James Priest’s Cross Country domination continued with a clear win from Carl Holden and Ben Wilen as Guernsey Athletics returned to Les Norgiots after a near 50 year break for ‘proper cross country’.
Priest broke clear midway through the opening lap of five, and by the end of the 7 1/2 mile race had extended his winning margin to beyond 2 minutes over Holden, who in turn was 15 seconds clear of Ben Wilen – who ran an excellent race for third.
In a much closer women’s race, Laura McCarthy executed a superb race to claim her first club cross country title. She was locked in battle with Louise Perrio for the opening laps of their three lap event but appeared to be handling the terrain better than her more seasoned rival and pulled well clear on the final circuit.
In a hard fought race for the third women’s podium place Emily Squire got the better of fellow triathletes Chantal Green and Amy Critchlow.
Running the same distance Sammy Galpin was first overall and a clear winner of the Under 20 event with fellow age-grouper Mikey Ingrouille second across the line. Isaac Powers was leading under 17 in the 2 lap event.
In the one lap event Gian-Luca Robilliard and Summer Woodhead were the leading under 15s, with Tilly Beddow and George Montgomery the leading under 13s.
After his victory, James Priest told The Guernsey Press: “This was probably one of the hardest races I have ever done. It had everything – brambles, mud, rain and wind – you name it, it was there”
New Endurance Director Louise Perrio reflected on the event and said: “The feeling was that we needed a tougher cross country course ahead of Hampshire, at championship distances and that is exactly what we got. Although on the face of it boggy mud wasn’t as prevalent as on the current Hampshire course the soft and uneven going in the upper fields did a good job of replicating the effect. Those of us who remember Fauxquets will probably be feeling very nostalgic now. It was great racing course and those going to Hampshire who wanted a more traditional and comparable offering should now be feeling well prepared for all eventualities”
“On a personal note, good running by Laura who was handling the aforementioned upper fields a lot better than I was, it made for an interesting race and I enjoyed it a lot more than my previous two outings” she added.
Event Organiser Chris Gillman said: “It was great to hear so many people saying that they appreciated the opportunity to run on a ‘proper’ cross country in what turned out to be ‘proper’ cross country weather! I’m also very grateful to the land owner for allowing us to use Les Norgiots again. Hopefully we can return in future.”
event video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mXFjC-7a1RA&t=46s credit Chris Chalmers.
Special thanks go to Chris Gillman, Michael Way and Danny Blake for the volume of work undertaken to make this event happen.
Course Setup & Takedown – Danny Blake, Lloyd Wallbridge, Simon Ingrouille, Michael Way, George Nichols, Tom Nichols, Chris Gillman, Mikey Ingrouille, Jamie Ingrouille, Ed Rocha, Tom Druce.
Marshalling – Alun Williams, Chris Travers, Richard Hann
Timekeeping & Officiating – Chris O’Neill, Hazel Solway, Samantha Ingrouille, Elaine Graham, Warwick Helps, Ali Lihou