Saturday’s South of England Cross Country Championships at Uxbridge brought some fine results for our small band of young athletes. The course is known for being wet and, unfortunately, it lived up to its reputation. The combination of the recent rain and construction traffic laying a new gas main across the site ensured that the course quickly became a mud-bath; in places, deep puddles and elsewhere, cloying, sticky mud that made for very heavy going over almost the entire course.
The endless sea of grim mud at the 2009 South of England Cross Country Championships hosted a glittering performance from our women's team as they missed out on gold medals by a single point. They were led home brilliantly by 21-year old Katherine Sparke who won the race by 24 seconds. A "first" was scored when her brother Ronnie won the under 20s race. It is believed to be the first time that siblings have won races at these championships. A decimated men's team nonetheless had 15 finishers and retained the Essex Cup for the fourth year in succession, but could only finish 10th in the main team race.
Several WGwEL athletes were in indoor action on Saturday, performances were led by Daniel Davies who won over 60mH at Lee Valley in 8.00 secs at the Inter-City Challenge meeting.
Taking a break from warm weather training in South Afica,Tara Bird competed in the first "Yellow Pages" meeting of the South African season in Potchefstroom on Friday evening, and placed 2nd over 800m in 2m05.88, just behind Dutch international Yvonne Hak.