Saturday 25th November saw 12 intrepid Harriers travel in a northerly direction for the South of the Thames Cross Country 5 mile team race. The race was situated in Beckenham Place Park, a recently closed golf course, a former WW2 prisoner of war camp and Lewisham’s largest green space, extending to 237 acres, not all of which we had to run around, luckily. I believe this to be the location for the start and finish of the Beckenham road relays.
Rumour has it that 3 harriers were fortunate to make the start of the race after being hunted down by an angry inner city Londoner who was forced to drive below 29mph whilst said deckchairs were looking for the entrance to the park. Fisticuffs may well of ensued had it not been obvious the visitors from Tunbridge Wells were carrying a large weapon, namely the Harrier flag pole, which could have been used as both a harpoon and a device for signalling surrender.
Upon gathering around the flag before the start of the race, a lonely, familiar looking runner from Dulwich tried to breach the inner Harrier sanctum, presumably looking to steal our tactics. We won’t speak of him again.
The race itself was a two lap affair and slightly longer than the advertised 5 miles. It was a constantly undulating course with no real sustained hills but technical in places as we were made to run over old bunkers and tees. Both men and women run together and am pleased to say we were all “Chicked”. The going was good which resulted in some pleasing times and honourable groupings. Weather was almost perfect, a bit too cold to start with but completely unnoticeable once shuffling forward.
Post race merriment was found in the Bo Peep pub, together with the survivors from the Danson Park affair.
Thanks as always to our supporter, pastry chef & photographer, Mr Steele, who also functioned as permanent flag bearer as he mislaid the guy rope attachment thingy.
Results (provisional): 264 finished.
First male: Paskar Owor – Belgrave Harriers – 27:39
First female: Georgie Bruinvels – Aldershot, Farham & District – 31:32
Harriers: place (overall place):
Andy Howey – 60 (62) -32:46
Adam Dennis – 99 (107) – 35:01
Simon Whitaker – 106 (115) – 35:12
David Hadaway – 108 (117) – 35:15
Saul Harris – 112 (121) – 35:22
Colin Timmins – 125 (143) – 36:19
Ben Muir – 133 (152) – 36:57
Matthew Trainer – 135 (157) – 37:04
Chris Walmsley – 143 (169) – 37:51
Mike Russell – 154 (193) – 39:11
Simon Holford – 155 (199) – 39:26
Nick Pierce – 181 (237) – 42:24
In the Mens team event, four to score there were 40 teams.
Winners were Kent AC
Harriers Team A – 22nd
Harriers Team B – 30th
Harriers Team C – 37th
Kent AC also won the Womens four to score team. (13 teams).
In the Mens 8 to score there were 13 teams.
Winners were Kent AC