Home team win for Garden City Runners' men

GARDEN City Runners men got back to winning ways with an impressive first place in the second fixture in the Herts and North London Sunday Cross-Country League at their home venue. It was a blend of youth and experience from right across the club that s

GARDEN City Runners' men got back to winning ways with an impressive first place in the second fixture in the Herts and North London Sunday Cross-Country League at their home venue.

It was a blend of youth and experience from right across the club that secured GCR success.

Mark Dickinson ran a solid race to finish third in 32 minutes 50 seconds for the 5.9 mile course.

He was behind winner Neilson Hall of Bedford & County, who has been selected for the GB team at the prestigious Chiba Marathon Relay in Japan.


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Alex McIntosh, GCR's find of the summer, was fifth in 33 mins 08 secs.

Roy Scott came back from a tough race in the Essex League for Southend AC the previous day to finish 10th in 33 mins 39 secs for his second club.

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Steve Livingstone and Dave Desborough had another tussle, club veteran Steve on this occasion coming out on top in 17th in 35.06, with Dave just four seconds behind.

Bruce Judge was then 19th in 35.23.

Neill Hughes ran an excellent 35.41 for 24th.

Patrick Pearce would have been well up in the points, but for a rather unwelcome bout of sickness, although he recovered to finish strongly.

His place in the eight-man scoring A team was gratefully taken by fireman Mark Pidduck, who stormed home as 37th man in 37.07, before dashing back to work.

For the GCR B team, Rob Hughes ran a very good 39.12 in 57th, and in the 50s and 60s there were great efforts from Mick Bowe, Rick Hole, Tom Casserley and Nigel Gilbert on his GCR cross-country debut.

The result puts the Welwyn Garden men second overall behind Hitchin's FVS Tri, but another performance like this should see them quickly back on top.

With GCR's leading ladies having abandoned this competition to focus on other challenges, it was once again left to Caroline Hale to carry the flag for the blue and yellows.

The change this season to make the girls run the full course in all five races meant them suffering the exhausting climb up to Burnham Green for a second time.

It worked in Caroline's favour as she powered her way to seventh place in 40.43, behind such local stars as Lizzie Hall and Laura Cowley in second and third.

Joy Allen put in another gutsy performance and was once again top FV55 and 21st overall in 45.09.

There were also great runs too from Sarah Halliday and youngster Helen Spark.

The fixture had been in doubt due to barbed wire rendering unsafe the former start and finish area above Tewin Water school.

That it went ahead at all is in no small part due to the energy and determination of race committee chairman Bruce Judge, who put together a dedicated team at short notice.

The enforced route change did not adversely affect the race's smooth running and Tewin Memorial Hall fulfilled the role of race headquarters quite adequately.

It, and the catering team supplying soup and refreshments, made a welcome post-race shelter on a mild but wet and dreary November day.

Meanwhile, Mark Landy and Matt Robins were back in action at the St Neots Half Marathon in Cambridgeshire.

They finished together in 12th and 13th out of a field of 900 in 1 hr 17 mins 43 secs.

Sam Smith, Peter Sawko and Lauren Potter completed the 'Hellrunner Down South' at the army base near Aldershot.

This tough challenging race involves 10 miles of rough tracks and obstacles, including wading 50 metres through the fearsome chest-deep and freezing cold 'Bog of Doom'.

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