National XC Championships, Heartbreaker Marathon and Avon Tyrrell 10k XC

Bridget Dence is entitled to smile after an excellent run at Parliament Hill
Bridget Dence is entitled to smile after an excellent run at Parliament Hill

We seem to be getting a bit behind with our reports……………
The National Cross Country Championships were held at Parliament Hill, London (an iconic course which everyone should run, at least once) on Saturday 21 February. BAC‘s only representative in the Senior Mens‘ race was Rob McTaggart, a creditable 267th of 2005 finishers in 46.16. David Long ran in the Junior Mens‘ race, finishing 45th of 190 in 36.50 – to most people this would have been very satisfactory, but David sets himself high standards and might have been a little disappointed (without good reason!) after his stunning run shortly before in the Hampshire Cross Country League. Well done, though, to Bridget Dence, an astonishing 38th of 395 in the U17 Womens‘ race in 21.21. Four other youngsters ran in the BAC vest, and well done to them, too, for their hard work and commitment. Seb Hearn and Brandon Meredith were 205th (25.31) and 276th (31.13) respectively in the U17 Mens‘ race, and Tom Farwell and Jim Dence were 230th (14.42) and 310th (15.26) respectively in the U13 Boys’ race.

The next day was the Heartbreaker Marathon, an off-road half and full marathon in the New Forest.  Jez Bragg (having won the Blandford Parkrun the day before!) won the Half Marathon in 1.20.27, and Steve Way, still recovering from injury, was third in the Marathon in 2.47.03.  There were 272 Half Marathon finishers and 176 in the Marathon.

The following week, 28 February, BAC‘s ladies continued to show their strength, winning the ladies’ team prize at the Avon Tyrrell 10k Cross Country.  Emma Dews, who hasn’t competed for some time, won the individual ladies’ race in a time of 46.09, with Caroline Rowley (4th in 53.38) and Louise Price (5th in 54.00) completing the winning ladies’ team.  In the mens’ race, Jud Kirk was 5th of 32 finishers in 46.44.

Caroline Rowley, Emma Dews and Louise Price - a winning team!
Caroline Rowley, Emma Dews and Louise Price – a winning team!
Jud Kirk on his way to fifth at the Avon Tyrrell XC
Jud Kirk on his way to fifth at the Avon Tyrrell XC