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Cross Country 2011-2012

Sunday Cross Country League - Race 5 - Royston - Sunday 19th February 2012

NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Thomas Grimes34.346th6th3rd SM
Andrew Baxter39.4655th52nd
Derek Wright41.4979th73rd22nd M40
Mick Wilson49.24184th136th17th M50
Terry (Sarbjit) Singh77.09261st169th18th SM
261 finishers.

This was the fifth and last race of this season's Sunday League series. After a
straightforward drive up the M11, it was cold and windy as we waited around
before and after the race, but not as bad as previous years - at least there
was some sunshine. The race is without doubt the hardest in the series and
contains a total of 16 hills, both short and long, over the course of a loop of
about a mile followed by two longer laps. Unlike last year, when the ground was
bone hard, this year it was soft in places though without puddles and we were
glad to be wearing our trail shoes.

Thomas held sixth place pretty much from the start and it was still that way at
the finish. Andrew capped a 50-mile week with a sub-40 minute time in his
native town, while Derek completed his fourth running of the course, and Mick
came home in under 50 minutes. We waited around drinking tea while Terry
heroically completed his final lap, after which the season was well and truly

Overall Final Rankings
Thomas Grimes 5-6-6-6=23pts 3rd Senior Men//

Sjarbit Singh 63-48-62-47= 220pts 18th Senior Men//

Derek Wright 29-34-37-44-30=130pts 22nd M40//

Michael Wilson 23-17-35-27-33=100pts 17th M50//

CHINGFORD LEAGUE - Fixture 6 - Victoria Park 5m - Saturday 18th February 2012

NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Dan Spinks30.5858th49th
Peter Hatley32.4170th62nd
174 finishers.

CHINGFORD LEAGUE - FIXTURE 5 - Orion 7.7k Cross Country - Saturday 21st January 2012

Pictures available in Photo Gallery
NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Thomas Grimes30:4833rd28th
Peter Hatley38:04114th95th
Only 2 runners from ELR for this race. Mild but blustery day over a muddy and
hilly 2 lap course saw good performances by both Thomas and Peter, supported by
Frank with his camera!

Thomas and Peter after the race!

Sunday Cross Country League - Race 4 - Tewin - Sunday 15th January 2012

NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Thomas Grimes35.039th9th
Derek Wright41.5397th93rd
Mick Wilson49.31210th168th
Terry (Sarbjit) Singh63.53299th204th
After another frosty start to the day, almost perfect weather conditions
prevailed for this fourth race of the Sunday League - the sun was shining and
the ground was firm. The course was the same version as last year, consisting
of 5.7 miles over two laps, the first lap ending with a flat run across a field
and the second lap finishing with an 800m gallop down a country lane. The
term "Heartbreak Hill" has its origins here at Tewin - both times round it was
bearable this year as there was little mud. The merit of this course is that
once "HH" is out of the way, there is a decent downhill section for about a
mile to recover and get some speed going. There were four kissing gates per lap
which brought all but the fastest runners to a halt. On the first lap, the
first gate saw many of us lose 30 seconds as runners queued up to pass through
one by one or hurdled the adjacent fence like a pack of hounds (despite
warnings by the marshall that it was only a race). Though the ground was mainly
firm underfoot, trail shoes were called for on the sticky bits next to fields.

Thomas blasted ahead once again, finishing in an amazing 9th place. He was a
minute per mile faster than Derek who this year was ready with his trail shoes.
Mick put in a brave performance despite having a cold, and Terry scored again
for ELR. Doug meanwhile wasn't feeling well but was good enough to drive up and
spectated. Tea, coffee and cakes were served in the hall afterwards and we
then drove home.

Essex Cross Country Championships - Gloucester Park, Basildon - Saturday 7th January 2012

Pictures available in Photo Gallery
NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Thomas Grimes46:3057th
James Wilson50:1396th
Mark Boulton50:29101st
Derek Wright52:59121st
Paul Thompson56:05135th
171 finishers. Winner 36:57.

With three of us having run at the mudfest at Hadleigh Downs the year before,
it was with a sense of foreboding that we drove to this event in Basildon. It
was also rather chilly as we lined up at the start amidst jokes about us
staying together as a team. The race organiser announced that for the inter-
counties championships he'd be selecting the top five finishers (which didn't
turn out to be us).

