2020 - BUCS Cross Country Championships - Holyrood Park
BUCS XC 2020
British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) Cross Country
Championships 2020 travelled to Scotland, to the famous Holyrood Park and
once again BBHAC students were out in good numbers representing their
Over 1600 motivated athletes, each sporting their University colours with
face paint, ribbons and various other colourful forms make up what is
arguable the best supported cross country races of the season, collegiate
In the women's long race Niamh Bridson Hubbard (Cambridge) ran superbly in a
class filled field placing a very high 10th.
In the men's equivalent long race, Charlie Davis (Birmingham) was highest
placed BBHAC athlete crossing the line in a quality 19th position. James
Habergham (Leeds Beckett) was 104th and Prince Reid (East Anglia) 275th.
In the woman’s short race Yasmin Austridge (Birmingham) had her best run of
the season placing an impressive 10th, with Jess Keene (Birmingham) and
Maddie Mastrolonardo (Birmingham) 34th and 44th respectively. Amy Leach (St
Mary’s) was 79th and Jess Sellar (Oxford) 116th.
In the men’s short race Josh Schofield (Loughborough) was a great 24th,
Oscar Hussey (Warwick), Angus Harrington (Cambridge) 274th, Alex Leggatt
(Durham) 300th and Marco Arcuri (Durham) 356th.
25 January 2020 - South of
England Championships - Parliament Hills
The 2020 South of England Cross Country Championship
at Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath were once again run in challenging
conditions underfoot with plenty of wet mud!
Similar to last year, Blackheath and Bromley HAC
numbers were down for various reasons: injury / illness, indoor champs or
clash of sports and this reflected in the results with the U17 and U20 age
groups unable to field enough athletes to score in the team competition.
However, we did have many fine performance throughout the age groups.
The biggest squad of the day was the U13 girls and
strong runs from Megan Slattery 17th, Francesca Middleton 20th, Megan Barlow
58th and Luciana Smith 61st combined well to secure a solid 5th team place
finish. Amie Gould ran well to finish 64th, as did Maria Salamanca in 90th
just in front of Tallulah Ndikanwu in 92nd. Lydia Witcombe crossed the line
in 184th followed by sisters Maddie and Lydia Marston in 252 and 267
respectively. Lola Bischoff completed the big squad finishing 282nd in her
first Southern XC championship race. Alyssa Firla warmed up and was raring
to go but was hindered by a recent injury meaning a reluctant withdrawal.
The U15 girls went two better than last year also
placing 5th team on the day. Lily Meers led the girls home a great 22nd,
with fast finishing Carys Firth 27th just in front of Hannah Clark in 28th.
Cara Gould completed the scoring four, placing 84th. Olivia Magee Brown was
147th, Olivia Wauters 158th, Amelia Middleton 168th, SP Maher 195th and
rounding the squad off was Amelie Willars crossing the line in 238th. Libby
Whyte, sporting a damaged wrist, was disappointed to miss the race but still
managed to get around part of the course giving the girls support.
Ailbhe Barnes and Zoe White made up the U17 girl
contingent and both had great runs with Ailbhe placing a fine 15th and Zoe
30th, 26 places higher than last year. Unfortunately no team result.
Amy Leach was our sole representative in the women U20
race but her strong performance was missed off the results due to a missing
The U13 boys had six BB athletes making up their squad
and a fabulous run from Alex Middleton saw him coming home in an impressive
12th place. Only eight seconds behind, Josh Healy had probably his best run
of the season placing a very good 20th. Jed Starvis continued his great
winter finishing 103rd with Harry Fage running well in 143rd. Hendri Verster
looked strong in the run in and placed 157th and Mark Constable, on his
BBHAC and XC Championship race debut , gained many places in the final half
kilometre and crossed the line in 181st. The team were 10th overall.
The U15 boys had a great turnout and were led home by
a strong running Matt Smith placing in the mid twenties. Unfortunately
Matt’s chip wasn’t automatically recorded at the finish and so Matt's
performance was missing from the official results. This is currently being
investigated! Arthur Starvis backed up his strong Kent schools XC run with a
top 100 finish, placing 96th. Alessio Tutt went off hard and finished 106th
before dashing off to swimming in the afternoon. Miles Brown, making his
full BBHAC debut ran well placing 126th and Thomas Sugden bettered lasts
years position by 58 places placing 137th. Ted Marston also made a great
improvement on last year, finishing 140th, 69 places higher than in 2019.
