Another XC Medal Haul at Sussex Masters

Friday 24th January 2020

Another XC Medal Haul at Sussex Masters

A good day’s racing at Coombe Farm in the Sussex Masters Cross Country Championships on January 18th ended with a satisfying Phoenix haul of  three team medals and two individual ones.

Coombe Farm is a lovely venue, with a warm welcome (and warm cups of tea) from the farmowners, great views over the Downs, and an excellent (equal distance for all!)course, consisting  of two laps (roughly 5miles/8k in all)with  some challenging hills but kind underfoot with relatively little mud and virtually no flints to contend with. The weather was also kind this year if a little chilly, with sun and only a relatively gentle breeze. 

All three of our men’s teams finished in the medal positions,  silver for our V40s and bronze for our V50s and 60s. Our V40 scorers were Tim Jukes, Alex Bonzi, Matt Greenall and Tom Sanderson, with V50 trio Dave Powell, Jim Whitelegg and Steve Selby, and V60s (60+ actually!) Paul Whelpton, Dan Allen and Malcolm Kemp all claiming bronze medals. Dave produced a tremendous performance to take the V50 title in an impressive  28:25 – which would actually have seen him finish only just outside the medals in the V40 race. Dave was understandably delighted with his win, which he claimed was his first in many years - though on his current form it is unlikely he will have to wait too long before the next one.   Paul our other individual medalist was less satisfied with his performance, having beaten V60 winnner Alan Buckle in their previous meeting at the Southerns only six weeks’ ago (too much time on the Costa del Sol recently?) and his time of 32:16 was only good enough to earn him 3rd place in the V60 category.

As last year these championships failed to attract a good turnout  from our women members, which ruled us out of the running for team medals in any of the age categories, Nevertheless all our female runners put in good performances , with Samantha Leader’s 8th place finish in a very high-quality V45 field in 34:42 particularly impressive. After being really disappointed at having to pull out during last years race, Jude Matthews ran with her usual determination to finish in 74th position. Last word goes to our fastest woman finisher on the day Erica Martin (whose first love as we all know is  multisport): "Not bad for a cross country; I enjoyed the long downhill finish!"  

Full Results


Dave Powell

Erica Martin & Samantha Leader

Steve Selby, Paul Whelpton & Phil Grabsky

Val Avella