Striders of Croydon produced an excellent team performance in the final Surrey Cross-Country League Division Two match of the season, at a cold and wet Lloyd Park on Saturday. They placed third in the match, narrowly beaten by champions Guildford and local rivals Croydon Harriers, but held off the challenge of promotion rivals Fulham to place second in the final league table and clinch promotion to Division One for the first time in the club’s history.
Striders were led by Peter Mills who had an excellent run to place seventh of the 202 finishers, covering the muddy five-mile course in 28 minutes 32 seconds. James Bennett also ran well to place 12th (29.12), while Phil Coales was 22nd (30.25), Simone Luciani 24th (30.32), Tatsuya Okamoto 29th (30.47), Lee Flanagan 44th (31.47) and Rob Lines 46th (31.49). Veteran Dave Shaw made an excellent return to club colours to place second in the over-50 category and 48th overall (31.59), while Andrew Aitken was 54th (32.24) and Simon Ambrosi completed the scoring team in 64th (33.04). Striders’ B team won their category, and the club had an impressive total of 34 finishers.
Earlier in the day, Striders’ women placed sixth in their Division Two match at Richmond Park, and seventh in the final league table. They were led by Becky Laurence who ran well to place 22nd of the 234 finishers, covering the five-mile course in 37 minutes 33 seconds. Joanne Campbell also ran well for 27th (37.58) with Steph Upton 39th (38.27), Rachel Vinton 48th (39.06) and Nikki Javan 63rd (39.58). The B team were third in their category. Debra Bourne was 65th (40.04), Selena Wong 90th (41.45), Susanna Lutman 91st (41.48). Sophia Sachedina 98th (42.01) and Marianne Chua 100th (42.11). Striders’ youngest competitor, Lucy Finch, was 40th in the under-13 girls’ race.