National Cross Country Championships report

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 bronze 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 & District.

Jonathan Poole xcThe 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 Steve Vernon of Stockport Harriers to take first place. Nick Torry finished in an 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 Torry: 19; Richard Phillips: 81; Jonathan Poole: 97; Hugh Torry: 103; Dave Morgan: 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 challenging course in such difficult conditions.

Serpie men's results

Serpie women's results

Race photos by Ian Hodge

Full results

Sally Hodge

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