Race 5 Hants XC Popham Airfield 8th Feb 2020

The final race of the Hampshire XC League was held at Popham Airfield near Basingstoke. This race is perhaps the most cherished by both participants and spectators alike the former contesting whilst on a strength sapping course regardless of conditions underfoot and the latter as much of the race can be seen unfolding through loop backs and a vast expanse of grass.
The day was primarily about one athlete Johny Roberts. In fantastic form after smashing his 10k P.B at Chichester could he go one better than at the previous seasons event after finishing second? Only Mahamed Mahamed has achieved victory at a Hants XC League Senior Mens race in recent times.
Virtually as soon as the race started there was a breakaway of Johny , Alex Pointon (Aldershot) & Daniel Thorne (Reading AC). It soon became clear that any injection of pace would dislodge Daniel so that realistically it would boil down to a shoot out between Alex and Johny. As the race unfolded it looked like Alex was marginally the stronger going uphill but that was negated by Johnys downhill speed. Towards the end of the second lap Johny injected pace to instantly open a gap over Alex and there was to be no coming back from that .The gap increased over the duration of the third lap allowing JR to record his maiden Hants XC League victory in sensational style.

S.A.C Finishers (Top 10 only)
Senor Men
1 Johny Roberts
7 Max Costley
9 Ben Brewster
240 Finishers

Senior Women
5 Lilly Hawkins
7 Sarah Kingston
145 Finishers

U17 Men
20 Finishers

U17 Women
Isabelle Hinkley
15 Finishers

U15 Boys
1 Ben Brown
9 Lars-Feyeraband-Powell
53 Finishers

U15 Girls
1 Robyn Fossa
2 Annie Mann
3 Lucy Phillips
43 Finishers

U13 Boys
1 Jon Pepin
8 Thomas Hicks
9 Niclas Olley
56 Finishers

U13 Girls
1 Eve Bailey
10 Emerson Churcher
55 Finishers

Success at Hampshire Cross Country

SAC senior women enjoyed some great conditions to regain team gold (and 6th) at the Hampshire county XC Championships held at Fairthorne Manor on the 4th Jan 2020.   Great individual performances and a brilliant start to 2020.

Sarah Kingston (4), Anna Sharp (10), Gemma Barry(12) and Minna Jones-Walters (19). Claire McErlean (22), Lucy Short (24), Lucy Harrison (32), Hannah Willson (51) and Caroline Barnfield (91).  

U17 girls where represented by Isabelle Hinkley (3) and Madeline Cooper (10). Izzy gaining a bronze medal.

The senior men team also received gold, Zakariya Mahamed, Will Bryan, Jonathon Roberts, Sam Costley, Matthieu Marshall and Rikki James

The Mens Vets came home with Individual Gold for M55 Jon Grainger and Team Silver James Smith, Grainger, Greg Warder, Mike Tanner, Nick Willson, Howard Long, Mark Hayter, Simon Ashdown and Ed Connolly.

Individual gold for ladies Vets Penny Forse

The team gold continues with the U15 girls, Robyn Fossa, Lucy Phillips, Katie Youp, Annie Mann. U15 boys team came in with bronze and an individual gold for Ben Brown.

Silver was awarded to both the U13 Girls and Boys teams with Jon Pepin wining individual silver for U13B and Eve Bailey wining individual Gold for U13G

U11 girls had Sophie Lane placed 4th and Elise Higgins 17th while the U11B gained a team silver with individual gold for Stanley Phillips and silver for Scott Fossa

Full results on the Hampshire Athletics Website

BMAF XC Relays – Long Eaton

Long Eaton in Nottinghamshire was the venue of the annual BMAF National XC Relay Championships. 

Despite each leg being only 3km and pancake flat, usually favouring track athletes, this year there was mud and water in abundance making conditions quite challenging to run fast. 

The M65 team were first to run and Neil Hotson ran a storming 1st leg (6th fastest overall, 13.35) to put his team right up at the sharp end placing 4th with Salford Harriers at the helm.

Leg 2 saw team affairs change completely with Barnet now leading and Oxford City a close 2nd.

Ed Connolly running above his usual 800m on the track hauled Southampton into a stunning bronze medal position (10th fastest overall, 14.45) but with Salford Harriers only 13secs adrift in 4th. 

Chris Hibberd set off on the final leg quite conservatively and powered through the mud (9th fastest overall, 14.23) to increase their advantage over Salford and win a fantastic first National medal in that age category for Bronze.

The M55 team were quite optimistic beforehand of being amongst the sharp end come the finish and Jon Grainger did not disappoint.

Jon laid down the gauntlet on the opening leg with what turned out to be the fastest leg of the day (11.30) and a 4sec advantage over hot favourites Leicester. 

