Ronnie triumphs in Italy: updated

Ronnie wins Five Mills
On a rare weekend without club competition, Ronnie Sparke triumphed on his international CC debut in Italy, while Hywel Care looks to have clinched his first Welsh vest later this season. Ewen Malloch raced a half-marathon in Catalunya, while our M50 team grabbed silvers at the South of England Masters CC Champs.

Ronnie Sparke crowned a perfect international debut by winning the 7.5K junior men's race at the 77th edition of the famous Cinque Mulini "Five Mills" world cross country permit meeting in Italy last Sunday. A description of this extraordinary event

Ronnie was neck-and-neck with Italy's Dario Santoro before breaking away for the win with 500m left to run. Results

Ronnie's main aim this winter is to qualify for the GB junior team for the World CC Championships in Jordan. His teammates in Italy, Withey and Walker, finished 2nd in the Midlands and 4th in the Northern CC Championships respectively the previous weekend, which confirms that Ronnie has every right to harbour this ambition.

For photos of the event including several of the victor


Elsewhere, Hywel Care was delighted to finish 2nd in the Welsh CC Championships  Hywel finished 22 seconds behind Windsor's Owain Jones, but he was not helped in his pursuit of Jones when Jones took an incorrect route on lap 1 of 3. Hywel hesitated and asked a marshall what to do, and the marshall finally decided that the entire field would have to follow the leader. Hywel was pleased to take some useful scalps such as Nat Lane of Cardiff, the Hobbs brothers of Swansea, and Rob Samuel of Eryri. With the usual selection policy being "first 2 home plus 2", it should mean that he will win his first Welsh representative vest in the Home Nations CC in March. Results

Ewen Malloch was also on his travels, racing in the Granollers Half-Marathon near Barcelona. In a race won by Olympic marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru in 61.13 (some way outside his world record PB of 58.33!!), Ewen was 15th in 70.08, down on his 2008 PB of 67.33, but on a tough course and in cold, wet conditions. Results

A team of Richard Holland, Dave Cox, Terry McCarthy and Alistair Holford went to Biggleswade and won silver medals in the South of England M50 CC Championships. Despite both Holland and Cox being not at their best, they placed 9th and 12th, while McCarthy's 39th in a field of 105 finishers gave them 61 points, 2 ahead of neighbours Barnet and 4 ahead of Oxford, though well behind winners Nene Valley. Holford provided the essential team backup, finishing 59th. Results


Update: Paralympian Tim Prendergast was 2nd in Mornington Chasers' 10K road race in Regents Park, clocking 34.01.