The 25th Anniversary of the Saucony English Cross Country Relays, held at Berry Hill, Mansfield was celebrated last weekend with another top class event. Again over 1000 teams took part in the 10 championship races with new names on the senior men’s and senior women’s trophies as Aldershot, Farnham & Dist AC won these for the first time and became the first club to do the double. Somewhat surprising considering the club’s pedigree but they made no mistakes, fielding top class teams for a clean sweep. In the senior men’s race Andy Vernon produced the fastest time of the day by a clear margin recording 15m 02s while in the women’s Lily Partridge was fastest recording 9m 48s.
All the senior races had the clubs fielding strong teams with lots of international athletes in action preparing for the European Trials at the end of the month. In the men’s race Sale Harriers Manchester took the silver medal and Bedford & County the bronze. In the women’s race Aldershot’s B Team won the silver and City of Stoke AC took the bronze.
In the other age groups Tonbridge AC came out tops winning the Junior Men’s and under 15 Boys events as well as a silver in the under 13 Girls. Herne Hill have a strong group of under 13 Girls at present and won their event comfortably, while Birtley AC was a new name winning the under 17 women’s race. One of the best individual legs of the day came from Jonathan Davies of Reading AC in the junior men’s race, who, taking over on the last leg in 13th position then gained 10 places with a time of 8m 36s to win his club the bronze.
Despite the squally showers the going remained good and the ECCA was delighted with the support it it had from Mansfield Harriers and Mansfield District Council.