53-12 XC Colchester – Race report

Gt Bentley Move up the Table

On Sunday 26th November GBRC travelled to Abbey Fields for 3rd cross-country fixture of the season, hosted by Colchester Harriers.  Sunny, dry, but chilly conditions greeted the 52 athletes, whose numbers were swelled by a number of promising newcomers to the club and to the cross-country racing scene.

440 runners took part in this 3rd round, the largest this season to date, with 213 men, 101 ladies and 126 juniors.

The ladies’ team once again claimed 4th position in Pool A, with the men also reclaiming their previous 5th place.

Overall this places the club 5th in the table, up one position, and now only one point behind rivals Springfield Striders.

In the ladies’ race Sam Godden led the team home in a strong 19th finish.  She was followed by Vicky Presland (25th) and Geraldine Springett (30th).  Debutant Rachel Chadwick (39th) made a superb start to her cross-country career, scoring valuable points as 4th and final scorer for the team.

The stronger field than at the previous two fixtures this year made competition tough, but Deborah Cubberley (53rd) gave an assured performance, repeating her previous placing.

This year’s Mickey Edwards 5k series championship winner, Magdalena Komorowska (65th) also began her cross-country pathway with a promising performance.  She was followed by Caroline Searle (68th) with another strong run, and Anthea Colsell (71st) in pursuit.

Three strong season debut performances followed with Fiona Gosling (73rd), Belinda Palmer-Barnes (91st) and Emma Welham (100th), closely followed by Sandra James (101st).

The race was won by Laura Thomas of Ipswich Jaffa.


In the men’s race Russ Sharpe (29th) led the club home, followed by Dave Wright (36th) with both improving 3 places on last time out.

Newcomer Dan McCoy (40th) provided a very valuable 3rd scoring position, followed by improving Adam Smith (43rd) and another tough performance from Men’s captain Chris Warren in 47th.

Mark Jasper (60th) had another strong run, improving 5 places on the previous fixture at Harwich, whilst Ryan Day (71st) and Dan Clapton (77th) completed the scoring 8, the latter improving a promising 6 places on Harwich.

Andy Hart (80th) opened his cross-country career in good form and was pursued to the finish by 7 place improving Dave Goldsmith in 82nd.

Rob Thorpe (118th) had the run of the day, finishing 23 places up on the 2nd fixture.  Not far behind were 2 more promising new contenders – Rajiv Payet (128th) and Russell Clark (130th).  Tomasz Komorowska (191st) also started his first cross-country season well.

Luke Groves (195th) and Martin West (199th) both improved 3 places, despite the stronger field, with West also breaking into the top 200 for the first time for a number of seasons.   He was swiftly followed to the line by another new recruit, Neil Robins (201st) to complete the GBRC finishing team.

The men’s race was again won by Angus Holford of Colchester Harriers.


In the junior race Lucas Southerward (68th) led the Gt Bentley team home for the second time, followed by Tom Colsell (76th) and Harry Booty (90th).  Angel Jasper (107th) completed the team and also improved by 2 places in her category to finish 11th.

The boys’ race was won for the 3rd time this season by Tom Abbott of Ipswich Jaffa, with Milly Presland of Colchester Harriers taking the honours in the girls’ race.


The Great Bentley team will be taking the long and winding road to Halstead’s tough forest course on December 10th to take their league campaign into the 2nd half of the season.

Matthew Knowles