Many Blackheath & Bromley athletes competed in the Inter County cross country championships at Cofton Park in Birmingham. Gaining selection to represent the County is an achievement in itself and there were some outstanding individual performances.

In the Senior Mens race Alex Bruce Littlewood was the first runner home for Kent in 15th place leading the team to silver medals. They won gold in the nine to score. Second Claimer Graham Rush was first home for Cambridgeshire in 45th, two weeks after finishing in 17th place in the Nationals.

Will Fuller was 26th in the National but he was even higher in Birmingham closing in 22nd with Will Ruiz 65th. For the women Samantha Leighton was 79th and Anna Myers 101st. Club member Richard Holt coaches the winner of the race Phoebe Law.

Like the Senior men, the Kent team picked up runners up medals in the Under 17 womens race in no small part due to the efforts of Jessica Keane and Niamh Brisdson Hubbard who finished in 11th and 14th places. They actually tied with winners Surrey but lost out on countback with the team with the highest last scorer winning. Joss Barber was 46th in the mens race with Marco Arcuri 113th.

Yasmin Austridge produced a remarkable performance in the under 15 girls race. She lost a shoe at the start of the race but worked her way through the field to finish in 12th place and score for the winning Kent team. Naomi Kingston closed in 33rd with Millie Smith 53rd. Naomi’s placing helped her to finish in 4th place in the Cross Challenge which has been running all Winter.

Highest placed Club finisher on the day was Peter Guy who had an outstanding run to finish 10th in the under 13 boys, just one place ahead of Rowan Fuss who has had an excellent first year on the country. Joseph Georgiades had another good run to finish 71st as Kent picked up bronze medals. Rosanna Allen was 96th in the girls race with Jessica Neal 112th.

A number of the Club’s more senior athletes were also enjoying National success at the British Masters Indoor Championships at Lee Valley winning six gold medals. Barbara Terry claimed three of these in the over 65s age group where she won the shot in the indoor arena with a distance of 7.79. Moving outdoors she won the hammer with 22.67 and the Weight with 9.79.

It was another successful couple of days for Helen Godsell as she collected a full set of medals. She won the 60 metres in 8.85; took silver in the 200 in 29.91; and bronze in the 400 in 74.39.

The vaulters added to the celebrations with two more victories. Allan William secured the mens over 60 title with a clearance of 3.40 and Jackie Montgomery composed herself after a car breakdown on the journey to the stadium to win the over 50s title in 2.30.

Clem Leon bagged a couple of silvers leaping 10.02 in the triple jump and timing 60.87 in the 400 metres. He was also third in the high jump with a clearance of 1.40. He proved the busiest Club member of the weekend as he was 4th in the long jump and was also in action in the 60 and 200.

Peter Hamilton took silver in the over 65s 1500 in 5.53.15. Tom Phillips was third in the over 60s 200 metres in 27.47 and 4th in the 60 in 8.25; and Roger Michell was 4th in the over 65s 3000 walk in 16.34.76.

At the same venue earlier in the week Tom Parker won the hammer at the Oxford V Cambridge varsity match with a distance of 54.34.

Back at Hayes on Sunday morning Alex Gibbins was the winner of the Club 10 mile cross country championship. It was a close affair with less than a minute separating the leading four runners.

Alex won in 62.24 with Fintan Parkinson second in 62.50, Kev May third in 62.57 and Gareth Evans fourth in 63.06.

First woman was Sarah Belaon in 81.40 with Amy Leach second in 89.15.

The race incorporated the penultimate round of the Bennett Cup, a series of handicap races which take place over the Winter months. Winner on this occasion was Austin Adams with Mike Simms second and President Dick Griffin third.

One race remains in the series, the Closing 5 on the 21st of March. Will Slack has now moved into the lead and established a 19 point gap. Has he peaked too early? Will he be swallowed up by the closing pack? Fintan Parkinson is second on 317 with Chris Pike third on 316 and a further five athletes have scored over 300 points. With 60 points available in any race everything could change in the grand finale. All will be revealed in two weeks time with the Club AGM in the evening when outgoing President Dick Griffin will reveal his successor to the membership. Elsewhere Tim Nash was second in the Bromley Vets Open 5 at Sparrows Den with Harry Phelps 11th, Rod Harrington 17th and Nigel Bulmer 32nd.

On the roads Shaun Lightman finished in 10th place in the Cambridge Harriers Race Walk League over 5km at Bexley. He timed 33.32. Sadly it appears this will be the last race because of the increasingly heavy traffic.

Maz Turner was 333rd in the Lydd Half Marathon in 2.16.23 with Adrian Perry timing 2.38.00, John Turner 2.38.18, Angela Powell 3.01.38 and Sue Dowse 3.15.30 in the accompanying 20 mile race.