Mud, Glory and Cake

The under 11 boys kicked off the champs and saw great team-packing resulting in a bronze medal for Team BRJ and PBs for both Dominic Pauley and Livio Mosca. The under 11 girls’ event saw two of the three BRJers finish within the top ten.


Keelan Duffy and Ed Cochrane PBd in the U13 boys as did Lauren Elliott in the U13 girls’ event in which BRJ managed a fourth place team. The combined finish time for the BRJ team was EXACTLY the same as the team given the bronze medal position, but their total finish positions were just slightly better.


The only individual podium came in the U15 girls, with Chloe Loosley securing a magnificent runners-up place. At the end of lap one, Chloe was in third place, some 30 metres behind the leading pair, but eventually finished 50 metres behind the winner, but some 100 metres ahead of the third place girl. I am advised that the winner will be representing Cambridgeshire in the London Mini-Marathon 5k in April. Within the BRJ team, Chloe was ably supported by CC Hime, but the third team member, Emily Wake-Primett, very reluctantly retired on lap one after sustaining an injury. Clearly, this was the correct decision.


In light of her achievement, Chloe was selected to follow in the footsteps of Emily Wake-Primett last year to represent Cambridgeshire in the inter-counties XC champs being held in Birmingham on 12th March, a day before the BRJ hosted Frostbite at Hinchingbrooke School. 


Particular mention has to go to both Oliver Clinton competing in the U15 boys and Daniel Mitton in the U17 men, in that not only did they compete as BRJ "singletons", but the age category criteria meant that they largely competed against athletes that were up-to two years’ older. They both gave good accounts of themselves, nevertheless, they will be better placed next year as they will remain in the same age category.


Despite some pre-race withdrawals due to a bike crash for Richard Clarke and the more debilitating man-flu for a number of others, we had nine entrants in the Men’s 10k resulting in a total of four PBs. Special mention goes to Alex Howard and Mark Jackman, who declared on arrival that they were suffering from various ailments and were unlikely to finish, but happily they pushed on to the end despite the challenging conditions and personal discomforts showing great team spirit.


The weather seemed to get even worse for the ladies’ event and illnesses had prevented Jane Farrow, Stacey Owen and Liz Robinson being able to compete on the day. However, Ciona Sutton, a competitor two years’ ago, led home the remainder of the BRJ squad that were competing in this champs for the first time. I was however, very pleased to hear that despite the challenging course and conditions that these mainly inexperienced runners seemed to enjoy the experience and referred to a "good stamina training opportunity,” which is why even the elite athletes participate in cross country over the winter moths.


On this note, there is a fantastic opportunity for you all to follow the lead of those elite athletes by representing BRJ in this Sunday's junior (9+) and senior Frostbite events taking place adjacent to March Prison. We really need a good turnout this weekend if we are, at the very least, hoping to maintain our current positions in both the junior and senior competitions.


In summary, despite the challenging conditions and courses, the BRJ squad put in another set of great performances securing individual and team success, which has again put BRJ up alongside those local clubs that have more established pedigrees in competing and winning medals at this county level event. Well done everyone.


Mike Gullis