Herne Hill Harriers’ veterans rolled back the years as they struck gold at the South of England Masters cross country championship.
Keith Newton (fifth), Vic Maughn (eighth) and Gary Ironmonger (ninth) combined to give Herne Hill a 25-point victory margin in the M50-59 race at Horspath Park, Oxford.
Not to be outdone, Simon Coombes led the M40-49 team home, while bagging an individual bronze medal in his race. Robin Jones followed up in eighth position, with his finest display yet of cross country running in a red and black hooped vest, which included over-taking several athletes in the final 600 metres to the line. Jonathan Radcliffe ably closed the scoring team, resulting in a third place finish for Herne Hill.
Trevor Chilton and Ben Hallifax came home in 32nd and 45th places respectively, in their veteran debut cross country championship. Tom Conlon (declared a non-scoring runner) took on the 10km course for a second time in the M40 race, having earlier finished 12th in the M50 event after missing the start. Graeme Moyse, 25th in the M50 race, was Harriers’ other competitor.
Oscar Millard was also racing at Horspath Park and claimed a gold medal in the U13B Inter-Counties Championship in what was one of the finest performances yet in his fledgling athletics career.
Meanwhile, Coombes celebrated his individual bronze by racing again less than 24 hours later, as he finished eighth at the Milton Keynes Winter half-marathon in one hour, 16 minutes, five seconds. Chris Busaileh was also racing on the road, finishing 15th at the Telford 10k in 31.01.
Elsewhere, Maisie Collis was the standout performer at the Reigate Priory AC Holly Run, winning gold in the one-mile U11G race as she finished 40 metres ahead of her closest rival. Collis will step up into the U13G category for the Surrey cross country championship in early-January. Jess Butland was third behind Collis, with eight-year-old Annabella Bailey – who fell over at the start and was at the rear of 130 runners – in ninth, helping secure team gold. The U11G team was complimented by Caitlin Chilton.
In other Holly Run results, Christo Chilton was seventh in the U11B race and Ben Harrison eighth. Joe English closed the scoring three, with the trio finishing just outside the medals in fourth. In the U15B race, Paul Chalobah ran well to finish third and claim bronze, and in the U17G event Alice Setyabule was fifth.
In parkrun action, Mike Cummings won the Roundshaw Downs event in 16.32, while Jeff Cunningham was the ‘unknown runner’ who was first at the Brockwell parkrun. Matt Munro was 12th in 18.15, while parkrun centurion Robert Edwards returned to racing from a long injury lay-off, finishing in 40th in 20.16. Tom Levitt and Dan Hallam were third and fourth respectively at Peckham Rye, clocking 19.10 and 19.11.