Southern Cross Country Championships Race Report

Saturday 25th Jan saw 8 Swindon Harriers racing in the Southern Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill. Coach Dill (Jnr) was spreading vicious rumours as to the condition of the course. Little did the contestants know he was actually downplaying the brutality that would await the naive bunch.

Ethan Pierce led the group off in the U20s race, coming home in a highly respectable 79th place in 30:59. The winning time was 26:05, 4:55 in front, or 18.8% quicker for those who are interested. Incidentally, the winner was declared via a photo finish, particularly exciting for a cross country race.

2:50 arrived, and the senior men entered the start pen, unaware of the savageness that would await them. The starting pistol sounded and Courtney Chessell charged into 12th place at the top of the first hill, attracting comments from White and Hall who were laughing at his infidelity.

Over the next hour, souls would be lost, picnics would be had, sanity would be questioned and mud would be eaten. The mud was biblical, the hills were unfathomable and the enjoyment was missing, but, incredibly, all those who collected a race number made it to the finish. The finishing times are below.

Courtenay Chessell 53:55
Dan Thomas 54:21
Luke Byrne 58:14
Ben Lines 59:35
Jason McGinley 1:00:53 (30 second(ish) time penalty for losing a shoe)
Nathan White 1:03:16
Ed Hall 1:13:00

Swindon Harriers finished a highly respectable 27th in the team competition, although Chez in 95th scored more points than the winning team. The lawns cross country awaits next week. Good luck.

Below: The team refueling after the race!