Cross country is the defining feature of this weekend’s round up. Some of the country’s best athletes headed to Cardiff for the Cross Challenge, with many more racing in regional leagues. James Rhodes brings you the highlights, plus the usual road-based round up. 

Cardiff Class

Llandaff Fields played host to the Cardiff Cross Challenge on Saturday, the first of five British Athletics Cross Challenge events. This year, it also formed part of the World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold, attracting multiple international athletes.

Megan Keith delivered one of the performances of the event, winning the senior women’s race. She took on a strong field that included Ethiopians Likina Amebaw and Meseret Yeshaneh. She completed the 6.4k course in 20:35, 17 seconds clear of Amebaw with fellow Ethiopian Asmerech Anley third.

It’s been a fantastic year for the Scot. Her accolades include victory over 5000m at the European U23 Championships in July, running 14:58 at the London Diamond League and earning a place at her maiden World Championships. She looks to continue that success at next month’s European Cross Country Championships in Brussels.

Next best amongst the Brits was Jess Warner-Judd, finishing fifth (21:29), followed by Izzy Fry (21:37) in sixth. It was great to see Jess Gibbon return to racing in eighth (21:42). The Reading athlete has only competed at Parkruns this year.

It took a sprint finish to separate Keneth Kiprop (28:32) and Vincent Mutai (28:35) over the 9.6k senior men’s course. Kenyan Mutai must like the Welsh capital, having won the Cardiff Half Marathon last month. Zak Mahamed (29:19) delivered the best British performance in fourth. Brothers George and Charles Wheeler finished seventh and eighth respectively, both clocking 29:31.

Angus McMillan, who recorded the fastest leg at the National XC Relays last weekend in Mansfield, was ninth (29:38) with Scott Stirling tenth (29:41).

The senior races were preceded by two elite mile races, won by Hannah Irwin (5:19) and Tom Dodd (4:35).

Mud, Mud & More Mud

Regional cross-country leagues were a staple of this weekend. The second Surrey League fixture was split across Mitcham Common and Hurst Green. Mitcham played host to the Division 1 fixtures. Stuart McCallum took individual glory, helping Hercules Wimbledon to a comfortable team victory in the process. Guildford and Godalming’s Suzie Monk won the senior ladies race, with Thames Hare & Hounds getting the better of Belgrave Harriers in the team standings.

Holland Sports hosted the remaining divisions over a (very) muddy Hurst Green course. Division 2 saw a Croydon Harriers one-two thanks to Dom Nolan and James Hancock, whilst Epsom & Ewell took the team win. Alice Crane won the women’s division 2 race for Dorking & Mole Valley, with team victory for Fulham.

Medway & Maidstone took three of the top four spots at the Kent League in Bexleyheath on Saturday. Teweldebrhan Menges of Medway & Maidstone won over the 8km course by over a minute (24:30). He was followed by a trio of Tonbridge runners; Ted Higgins, Jack Higgins and Corey De’ath. The three helped Tonbridge to the team win. There was no senior women’s race at this fixture.

Tonbridge at the Kent League. Photo: Mark Hookway

Charlotte Knowles of Abbey Runners outsprinted St Theresa AC’s Sarah Kempshall to victory at Saturday’s PECO XC League at Middleton Park in Leeds. Ilkley Harrier Nathan Lawson won the senior men’s fixture ahead of Dan Garbutt of St Theresa AC’s.

Still Going

Emily Kearney of Warriors Pentathlon & Athletic Club and Aaron Doyle of Vale Royal took individual victories at the Manchester Area League in Wythenshawe Park. A number of changes had to be made to the course in the run up, due to the conditions. Plenty of mud awaited athletes, however.

There were team wins for Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets’ ladies and Highgate Harriers’ men’s teams in the Start Fitness Metropolitan League at Wormwood Scrubs. Annabel Gummow of Herts Phoenix and Highgate’s Alex Lepretre took individual wins in the respective senior races.


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Teardrop Lakes in Milton Keynes hosted the Chiltern League. The men’s race saw divisions 1 and 2 race together. Steeplechase specialist Zak Seddon was quickest overall, running for Bracknell in division 2. Harry Brodie was the fastest division 1 runner, for Bedford & County. Rebecca Murray won the senior women’s race by over a minute for Bedford & County. Emma Mears of MK Distance Project was the fastest division 2 runner, finishing third overall.

