British Masters (BMAF) XC Championships at Somerhill, Tonbridge – 12 March 2022
The weather couldn’t have been better – sunny, blue skies and not too warm for the women’s 6km and the men’s 8km.
Underfoot, it was slippery in places, but generally the going was good on what can only be described as a proper, undulating cross country course – although that did make it tricky to find a rhythm. Many of us were still reminiscing the first climb at Parliament Hill in the National only two week’s previously.
The event, the last cross country of the season (apart from the club XC champs), was really well organised and had a great turnout with nearly 400 runners in the combined events – the organises said they were expecting a couple of hundred – so having so many there was great to see.
Well done to the Harriers who took part – the women’s race was won in 24mins 49secs and the first Harrier home was Michele Bradshaw W60, running really well in 33mins 44 secs, closely followed by Maria Gandara W50 in a very respectable 34mins 34secs.
In the men’s 65 category, Nick Pierce finished 95thin 35mins 21secs, in a very completive field, including some Olympians.
In the men’s race, we had 14 Harriers – or deckchairs as Bob affectionately refers to the striped kit – with the winner from Dulwich Runners AC coming home in 28mins 44secs – and he ran today’s Paddock Wood half marathon, so still had some fuel in the tank!
I (M45) managed to be the first Harrier across the line, having a good battle with Ben Cole and Dan Bradley from Tonbridge AC, in 29mins 46secs. Patrick Bareham M35 was the next Harrier in a very respectable 33mins 10secs, despite a stitch on the way round. He was followed by another consistent performance by James Sarre V45 in 35mins 07secs. Alex Holmes M40 and Dave Hadaway M55 had a really good race with just 20 seconds separating them. Saul Harris M50 ran a solid race, finishing in 39mins 40secs.
Thoughts were very much with the events in the Ukraine and the organisers pledged a donation from the monies raised to one of the international charities.
Well done to everyone who ran over this challenging course and the results are below.