This year, there was little mud to worry about and the ground was mainly firm
underfoot. The three-lap course was billed as 7.5 miles, but the readings of
two of our runners indicated that it was a little under seven. There were five
decent hills per lap, the last four being in sets of two, and the fifth being
the steepest. Inevitably, there were also lots of downhill and long flat
bits to recover on, especially at the end of the lap where we could watch other
runners for half a mile ahead of us in a strong headwind.

Thomas was first home for ELR once again, having also come first (in 19:20) in
the Wanstead Flats parkrun five hours earlier. James and Mark ran close
together, and Derek tracked Simon Morgan (52:30 in 117th
place) for most of the race. Paul ran a good race, no doubt toughened up by the
Ilford 10 miler the previous Saturday. Chairman Frank was on marshalling
duties, plus taking photos and supplying us with water. Though our race started
at 2pm, Frank had been out in the field since 11am to marshall all the other

Thomas,Derek,Paul, James and Mark after the race.

Ilford AC 10 Mile Cross Country, Hainault Forest - Saturday 31st December 2011

NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Paul Thompson1:21:5065th
Richard Mainwaring1:23:3068th
Doug Mansell1:26:4179th
Sarah Burns1:34:19100th
131 finishers.

Just thought I would send you some results from todays 10 mile XC race in
Hainault Forest and a few of my comments.

I only decided to enter this race at about 10pm last night in a sudden fit of
bravado, mainly fuelled by some very nice wine !! A surprisingly mild day
greeted us at the start of this 10 mile XC in Hainault. The course comprised 3
laps with the start being in the familiar field opposite the 2 Brewers pub and
we were greeted with very slippery and thick mud as we entered the
forest. There was then a fairly long downhill section which took us right out
of the forest and into some fields which included a long path of mud, mud
and more mud
and some deep puddles thrown in for good measure. We then re-
entered the forest and started a hard uphill section that eventually took us
back to the starting field. We all agreed that this was a tough challenge and
were all covered in mud by the end !

Happy New Year to all !! Regards, Paul Thompson.

Sunday Cross Country League - Race 3 - Watford - Sunday 11th December 2011

Pictures available in Photo Gallery
NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Men's Team
Thomas Grimes34:208th8th
Derek Wright40:2087th84th
Paul Thompson43:37140th119th
Richard Guest44:24 154th125th
Doug Mansell45:09165th131st
Mick Wilson48:07197th149th
Don Bennett56:39253rd170th
Terry (Sarbjit) Singh60:20261st172nd
Team position13th of 17.12 of 17 overall
265 finishers (173 men, 92 ladies)

Pictured before the race are Terry, Thomas, Mick, Richard, Doug, Paul, Derek
and Don.

This was the course familiar to many of us in Cassiobury Park, Watford. It
consists of 800m up and down in the park, a section on tarmac across a bridge,
a long gradual climb followed by a sharp downhill into the forest, two
undulating laps, then the uphill back out of the forest leading to the first
bit in reverse, with the runners finishing on a long downhill. It was harder
than the previous Sunday League race at Trent Park and about the same level of
difficulty and distance (5.5 miles) as the Essex Vets the previous week.

There was some confusion at the start when the leaders ran too far up the park.
Shortly afterwards, a marshall was barking at us to stay within an avenue of
trees, as many of us had prematurely jumped onto the tarmac path. In the
forest, conditions called for trail shoes as we shot down hills which were rich
with wet leaves though there were rarely puddles.

Thomas produced another stellar performance, sprinting past two runners as he
came off the bridge, only to lose position when he realised this was not the
finish and there was still 800m to go. Derek finished in virtually the same
time and position as last year, while Paul ran well slightly ahead of Richard
and Doug. Mick was nursing a back injury, got off to a slow start, and finished
a long way below his best though he admitted to feeling better towards the end.
Don was brought home by another variation of "One Don Bennett" and shortly
behind him was Terry who completed the men's team of eight. Frank and Jim were
present as ever with refreshments. So the men have managed to field a full team
for the first three races of the league, but unfortunately there were no ladies
this month.

Don and Terry in full flow heading for the race finish!