Aldershot Farnham & District had a good day at the Hampshire League, with senior wins for Jack Rowe and Lauren Hall. The club unsurprisingly took the team wins also at Popham Airfield in Basingstoke.

India Barwell of Loughborough Students was victorious at the first fixture of the Midland Women’s League at Cheltenham’s Pittvale Park. She finished ten seconds clear of teammate Bethan Morley, with Elisha Tait of the University of Birmingham third.

Wicksteed Park in Kettering played host to the North Midlands League. Amy Jackson (Leicester Coritanians) and Alex Hampson (Mansfield Harriers) won the senior women’s and men’s races respectively. Mansfield won the men’s team race, with the University of Nottingham winning the women’s.

To the Roads

Compared to recent weeks, it has been relatively quiet on the roads this weekend. Oliver Prior (31:46) was one of three athletes to finish inside 32 minutes at the Golden Leaf 10k in Battersea Park. Organised by Sri Chimnoy, Ben Mcintosh (31:50) and Nick Bester (31:58) completed the top three. Anya Culling (34:11) improved her PB by ten seconds, finishing over half a minute clear of Hattie Freeman (34:45) and Annie Birch (35:22).

Emily Heath (44:07) and Matthew Richardson (39:33) won the Weston Park 10k, whilst Graeme McIntosh (37:05) and Amy Dixon (38:51) won the Chatham Maritime 10k.

In Pickering, Jordan Howe (32:54) and Katy Wood (34:56) were victorious at the Dalby Dash 10k. Matthew Cooper (33:24) and Gill Draper (40:42) crossed the line first at the Windmill 10k in Lytham in Lancashire. Bethan Everson (38:08) and Daniel Smith (35:32) did the same at the George Munday 10k in Wisbech.

With a winning margin of over seven minutes, one of the most dominant performances of the weekend came from Dean Williamson (71:03) at the Essex Remembrance Run Half Marathon. Taking place at the Carver Barracks, Louise McDonnell (85:27) took the honours in the women’s field. Sharon Wright (40:04) and Gareth Carey (34:16) won the associated 10k, and James Lawlor (16:16) and Victoria Suett (18:50) the 5k.

Chris Holdsworth (1:23:15) and Lucy Mallinson (1:58:19) won the Run Bolton Abbey Half Marathon.

Paul Whittaker (50:48) and Nicole Frisby (63:33) ran well to record wins at the Stebbing 10 in Essex. Over half the distance, Charlotte White (36:22) and Jack Agnew (29:21) won the multi-terrain Mad Jacks 5 in Shrewsbury. Finally, there was a course record for Kieran Clements (34:16) at the Stowmarket Scenic 7. Kieran was joined by Emily Moyes (41:56) on the winners podium.

RunThrough Round Up

It’s been a busy weekend for RunThrough events. At London’s Victoria Park, there were wins for Dan Kelly (71:15) and Annie Birch (78:33) in the half marathon. The 10k went to Jess Caughtry (37:26) and Jonathan Hilling (33:08), with Parris Simpkins (16:56) and Emily Ballard (18:51) taking the 5k. On Saturday, Tal Rosenbaum (40:58) and Oliver Waymark (33:44) crossed the line first at the Olympic Park 10k. The associated 5k went to Rachel Wiseman (16:45) and Oliver Lill (15:33).

Those wanting to mix racing with rollercoaster rides could visit Alton Towers. Malachi Cashmore (71:08) and Katie Halligan (87:59) did just that, winning the half marathon in the process. Josh Griffiths (32:09) won the 10k, beating 800m specialist Ben Claridge (32:42). Chloe Hawkins (40:12) was the fastest female. Jon Cleaver (17:04) and Stacey Hawkins (19:51) were fastest over 5k.

Finally, there were victories for Damian Holmwood (76:43) and Anjali Patel (82:45) at the Run Dorney Lake Half Marathon on Saturday. Emily Hilliar (36:28) and Patryk Beblo (35:14) won the 10k and Marlon Trump (16:30) and Joanne Micklewright (22:15) the 5k.