Harriers Fly the Flag at the
National Cross Country Championships
Harriers after their races at Parliament Hill, London
(photo thanks to Ian Slater)
Pictures from Ian Slater and Mark Walker
Pictures from John Mayall
Pictures by Mick Hall
Youtube video (see 1 min 40 - 50 sec for Rochdale)
Also see not the Nationals write-up
THE NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY Championships took place at Parliament Hill, London. This event, known as ‘the Nationals’, is the biggest of its kind in English sport, attracting thousands of the nation’s best athletes.
Rochdale Harriers competed in the Nationals as usual, fielding a men’s team and one lady.
In contrast to last year, the event took place on a very warm London day. Many competitors were seen before the race wearing hats. This was not to keep warm but to avoid sunburn. The conditions had dried-out most of the course to provide good running surface.
The men’s race was won by Keith Gerrard of Newham and Essex Beagles AC and the ladies by Gemma Steel of Charnwood AC.
Rochdale’s Anna Blomfield was delighted to finish comfortably in the top half. She posted 36 min 44 sec on the 8 km ladies course. This was 276th lady finisher.
Nick Walsh surprised the Rochdale squad by being the Club’s first finisher on the men’s 12 km course, posting 53 min 04 sec. Mark Walker was pushed into second place (53:27). Ian Stainthorpe passed John Mayall about half way through the race and managed to hold him off, despite a calf injury a few hundred yards from the finish line. The two posted 55:14 and 55:36 respectively.
Paul Leary’s time was down but he made 5th counter (58:46) and Martin O’Reilly posted 59:26 to make the team’s sixth and final counter.
Matthew Cox ran well, but was disappointed to discover after the race that he had slipped over the hour by just one second. Club secretary Ray Dalby was next, clocking 62 min 05 sec.
The next significant event for Rochdale Harriers is the Trafford 10K on Sunday 11th March. This is the first race in the Club’s annual Road Race Championship.Results for Rochdale Harriers at the Nationals: Ladies: Anna Blomfield, 276th lady, 36:44. Men: Nick Walsh, 1123, 53:04; Mark Walker, 1153, 53:27; Ian Stainthorpe, 1267, 55:14; John Mayall, 1295, 55:36; Paul Leary, 1451, 58:46; Martin O’Reilly, 1473, 59:26; Matthew Cox, 1494, 60:01; Ray Dalby, 1558, 62:05.
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