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National Cross Country Championships, Sunderland 23 February 2013

Hillingdon AC’s senior men finished off the 2012/2013 cross country season in fine style with their best result in the National Cross Country Championships since at least 2002 as they finished 22nd in the six to score competition and 21st in the nine to score competition in extremely muddy and cold conditions at Herrington Park in Sunderland.

With two inches of snow falling on the morning of the race, the already waterlogged route soon resembled a river of mud as athletes struggled to find firm ground in the wet and boggy conditions whilst the icy weather meant that many runners found that they couldn’t feel their feet for the first few miles.

Daniel Thompson was first scorer for the club as he backed up his strong performance at the Southern Championships the week before by finishing 157th. Robert Thompson who had been ill with a sore throat and a cold earlier in the week finished 180th with James Laing in 259th. Martin Bateman finished 306th and Simon Connell just got the better of club mate Sam Blanshard as the pair finished 427th and 428th to close out the scoring six.

Paul Leppard finished 514th, John Bignell was 792nd and Martin Searle, who found the going tough after racing in similar conditions the preceding week at the Southerns, was 894th to close out the scoring nine, with Bob Burton (953rd) and Alan Wells (1065th) completing the club’s representation in the men’s race.

The race was won by Keith Gerrard for the second year in succession and there were 1085 finishers.

Hannah Wells (66th) and Heather Gibbons (92nd) were the club’s sole representatives in the Junior Women’s race that was run as the snow was still falling. Emelia Gorecka was first of the 99 finishers.

Well done to all the club members who made the effort to travel to and compete in the National Cross Country Championships and enjoy a club weekend in Durham. Full results may be found here.