John MacInnes had the toughest leg 2 of his life having to run from the front with the big clubs lining up behind.

Where others may have gone out too fast in the moment, John didn’t panic, kept his cool and despite dropping to 4th brilliantly ran his own solid race and kept Southampton in the medal hunt. 

Noel O’Dowd set out on the penultimate 3rd Leg 38 secs down on 3rd place and paced his race brilliantly closing the gap throughout to halve the deficit to 19 sec.

Pete Costley had to use all his many years experience and tactical nous not to run too hard too early and paced it very well to run 6th fastest overall, 12.07. Despite gaining no ground on the bronze medal position at half way, the medal places were changing further up the field. Costley overhauled Shrewsbury with approx 1km left to run and at that point it was never in doubt as he brought  Southampton home for their 2nd Bronze medals of the day.

The M35 team ran extremely well to finish 11th of the 26 teams considering 60% of the team were running down in age from the M45-54 category. 

In fact they were never lower than 11th place and were up to 8th during the race which more than goes to show this age group can compete with the best. 

Matt Risden had his first race for a while after injury and got the team off to a good start with 11th place and the fastest Southampton time of the day (11.07).

The ever dependable David Blackman, one of 3 dropping down in age paced his race very well moving up one place to 10th with 11.39.

Jez Curtis ran very well and holding 10th place closed a lot of ground on the clubs ahead running 11.27.

Jim Bennett, another dropping down age and gradually getting fit again hauled Southampton to a fantastic 8th with 12.22.

Howard Long running against athletes nearly 20 years his junior ran a great last leg to bring Southampton home for 11th place and only one place down on their best ever finish of 10th from 2017.

M65 Team Bronze
L-R: Chris Hibberd, Ed Connolly, Neil Hotson

M55 Team Bronze
L-R: Jon Grainger, John MacInnes,Noel O’Dowd, Pete Costley

Jon Grainger – Fastest Leg M55
M35 L-R: Jez Curtis, David Blackman, Howard Long, Matt Risden, Jim Bennett

National Bronze for Southampton AC Vets Team

Long Eaton in Derbyshire played host to the National Masters Cross Country Relays.

Andy Morgan-Lee got proceedings underway for the M45-54 category team placing 4th in a time of 10min.16sec for the 2mile lap.

James Smith ran a storming 2nd leg posting the 5th fastest time of the day of 10.11 moving the red & white stripes up to 2nd place.

Rob Bentley getting his first taste of National competition since joining Southampton kept them in the medal placings with 10.58.

Peter Costley increased the lead over the chasing teams with a 10.52 clocking and put a firmer hold on a medal prospect.

The anchor leg saw David Blackman clock 10.30 to claim his club their first National medal at this event with bronze behind Northern giants Leeds and Salford.


National Masters Bronze Medalists

(L-R) Smith, Blackman, Morgan-Lee, Costley, Bentley

CC6 kicks off cross country league season

The cross country league season got under way at Fleming Park on Sunday with the first round of races in the CC6 league.

This well organised social league is a pleasure to race in and the clubs men won the team race with the women coming 3rd.

For the men, Andy Griggs also won the individual race with Ashley Forbes 3rd and Rob Finch in 5th.  Dave Blackman completed the scorers in 17th to see the mens team win ahead of Lordshill Road Runners.  Jon Ward was 21st, Michael Tanner 24th, Dave Madelin 55th and John Compton in 58th.

For the women, Bryher Bowness was 2nd, Siri Froystad was 9th and Sandra Dancer completed the scorers in 28th.  Lynn Massey was 50th.

Full results on the CC6 website through the following link.


3 in top ten at national colleges championships

The very last cross country race of the season took place as part of the national colleges championship on Tyne & Wear on Saturday.

For the men, Mo Mahamed, Luke Powell & Sam Costley made the 650 mile round trip to represent their colleges and all were rewarded with top ten finishes with Alana Spiers and Hannah Polden also making the long journey for the women.

Mo & Luke were represeting Itchen College and Mo took the title with Luke putting in his best cross country run of the season to finish 5th.  Sam was representing Barton Peveril and finished 9th.

For the women, Alana Spiers also representing Barton Peveril was 20th and Hannah Polden representing Peter Symonds was 22nd.

Full results through link below.


Zak is 2nd in schools Home International match

Zak Mahamed took 2nd place for England schools in the intermediate boys age group in the schools Home International cross country match in Falkirk yesterday.

Zak finished just 4 seconds behind Wrexham’s English schools champion Matthew Willis (Matthew goes to school in England), to be part of a dominant england schools team who took the first 4 places and 6 of the first 7 places to win the match in a landslide.

This was Zak’s last cross country race of what has been another fantastic winter season for the Pete Haynes trained young athlete.

Full results through the link below.