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SEAA 29-01-22

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Last updated 02 February 2022


South of England AA Championships 29 January 2022, Beckenham Place Park


A spring like day with a stiff breeze and good under foot.


Full results here...


Photos start here...

The Southern Cross Country Championships proved to be a strange experience for the team as it was an unusually warm and sunny and most of us only had the shortest of journeys to reach the handy venue of Beckenham Place Park. It proved to be a gruelling experience, nonetheless, as we got the promised distance of 15km and enough rolling hills and gravel paths to ensure a fresh test at every corner.

There was a lengthy debate beforehand about whether spikes or racing flats would be the best choice, and Roger Vilardell supported the claims of the latter by running a finely judged race to lead the team home in 101st place via a strong last lap. For the first time since early November, this meant that Micah Evans wasn't the first man across the line for the Heath, but he made up for it by following closely behind Roger in 105th place. Up next, Dan Kennedy was hot on his heels close behind for a strong finish in 107th. Tom Desborough suffered slightly from a fast start but defeated a certain Highgate man to place 128th, while Rob Donohue overcame some disrupted training to manage an impressive 147th place. Luca Ercolani completed the scoring sextet by tucking just inside the top 200 in 194th place with his usual big occasion performance.

Graeme Lugar had a great battle with Luca to come place just behind him in 198th place, David Adams had a fine debut at the South XC in 207th as he builds up to his next marathon, while another marathon man, Fintan Parkinson, achieved 225th place. Darren Corneille was the next man to finish in 296th as he continues his fine season, ably supported by the redoubtable Greg Firth in 319th, with Simon Harris following on in 343rd. Gareth Evans was finally left unhindered by ferrying around his son to the age group races to make a welcome return to racing in 356th, Chris Tuck was just outside the top 400 in 404th, Steve Hough got his second race in at Beckenham Place Park in two months to come 454th, Paul Sharpe got back into the swing of cross country racing by placing 466th, Jason Meers strode out confidently to come 504th, and Rich Byford snuck inside the top 600 in 595th.

As a team, we came 14th out of 46 teams- an impressive showing that put us ahead of Shaftsbury and Newham (who didn't put out full teams) as well as Medway and Maidstone and Thames Valley Harriers (who did).

Up the Heath!

Dan, Chris and Ross



Some photos from Nick Kinsey


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