Striders of Croydon faced strong opposition in the first Surrey Cross-Country League races of the season on Saturday. Their men placed ninth in their Division Two match at Epsom Downs. They were led by Tatsuya Okamoto who ran well to finish 35th, completing the eight-kilometre course in 28 minutes 52 seconds. Andrew Aitken was 42nd (29:03) and James Rhodes 54th (29:40). Matthew Stone ran very well to place second in the over-50 category and 56th overall (29:48). Lee Flanagan was 75th (30:38) with Peter Mills 80th (30:53), Robert Lines 83rd (31:03), Marc Burrows 86th (31:11), Simon Ambrosi 88th (31:19) and Martin Filer 94th (31:25). Steve Corfield was fourth in the over-50 category and 101st overall (31:56), while Robert Zietz was the first over-65 to finish, placing 153rd overall (36:01). Striders showed their strength in depth with 25 finishers.
Striders’ women placed 13th in their Division Two match at Richmond Park. They were led by Maria Consuelo Kennelick, making her league debut, who ran well to place 43rd of the 207 finishers, completing the 6500 metre course in 30 minutes 02. Jennifer Gutteridge also ran well to finish 49th (30:12). Ally Whitlock was 75th (32:18) with Cindy Siu 81st (32:42), Steph Upton 83rd (32:47), Susanna Lutman 114th (34:22) and Hannah Luffman 194th (43:50).
Striders had three competitors in the young athletes’ races at Richmond Park. In the under-17 boys’ race, over 4700 metres, Christopher Finch was 49th (18:17) and Daniel Finch was 70th (19:40). Their younger brother Thomas Finch made his Striders debut in the under-13 race and placed 46th out of 58 finishers, completing the 3200 metre course in 13 minutes 54.
Debra Bourne completed the Centurions Autumn 100-mile race, starting and finishing at Goring-on-Thames, in 25 hours 49 minutes 56.