Consistent Nathaniel Brunner completed the squad in 305th. The team were
14th without Matt's results but this will probably be bettered when Matt’s
result is added.
Oliver Bright raced hard at this event in 2019 to
secured a fine 7th place, and this year again went off with the leading
pack, in the U17 boys 6k race but unfortunalty had to pull out at the start
of the second lap. Hopefully no lasting damaged was done and we will see
Oliver flying again very soon. Joel Rooney looked good all the way around
securing 65th place and Freddy Georgiou completed the tough two lap course
but fell foul of the automatic timing system and so at present is not
showing on the official results. More investigation!
In the U20 mes race Matthew Francis had a solid run
placing 64th and Ifetobi Salako, despite missing the start secured a 114th
Great to have loads of parents there supporting our
athletes along with PP’s Ken Daniel, Tim Soutar, Dave Cordell and Bill
Foster and VP Karen Desborough and her family.
Nine Men braved the toughest cross country the UK has
to offer. 15k round the notoriously difficult Parliament Hill. This year the
conditions were particularly brutal with ankle deep boggy mud covering
almost the whole course.
First home, in his best Southerns finish was Ross
Braden in 22nd, next man home just inside the top 100, in what was another
fantastic run was Tom Desborough. Desborough has continued to go from
strength to strength and has improved by over 100 places compared with last
Following Tom we had some close packing from Alex
Gibbins, Dan Kennedy and Danny Brewer. Gibbins managed to hold off Kennedy
by just 5 seconds to finish in 142nd, with Kennedy in 148th and Danny Brewer
making use of running on home turf to finish in 171st.
Closing the 6 to score team was Gareth Evans, who
battled hard to finish in 1.03.25 which secured 522nd, this put the team in
a very respectable 15th overall out of the 80 teams that managed to put out
a full team.
Next home was Greg Firth, who made the extremely brave
decision to run in trail shoes, finished 744th, an incredible effort in what
must have been a real slog without spikes! 8th man home making a welcome
return was Richard Daniels, finishing in 923rd. Richard Byford was our final
man to finish, completing the team finishing 1105.
Up the Heath
Ross, Chris and Dan
2019 - Oxford v Cambridge Varsity - Wimbledon Common
Niamh Bridson Hubbard (005) with the Cambridge Women's winning team.
Thames Hare and Hounds hosted the annual
Oxford v Cambridge Varsity Cross country races at Wimbledon Common. Running
for the Light Blues for the third time in this event, Niamh Bridson Hubbard
stormed round the 4-mile (6.4K) course to take the win in a new course
record of 22:49 and lead Cambridge to a narrow 39-41 point win over Oxford.
30 November 2019 - Kent Masters -
Central Park Dartford
There was a good turn out of Heathens for the Kent
Vets at Dartford on 30 November. We had competitors in all age groups in the
Mens races and in 2 age groups for the womens.
Star mention must go to our 2 medallist's: Maz Turner took bronze in the
VW65s and Peter Hamilton also took bronze in the VM70s.
Team wise, there was solid 5th places for the M40s (Luca, Tony, Gareth and
Steve E) and for the M50s (Heath, Roger, and Clayton) where Heath Anthony
was well placed in 9th and the team were just 4 points away from 3rd. It was
good to see that our second group of M50s would have finished in 8th place.
The M60s fielded a full team, with Luigi leading them home in 26th place.
Report & photos from Steve Pairman
23 November 2019 - Liverpool Cross Challenge (Euro
Liverpool Cross Challenge (incorporating the European Cross Country
Saturday saw the European XC champs trials held in
Liverpool, 4 men took the long travel up north plus one supporter (shoutout
to Will Ruiz)
First home was Team Manager Ross Braden, who finally
managed to put in a worthy performance in Blackheath colours, finishing in
42nd. He was closely tracked by Northerner Josh Schofield, who after a
blistering start (briefly taking the lead) settled down and put in a fine
performance finishing a very solid 53rd.