Essex Vets Cross Country Championships - Chigwell Row - Saturday 3rd December 2011

Pictures available in Photo Gallery
NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Ladies' V35 Team
Mary O'Brien50:2565th
Susannah McLaren56:3178th
Jayne Browne56:3279th
Men's V40 Team
Derek Wright39:5860th
Grant Conway43:0376th
Paul Thompson43:4278th
Richard Mainwaring44:0879th
Mike Barclay52:1888th
84 finishers in Ladies' V35

88 finishers in Men's V40

110 finishers in Men's V50

The Vets' Championships took place as in previous years at Chigwell Row in
Hainault. This is a two-lap course of about 5.5 miles, starting off in the
further field, taking us up and down through the forest, then back up again on
two tough hills culminating in some twists and turns on a level surface.
Conditions were considerably easier than last year, when the ground was snowy.
There were three points when runners needed to hurdle fallen tree boughs, the
first of which was at least a foot off the ground and needed to be handled with
care! Jim Bird and Frank were on site to take photos and assist with tea and

Jayne, Susannah and Mary after the race!

The Ladies' race was run at the same time as the Men's V50 race, at 11am. ELR
fielded three ladies, one less than required for a team, but no V50 men. The
winner in the Ladies' race finished in 34:19. The Men's V40 race was at midday
and ELR fielded five runners. Springfield Striders, Ilford and Colchester
Harriers were the top three teams, while ELR finished in 13th place out of 14.

Oddly, there were more V50 men competing overall than V40 men and the winner of
the V50 category finished in a faster time (32:04) than the winner of the V40
category (32:20).

Chingford League - Race 4 - Alexandra Palace 7.5km - Saturday 26th November 2011

NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Patrick Brown30.4128th28th
Shahib Miah Ali34.4284th77th
Peter Hatley38.57137th114th
Don reports: I went along as Team Captain to sort out the numbers, but
we were short decided to run. Was last at Ally Pally about 20 odd years ago as
spectator and should have stayed that way this time as well. The course was
laps of a large lap and a small lap. The large lap was mainly on grass, a few
paths and not very muddy. The smaller lap was a climb up a very steep hill
Alexandra Palace. Conditions were good enough for just ordinary footwear. I
managed about 1.5 laps and as I began climbing the hill for the second time,
common sense overtook me and I dnf (did not flaming) want to be here. Excellent
runs from the other three did us proud. But Ally Pally will remain a bad idea
me for now. 214 finishers. 149 men & 65 ladies.

Sunday Cross Country League - Race 2 - Trent Park, Cockfosters - 20th November 2011

Pictures available in Photo Gallery
NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Men's Team
Thomas Grimes29.527th7th
Mark Boulton31.4933rd32nd
Andrew Baxter32.2139th38th
Derek Wright35.37100th94th
Carlton D'Souza35.59110th102nd
Mick Wilson36.30122nd110th
Paul Thompson38.39162nd136th
Richard Guest39.14171st144th
Doug Mansell39.39180th148th
Terry (Sarbjit) Singh48.25291st199th
Ladies' Team
Valerie Edworthy45.12263rd75th
Jane Iordanou47.03284th88th
Jayne Browne47.06285th89th
311 finishers (207 men, 104 ladies)

It was a foggy start to the day at Wanstead Leisure Centre and by the time we
had driven to North London the mists were still clinging to the field where the
second race of the Sunday League was set to begin. We were in slightly
apprehensive mood, as we had not been at this venue for two years and the
course was different from last time. A map pinned to a tree indicated that the
race was to be a little over five miles long, consisting of a straight stretch
into some woods, two anti-clockwise laps, and then a return stretch back to the
finish. After an awkward section on road surface, which threw us as most of us
were wearing trail shoes, it was a relief to have a long downhill at the start
of the lap in the forest, though there were mutterings the first time round
that this was the easy bit, so what price would we be paying for it later on?
It turned out that the rest of the lap was undulating, but not crippling, with
the most challenging climb being at the end - the hill was tough but not enough
to break our hearts, and here Jim Bird and Frank were waiting for us and offered
support. All of us professed to have enjoyed the course and most of us know
that it could have been much much harder (cf Royston).

As last time, the men did themselves proud by fielding ten runners, the first
eight scoring for us. Thomas continued his impressive record by finishing in
7th place in under 30 minutes.

