English National Cross Country Championships, Parliament Hills – 24th February 2018

The English National Cross-country Championships returned to Parliament Hill, London on Saturday.  This famous hilly and muddy course is notorious for being a tough test and lived up to its reputation.  This year saw record numbers in many of the age group/gender categories and the senior men’s race had a massive number of 2430 finishers from all over the country.

Medway & Maidstone Athletics Club men’s team had 13 finishers, the most the club has had running in this event for many years. The club’s 6-to-score team had a superb result coming 30th out of a record number of 162 complete teams.  The winning team was from Tonbridge for the 2nd year running, Bristol & West A C taking silver and Aldershot, Farnham & District taking bronze. The individual gold went to Southend AC runner Adam Hickey who is coached by the 1993 London Marathon winner Eamonn Martin. Andrew Maud of Highgate Harriers, last year’s Southern Champion, took silver and John Gilbert who won this year’s Southern Championships, in front of Hickey, took Bronze. First home for Medway & Maidstone AC was Teweldebrhan Menges in 91st place (43.15). He was followed home by Tom Collins 167 (44.46), Chris Fullerton 352 (47.15), Mark Wilkins 385 (47.37) and Lee McMeekin 513 (49.02)127, with Harry Collins 638 (50.28) closing the 6-to-score team. Barry Royden 668 (50.44) was close on the heels of Collins, followed by Neill Wright 817 (52.16), Adam Featherstone 927 (53.18), Justin Lane 992nd (53.58), Gareth Williams 1033 (54.16), Alun Rodgers 1368 (57.29) and Bob Fursey 1551 (59.34). This race concluded the winter cross-country season which has been a great success for the club.  In addition to some good individual results, the improving team form and increasing runner numbers has been particularly encouraging.  Many of the cross-country runners will now look forward to the summer track season and road races. However before that, the club is looking forward to a strong representation in the Southern 12 stage Road Relays at Milton Keynes on the 18th March.

Unfortunately the fortune for the U20s and U17s men’s teams had not improved from the Southern Champs and many athletes were missing through injury. The U20 team were unable to field a team. However, Robert Meyer finishing in 49th place accompanied by Marley Godden (122), represented the Club proudly, as they did at the Southern Champs. The U17 Men’s Team managed to field 6 athletes. The team placed 29th overall. Ben Hughes leading the team, once again, placing 87th. Quinn Austin (170) Alex Donnelly (259), Reece Perkins (295), Lorcan Rodgers (355) and James Grogan (339) completed the team.

The U15 boys team finished 37th, led home by Luke Stringer (137th), Dan McGlynn (255th), Max Eldridge (314th) and Finlay MacDonald (330th) closing the team, further supported by Finn Rodgers (405th).

The U13 boys team finished 25th, led home by Alistair Shelley (94th), Cameron Featherstone (108th), Hayden Gear (217th) and Callum Featherstone (334th) closing the team, further supported by Elliot Chamberlain (474th) and Jack Morris (511th).

The Senior Women saw a record number of finishers of 1113. M&Ms’ team of 4 finished in 75th out of 112 teams. With Stephane Hearn leading the way 318 (37.48), Bernie Harrop 483 (40.15) Mo Fazakerley 598 (41.57) and Kat Ford 990 (51.13).

With only one U20 competing, Emily Hale finished in 127 (33.31).

The U15’s girls finished in 35th place with Charlotte Young first home for M&M in 119th place, followed by Alex Baker-Jones (151), Rachel Anderson (297) and Millie Morris (336).

The U13’s girl’s team finished in 39th place with a strong run by Anna Palmer and first over the line for M&M in 55th place. Followed by Abigail Royden (124), Sarah Mitchell (343), Ruby Towler (436) and Ciara Harrop (456).

Well done to you all.

Full results here