PAUL WHELPTON REPORTS ON A GREAT DAY OF RACING
South of England Masters
Big(225) and high-class field in the Men’s event, which tends to attract relatively few full teams within each age category but a lot of high-class individual runners. Our sole V40 rep Alex Bonzi was 32nd overall and 14th V40 in 35:59. Our V50 team (depleted by an unlucky spate of injuries and last minute withdrawals) was a man short but Nigel Herron was 81st overall and 30th V50 in a time of 38:14, and Phil Grabsky 141st (27th V55) in 41:11. We did put out a full V60 Team (though an aged one consisting of one V65 and two V70s!). Paul Whelpton was 89th in 38:16 and 2nd V65, just 16 seconds behind the V65 winner his old East London rival Dave Cox. Malcolm Kemp was 189th in 44:29 and 18th V65 (though unofficially we made him 1st V70). Andrew Haig was 193rd and 20th V65 (unofficially 3rd V70) in a time of 45:04.
In the overall (ie V40 and above team competition Phoenix’s first 3 finishers (Nigel Paul and Phil with an average age of 58) finished in a commendable 19th out of 27 teams.
In the V60 and above category Paul Malcolm and Andrew (average age 70) produced another impressive result to finish 5th out of 9 teams
In the Intercounties Match our Sussex reps were Jaymes Fonteyn 111th (12:47) in the U13 boys, Ben Connolly who was 88th in the U15 Boys (15:18), Maia Hardman (27th (19:22) and Milly Dickinson 57th (20:27 ) in U17 Girls and Naomi Fonteyn who was 15th (25:00) in the U20 Women’s race.
And the Protest?
For the first time in many years the SEAA committee decided to drop the M70 category from the masters XC Champs in Oxford despite there having been sixteen contenders in 2017. Along with runners from other clubs Phoenix staged a demo at the event which received much support from bystanders. If the category had been in place Phoenix's Malcolm Kemp would have been gold medalist and Andrew Haig bronze. As it was they competed as O60 team members.
Photos by Andy Bone