The next Blackheath vest to finish was '800m turned
cross country specialist' James Habergram. Despite being far from thrilled
with the conditions, Habergham put in another superb performance over the
cross for Blackheath, putting an end to any rumours that he would prefer to
run indoors than at nationals.
Charlie Davis was also running however he seemed to
have forgotten his B&B HAC vest, which meant he was forced to run in the
colours of Birmingham Uni instead. This misstep can be forgiven as Charlie
improved on already very good performances this winter to finish in 64th.
Blackheath and Bromley women were represented by Niamh
Bridson Hubbard and Jess Keene in the combined Under 23 and Senior Women's
race run over 8.1K. Niamh finished 5th in the Under 23s (19th overall),
narrowly missing out on selection for the GB&NI team to run in the European
Championships in Lisbon on 8 December, but was chosen as first reserve.
Jess, in her Birmingham University vest, also had a solid run, coming in
20th in the U23s (64th overall). John Hubbard
Niamh Bridson Hubbard with Cambridge Hare and Hounds friends Phoebe Barker
and Emily Ruane and their coach, Phil O'Dell
Jess Keene (1075) with friends from Birmingham University
2019 - London C-C Championships
Several Blackheath athletes were again on the charge
at the weekend over Parliament's Hills in a boggy, undulating affair that
served as a reminder that winter has well and truly arrived; and that even
the comparatively short 10km on Hampstead Heath is no mean feat.
Local resident Danny Brewer led the charge after his
stint altitude training in Bolivia in an impressive 41st place despite a
stitch on the last lap. Dan Kennedy followed him home in 59th after a well
judged effort, Luca Ercolani snuck into the top 100 in 98th with a
determined sprint to the line, and Fintan Parkinson completed the scoring
quartet 158th after taking the brave decision to wear trail shoes in the
ankle deep mud.
Josh Dowling made a welcome return to racing in 172nd
after some achilles trouble, Jon Vintner ensured it was a worthwhile trip up
from Winchester in 218th, while Heath also made a return to racing in 238th.
Chris Tuck continued his march back to full fitness in 263rd to just miss
out on the top half, Darren Corneille built on an impressive few months
worth of training to come 295th, and Rich Byford completed the Blackheath
contingent in 406th to give us 10 finishers: our best total in years.
All of this translated into 13th place out of 38
complete 4 to score teams. Naturally this was rewarded with a few well
earned refreshments at some of Highgate's finest drinking establishments.
Full results can be found here:
Up the Heath!
Chris, Dan & Ross
2019 - National Cross Country Relays at
A strong team effort was on display again on Saturday
as 1 complete and 1 incomplete Blackheath and Bromley side descended on a
wet and muddy Berry Hill Park in Mansfield for the National Cross Country
Charlie Davis made his seasonal debut for Blackheath
with a strong performance on the ultra competitive first leg to come home in
38th in 17:17, a time that would have been close to the top 10 on any other
leg. Josh Schofield continued his impressive form from Tonbridge last
weekend to charge through the field in the 8th fastest time of the 2nd leg,
16:53, to make up 20 places and take some impressive scalps in the process.
James Habergham, rapidly making himself indispensable to all our relay
teams, continued the good work to snatch an extra place in 17:23 in a
battling performance. Sadly, this momentum couldn't be maintained on the
last leg as Dan Kennedy, a late change due to injury and illness, could only
manage 19:42 and lost 10 places to lead the team home in 27th. Far from a
disaster, but below expectations.
Simultaneously a the incomplete B team made the most
of the opportunity to compete on the national stage by all bringing their A
games to the competition. Tom Desborough came home in 69th on the 1st leg in
18:38, suggesting he might have been better off in the A Team. Mark Cage
made his long awaited debut for the club by holding his own in a solid 19:37
and Ian Firla got in a relatively speedy work out in his preparation for the
Valencia Marathon by completing the team in 20:07 to leave them back in 69th
but sadly without anyone to pass on to it.