Thomas about to cross the finish line!
Mark and Andrew also finished in the top few dozen. The ladies fielded three
runners, the two Ja(y)nes running together slightly behind Val. Hopefully, word
will spread and there will be a full team of five ladies at the next race at
Watford in December.

Boulton, Andrew Baxter and Thomas Grimes after the end of the race.

Chingford League 3 - Redbridge Cycle Circuit 5km - Tuesday 1st November 2011

NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Thomas Grimes17.349th 17pts9th 10th/30pts
Patrick Brown18.1721st 6pts21st21st/18pts
Dan Spinks21.1982nd71st
Mick Wilson22.02100th86th
Ramesh Pala23.24132nd106th
Nearly a full men's team this time round with five men running, but no ladies.
Patrick's brother Euan ran as a guest and came in 11th in 17.44. Thomas and
Patrick added to their points total after three events. East London Runners
Team finished 7th of 10 teams. 127 men and 55 ladies competed.

Sunday Cross Country League - Race 1 - Cheshunt - Sunday 23rd October 2011

Pictures available in Photo Gallery
NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Men's Team
Mark Boulton31:0724th24th
Patrick Brown31:3633rd32nd
Derek Wright34:4390th84th
Mick Wilson36:12118th106th
Paul Thompson38:51161st134th
Doug Mansell38:56163rd136th
Miguel Martinez39:59181st149th
Jimmy Hartwell40:17187th154th
Edward Barnard43:23228th172nd
Frank Brownlie43:42231st173rd
Don Bennett48:40274th194th of 199.
Ladies' Team
Jayne Browne47:22260th72nd of 99.
ELR were back at Cheshunt for the first race of this season's Sunday league.
It was the course we have come to know and love, consisting of three fairly
hilly laps, at about the same level of difficulty as the Orion Forest 5. It
was beautiful weather for it, and the ground was firm underneath, and never
wet. Doubtless due to the fine autumn weather, there were over 300 runners
competing, many of whom went round in road shoes. By the first half of the
third lap, we could feel the sun baking down on the back of our necks as we
pushed up the two long hills.

Mark, Patrick and Jayne were Sunday league newbies, while Paul and Frank were
new to the event. Some of the regulars remarked on being overtaken by the
winners in their second lap. The men fielded 11 runners, three more than the
required number for a team. The ladies' team consisted of Jayne and the onus
falls on her to rally support from ELR ladies for the next race at Trent Park
in November. Thanks also to Jim Bird for taking photos.

Chingford League 2 - Trent Park 9km XC - Saturday 15th October 2011

NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Thomas Grimes28.0813th (13pts)
193 runners, 138 men, 55 ladies. New member Thomas Grimes made the lone trip to
Trent Park to do the 2nd race in the Chingford League series. He did well,
coming in 13th in 28.08 and scoring 13pts.The next race will be a repeat of the
5km run at Redbridge Cycle Circuit on Tuesday 1st November at 8pm.

Chingford League 1 - Redbridge Cycle Circuit 5km - Tuesday 4th October 2011

NameTimeCombined PosIndiv PosAggregate
Patrick Brown18.5014th (12 pts)
Ryan Levart22.2067th
Patrick Farren23.2888th of 115 finishers.
Andrea Waller24.3628th of 55 finishers.
Rita Kingdon24.4329th
Suzanne Bench24.5131st ( 1pt )
Men's Team514 pointsMens Team 8th of 10.
Ladies Team253 pointsLadies 7th of 10.
Don reports :- After the efforts of the Elvis series the first race of
the newly joined Chingford League was a quiet affair. The course involved a
small lap and two larger laps of the cycle circuit including four times up Hog
Hill. First in was Patrick Brown in 14th position. Also running was Patrick
Farren and new member Ryan Levart. The Ladies all finished close together with
Andrea coming in first for ELR with Rita and Suzanne close behind. I was
spectating with Aaron Williams who had looked forward to the series but was
under the weather and couldn't run. The winning time was 16.07 in a highly
competitive run with Orion and Trent park in big attendance.Congratulations
to Patrick Brown and Suzanne Bench on being the first East London Runners to
score points in the Chingford League
Points are explained on Cross
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