Results round-up - March

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.

A busy month so far with people spreading diversely across road and country and with many having April marathons on the horizon.


The Inter Counties XC was a final hurrah on the mud with Chris Wright placing an excellent 18th, part of the Middlesex team retaining its Team Gold Medals (another favourite sentence there); Andy Greenleaf also thriving with 42nd and team Bronze for Hampshire in 42nd, and Tash Sheel earning the Surrey County vest she had been coveting, and doing it justice in 141st. As context, the Top 6 finishers in both senior races were selected to run for GB in the upcoming World Cross Champs, and the men  at 30/31 minute 10k level are finishing about 1 per second.


The Big Half had a predictably huge Serpie turnout. Will Green led the posse home in 68.27, the first UK V40 to finish, and he himself spotted that this was without the club’s current 6 fastest half marathoners.  New lease of life (based on PO10 anyway) for Scott O’Connor, just edged outside 70 mins but hot on the heels of Nic Besson 69.59 (PB) and a returning-from-injury Chris Oddy 70.00. Currently awaiting results of any UKA Team champs held within the race.


The race also provided a healthy PB of 70.39 for Ben Tolputt. Also nice breakthroughs by Isaac Leigh 77.43 and Emilie Isaacs 85.41 who was 2nd Serpette behind Catherine Meyer’s 84.11.


On the same day, Tony Payne went to Rome and when there did as the Kiwis do with a 67.05 PB in the city’s half marathon. At time of writing this places him a humble 5th on the Serps half marathon list for 2019.


Simultaneously at the rechristened Hillingdon (ex Finchley) 20 miles, Jonathan Poole won in his usual fashion, this time with a 4 minute margin in 1.50.16 on a revised hillier course, whilst Ahlem Ben Gueblia sneaked under 2.20 by 3 seconds and placed third woman; both are in London marathon build up. JP’s Hillingdon trophy haul is 5 starts, 4 wins, one second place. Anyone selling  a quite wide mantelpiece, please message him.


Chris Wright rounded off his winter with a PB of 66.10 at the Reading Half, placing 11th in a loaded field on a windy day, and the 2nd fastest all time Serpie performance. Also fine runs in touch with PBs by David Evans 76.13 and James McCann 76.52 in the V40s, whilst Anna Lawson led home the women with a PB of 84.12. That same morning, the Bath Half saw a mighty breakthrough by Max Bontoft, his PB of 70.53 about one kilometre of road ahead of his previous best!


Coming up to date, consistent team results at the Southern 12 and 6 stage relays on 24 March, with both teams, and specially the men, missing some of the biggest hitters. The woman placed a fine 10th with leading individual runner being Catherine Meyer – an impressive 14th fastest on the long legs, whilst amongst the men Tony Payne was fastest, with a strong leg by Nicolas Besson, and Simon Cradock excelling himself as Serpies’ fastest on the shorter 5.05km legs, barely 90 seconds slower than the quickest individual. Very pleasing to see Glenn Hughes, the trailblazer of the club’s fast Kiwis, getting back to some solid form after writing off almost two years with injury.  Both teams move on to the National event in Sutton Coldfield on April 6th.


The quickest parkrun – and a club parkrun record (if such a thing should exist) was Callan Moody’s 14.33 at Dulwich on 2 March, in advance of his trip to Aarhus in Denmark to run the World Cross Country.  Somewhat bizarrely he was tasked with sub 14.35 by his Federation to secure selection for the global event in Aarhus later this month, which I bet wasn’t what the parkrun founder had in mind when he set up the concept.


David Chalfen



Tom Poynton

Submitted: 26 March 2019