A big shout out to former Heathen Phil Sesemann for
defending the Cross Country Relay title with Leeds City despite taking a
heavy fall down hill on the first leg.
Full results can be found here:
Up the Heath!
Chris, Dan & Ross
We were all very fortunate that the National Cross
Country relays in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, went ahead as planned, despite
fears that this great venue may not have been available, due to bureaucracy!
The superb course at Berry Hill Park offers everything
needed for a great Championships - tough hills, woodlands, mud, grass,
bucket loads of rain and wind and all this easily accessed by the large
numbers of spectators in attendance.
Forty three young BBHAC athletes made the three to
five hour journey (depending on when they travelled) to Mansfield and were
met by the “worst conditions for 30 years” as announced by the PA system!
This meant that times were slightly down on last year but the effort and
commitment was exactly the same as always.
The U13 boys trio were led out by Alex Middleton, who
had his spike ripped from his foot after about 400m, but carried on
regardless before passing to Hendri Verster and then Harry Fage, both in
their first National XC relay, bringing the team home in 43rd in a field of
79 complete teams.
The U13 girls had three strong teams racing and the
trio of Megan Barlow, Amie Gould and Fran Middleton combined well to finish
a high 17th. India Blakey, Lara Tunali Flynn and Megan Slattery were just
behind in 21st and only two places behind them in 23rd were Maria Salamanca,
Alyessa Firla and Luciana Smith.
Matt Smith had a superb race coming home a solid 8th
in the U15 boys handing to Ted Marston and Thomas Sugden who both ran well
coming home 30th. Nathan Firla made his National debut running the first leg
of an incomplete team but held his own well in tough conditions.
The U15 girls had three complete teams and the A team
of Hannah Clark, Lara Mannes and Lily Meers all had strong runs,
collectively finishing a fine 8th place with 98 teams racing. Imogen Hadley,
Amelia Middleton and Carys Firth finished well in 43rd spot just in front of
trio Isabella Louth, Olivia Wauters and Cara Gould in 47th.
The U17 boys also finished an impressive 8th with
Oliver Bright running the sixth fastest leg of the day (270 racing) passing
to Tom Brash and then Sam Reardon who both had typically committed runs. The
incomplete B team was made up of Will Andrews and Freddy Georgiou and they
both handled the conditions well, just a shame there was no third leg runner
to complete a team result.
The U17 girls had two great team running and the A
team finished a high 10th with Tola Pearse running well on leg 1 passing to
Ailbhe Barnes on two, producing the fastest leg 2 of the day, handing over
to Zakia Mossi bringing the team home in 10th. The B team of Ava White, Zoe
White and Jess Neal pushed hard and finished a fine13th. In the incomplete C
team Lucrezia Polloni showed she is in great form running a solid opening
The U20 boys finished in 41st with Callum Myatt
leading them out, handing to Ben Gardiner on two and Henry Fisher on three.
The U20 girls were led out by Yasmin Austridge,
passing to Mille Smith and then to Amy Leach who crossed the line in a good
Challenging conditions all round but I’m sure everyone
enjoyed getting warm and refuelling before the long journey home. A big
thank you to PP Dave Cordell and VP Claire Austridge for taking the much
needed tent to Mansfield and back to the club house afterwards, to hang up
to dry! Many thanks again, go to all the parents, team mangers and coaches
who continue to support our young athletes enabling them to compete at this
high level. Special thanks to Paul Brash who drove the testosterone filled
minibus to Mansfield and back, not an easy undertaking.
2019 - SEAA XC Relays - Wormwood Scrubs
Blackheath fielded a single team at Wormwood Scrubs on
Saturday to run in the Southern XC Relay Championships, with everyone
performing brilliantly apart from the loan team manager. James Habergham
ensured the trip down south was a productive one with 2nd place after the
1st leg and the 4th fastest time of the day. Alex Gibbins continued the good
work with the 30th best time of the day to bring the team back in a very
respectable 6th, before handing over to Dan Kennedy, who promptly took the
team back 8 places to 14th with an awful run. Ian Firla was on hand to
steady the ship, however, with a strong run to lead the team home in 15th in
only his 2nd XC race for the club.