Sussex Grand Phoenix
Monday 12th December 2016
Sussex Grand Phoenix
Provisional results for the Sussex Grand Prix indicate a medal haul of 25 medals for Phoenix. Although not confirmed until after Christmas some careful number crunching by Paul Whelpton has revealed the following......
FULL (provisional!) list of medals:
Senior Team Gold:Will, Malcolm, Andrew H, Andy N, Phil , Steve, Paul Weir, Paul Wh, Tobias, Nigel
Vet Team Silver: Paul Wh, Nigel, Phil, Steve, Andy N
Individual place medals:
Overall (medals for top 20) Paul Weir (7th) Tobias (10th) Paul Wh (15th) Nigel (20th)
V3 Nigel (3rd) V5 Paul Wh (1st) V6 Malcolm (2nd) V7 Andrew H (1st)
Izzy A (overall 13th, Senior 2nd)
Despite losing three key runners, including captain Lance Bellers, to injury in the course of the season, Phoenix still did exceptionally well, so what is the key to the success? Paul Whelpton gives us his thoughts;
- in Senior competition is strength in depth, you need ten runners to score well over the whole season, we overhauled second placed Haywards Heath despite them having some very good runners including three who were well ahead of all of our team in the individual rankings and actually claimed the first 3 places in the individual competition.
- we had one of the oldest teams in the Senior Mens competition - seven of our scoring ten were Vets including three over 60s.
- our oldest runner V70 Andrew Haig clocked up 11 races and won his age category by a country mile despite undergoing foot surgery midway through the season
- towards the end of the season injuries and other problems left us relying on the bare minimum of ten runners for the last few races
- 19-year old Will Russell ran spectacularly well over the last five races, ending the season by knocking three minutes off his previous year's time in the final race of the season - the Crowborough 10k
So what about next year? Well, Lance Bellers will stay Phoenix rep for the overall series but we will also have two new Senior reps in Paul Weir for the Senior men and Izzy Anderson for the Senior Women. We have made some progress this year in the seniors but would love to build on that in 2017, particularly the women who were only missing in quantity not quality this year.
What do athletes need to do? Phoenix need as many male and female runners as possible to help the team (and potentially win themselves a medal) by planning well ahead and clocking up an effective number of races next year - which means at least 8 races including at least two long ones (10 miles or more). Please feel free to speak to Lance, Paul, Izzy, Paul or anyone else who took part if you have any questions about how to go about it, advice on individual races and so on.
Thank you Paul & Lance for your info for this report