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2022 Hampshire Cross Country Championships at Fairthorne Manor

Mick Anglim reports

Disappointingly only 4 people represented Hardley at yesterday's Hampshire Cross Country Championships but we all enjoyed an iconic cross country course under testing conditions. 

Text Box: Here’s Natalie flying through the woods on one of the easier sections

Many of our newer members may not know that Hardley hosted the Hampshire Championships in Dibden Inclosure eight times up to 2012 before parking logistics and Forestry bureaucracy ended the venue’s viability. Our course was very popular as it provided a complete range of challenges unlike Fairthorne Manor which is relatively flat (only 87m for the men’s 10+kms). However yesterday’s course was tougher than any previous Championships held there as it was already muddy before the 270 youngsters churned it up. However it was the torrential rain that the senior women had to endure that really transformed parts of the course into streams and turned the muddy sections into a glute sapping slog.

Despite those conditions our Ironman lady and our sole female representative, Natalie Green, sailed around the course without a hair out of place to finish in an impressive 21st position. To put that performance in context the winner of the women’s race was Louise Small of Aldershot who has been representing GB in International X/Cs for over a decade.

Another Ironman and Natalie’s boyfriend Chris Harris flew the flag for our men and finished a superb 56th against a quality field.

Text Box: Here’s Chris airborne on one of the few fast sections:

 

 

Paddy Butler recovered from a fall to finish strongly as 9th over 60:

I was lapped by floating youngsters but happy to still be able to plough through the mud to the finish. I was the only over 70 and so by default a Hampshire Champion but disappointingly there were also only two over 65s in the race. Fairthorne Manor's reputation and the wet conditions reduced the numbers for the senior races dramatically after a few years of increasing numbers of ancient runners.

If any of you are interested in taking part in any of the remaining cross country races there are three free to enter (for EA runners) Hampshire Cross Country League races left and there is also time for Hardley to enter the National Cross Country Championships in it’s most iconic setting of Parliament Hill , London.

Mick

PS At this morning’s CC6 race at Holmsley Chris Harris shrugged off yesterday’s mud slog to score an unbelievable 3rd place while Natalie finished in an equally impressive 8th place to hopefully help our ladies to another Team first place.

 

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Last updated 09-Jan-2022.

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