GCR record another Met win

PUBLISHED: 12:04 29 January 2008 | UPDATED: 22:00 26 October 2009

GARDEN City Runners ladies scored another victory in the high-quality Metropolitan Cross-Country League at Horsenden Hill, Perivale. Katherine Philp and Jenny Gray both finished in the top four as the GCR women claimed top spot in the team standings on

GARDEN City Runners' ladies scored another victory in the high-quality Metropolitan Cross-Country League at Horsenden Hill, Perivale.

Katherine Philp and Jenny Gray both finished in the top four as the GCR women claimed top spot in the team standings on the day ahead of closest challengers Highgate Harriers.

The Welwyn club also lead the way in the overall league positions ahead of Highgate with just one race to go at St Albans on February 9.

For the second consecutive year at Perivale the rain stopped just before the senior races, although conditions underfoot made it very hard going, with some churned up sections of the undulating grassland being a case of one stride forward, two strides back.

Philp slipped up on the last bend, but recovered and managed to hold on to third place, finishing in 24 minutes 40 seconds.

Jenny was a terrific fourth seven seconds later.

Mandy Livingstone was 13th in 25 mins 31 secs and GCR ladies' captain Martha Hall battled against illness to run a spirited 26 mins 48 secs for 25th.

Suzy Fitt was 30th with a time of 27 mins 25 secs, four places and 15 seconds ahead of Caroline Hale.

Virginia Bird was also 57th in 30 minutes and Joy Allen 70th of 92 finishers in 31 mins 54 secs.

When Caroline was asked whether she thought it was wise to slog through two laps of strength-sapping mud less than 24 hours before racing in the Fred Hughes 10, she said: "I didn't think it was as bad as last year!"

It obviously didn't take too much out of her as the following day in St Albans she gained third at the Herts County vets 10-mile Championship, just sneaking inside 70 minutes.

The Runners' result at Perivale leaves the club in a strong position to claim a first ever Met League championship at St Albans next month.

Graham Robinson led the men's team home at Horsenden Hill with a time of 33 mins 25 secs for the three-lap course to finish 17th.

It was a memorable afternoon for Andy Holt, who was running his 100th Met League race.

At five races a season, that works out at least 20 years running - an outstanding record.

And he was in excellent form too, finishing 56th in 35 mins 33 secs.

Steve Livingstone had been trailing Simon Mace before catching him on the second lap.

But as he pulled away, his right shoe came apart and he ran the rest of the way effectively with one bare foot.

Simon finished 77th in 36 mins 19 secs, while Bruce Judge took 85th in 36 mins 44 secs, leaving Steve 86th eight seconds behind.

Markus Allen was 128th, Patrick Gallagher 166th, Rob Casserley 171st, Peter Sawko 257th and Trace Allen 266th.

The GCR team were 11th on the day and lie ninth in the league, comfortably above the Division One drop zone.

The vets were 14th and are 12th overall with one fixture to go.

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