The Herne Hill Harriers men’s cross country team put in our best collective senior effort of the winter so far to win bronze medals in a very close and competitive South of Thames 7.5 miles xc champs race at Coulsdon where we were only 8 points behind the winning sextet. Our squad were also a close second place in the 12 man team contest for good measure and things are now looking promising for the Surreys and Southern in the New Year.
Our team were well led by Chris Busaileh with a strong 5th placing out of 208 male finishers. Mike Cummings also moved through the field well to come 14th, Alan Barnes hung in there for 19th, despite Achilles problems, while Simon Coombes shook off his work Christmas party to place 25th and 2nd M40 finisher. Jeff Cunningham in 26th almost caught Simon and John Kettle in 33rd completed our 6 man team medallists. Great backup was provided by by 19 year old John Tayleur in 38th, Deron Fagan in 55th, Tom Conlon, who was 69th and first M50, Matt Munro 83rd, Jonathan Ratcliffe 85th and Patrik Ewe 98th to close our top dozen. Just behind Patrik were Andrew Grigg in 99th and Jonathan Cowie 101st as we also completed a 6 man C team for a total of HHH 18 men in the race.
Karen Ellison also ran well to place 6th of 74 finishers in the women’s race with Ieva Lobaciute placing a good 23rd, Jen Barraclough 43rd and Jess Winfield 44th as our 4 women took the opportunity to “enjoy” one of the longest cross country races on their calendar.