Surrey Vets Gold for Nikki and W35 team, but no medals for HHH seniors at the Scrubs

Nikki Sturzaker won the women’s race at the Surrey Vets XC Champs at Richmond, thereby becoming Surrey W40 champion and beating all the younger W35 ladies into the bargain. New HHH man Fergus Power won M40 gold, Steve Knight won M65 bronze and Jon Key was 6th M40. Kate Crawford was 3rd W35 and Sam Whiting 5th W35. HHH also struck team gold in the W35-44 category through Nikki, Kate and Sam, great job.
At the Southern XC Relay Champs at Wormwood Scrubs our senior men and women both just missed out on winning some more bling. Hannah Edwards got our women off to a great start with 3rd place on our opening stage, then Julia Wedmore had at one point elevated us to 2nd, but with a strong pack chasing her down she handed over to Steph Mitchell in 5th place. Steph maintained our position on last leg, although her very strong finish brought our team frustratingly close to bronze medals, only 4 seconds shy at the line and 1 second behind 4th. Our 5th place was nevertheless excellent in a race in which our women had never previously been represented. Hannah’s very fine 12.15 placed her 4th overall in the women’s relay, while Steph’s time of 12.57 and Julia’s 13.06 also stood up very well. 
Our men’s team was led by Mike Cummings, who was also 3rd on first leg and over a minute faster than 12 months ago on the same course. Mike was 7th overall in the men’s relay only one second slower than last week’s Surrey League race winner as he clocked 13.54. Alan Barnes (14.21) then stormed into the lead on leg two, handing M50 Keith Newton a 5 seconds lead, precariously ahead of a few fast guys with younger legs. Keith (15.19) held his ground superbly in the circumstances to send Jeff Cunningham (14.47) away on the anchor leg in 4th, a position we maintained through to the finish for what was a really good effort from both of our senior teams.

Confirmation of Harriers runners times clocked in Amsterdam: Andrew Grigg ran a good half marathon PB of 1.19.13 and in the marathon M45 Joffah Ratcliffe ran 2.45.29, Matt Munro 2.52.01 and an unwell Simon Messenger somehow got himself round in 3.07.03.