A teams.

The women placed 3rd, Izzy Clark leading the line with 2nd place in her season’s debut over the mud (well, hypothetical rather than actual mud) with Megan Roberts progressing to finish in close order behind off-road stalwarts Mses Sheel and Pemberton.

The men placed 4th, slightly frustratingly close to second behind the ever-dominant Highgate. It was a solid team, with a notable Euro presence, albeit like the women, missing a few big hitters. Chris Wright tucked in as part of  an evenly matched quartet and it was past 20 minutes of racing before one would have needed a second blanket to cover the group. He placed 4th, by some margin his best Met League position.  Jonathan Poole was also back close to his best with Nick Torry making the Top 20 in a strong field. Something of a XC breakthrough from Ben Tolputt in the Top 50, a career best so far.  


On the road, on 20 January at the St Albans Fred Hughes 10 miles  Marta Bagnati, rebuilding towards spring goals, won the women’s race with 61.46, repeating her 2018 breakthrough, in slightly less chilly conditions.

Finally a rare Serpie double parkrun win at Sizewell courtesy of Angus Beaumont 18.25 and Sarah Dudgeon (2nd Claim) 20.57 while Chris Oddy came across an RAF Welsh international on land-based parkrun duty, relegating him to second at Fountains Abbey though his 16.21 continues the comeback trail.


David Chalfen



Tom Poynton


Submitted: 28 January 2019