News reports - November 2021

27th November 2021: Stars of Cross Country running converge on Liverpool's Sefton Park

As we lay in bed on Friday night listening to storm Arwen raging outside and whipping up winds in excess of 60 mph, I don't any of us would have foreseen near perfect running conditions for the British Athletics Cross Challenge event in Sefton Park Liverpool on Saturday. Club tents seemed an unlikely convenience as winds in excess of 40 mph were forecast for Saturday morning but in reality the wind speed eased considerably and we even had some winter sunshine in the afternoon to take the edge off the winter chill!

And the ground conditions were very good for running. There had been little rain in the last few weeks so the usual muddy conditions we associate with Sefton Park were avoided, with going good to firm.

This event, incorporating trials for the European Cross Country Championships in Dublin on 12 December and including 2 new short 1.5km courses to selection for cross country relay teams, attracts the best cross country runners from the length and breadth of the country. This is without a doubt the best cross country event in the North West, providing great spectator sport and the opportunity for local runners in the Mid Lancs and Liverpool cross country leagues to run along the cream of Britain's runners.

Southport Waterloo was well represented although it was far from an even split across the age groups. In the Junior age groups, I count only 11 across the age Groups and only the Under 11 Girls and Under 15 Boys managed a team finish in the Mid Lancs League. There were nearly as many in the Senior Women's race with 10 finishers in what was virtually a home fixture. But the Senior Men .... They were out in force. I count 23 finishers. Now that must be a record, or very close to one.

The results reported below are taken from the early Cross Challenge results which, we know, have corrections that still have to be worked through. Mid Lancs results and individual and team placings will not be available for a week or so.

105 runners finished in the Under 11 Girls' race with runners registered thru' local primary schools, the leagues and by direct entry to the Cross Challenge. I am aware of three Southport Waterloo girls. Lucy Delamere was outstanding finishing 4th overall and 4th Mid Lancs in 8:04 for the 2 km course. Grace Veevers was 24th in 8:40 and Harriet Logan was 88th in 9.55.

In the Under 11 Boys' race again over 2 kms, Ryan McCormick was 13th in 7:30 and Harry Lavery finished in 9:04.

In the Under 13 Girls' race, Southport Waterloo was represented by Layla Graham who ran her 3 km course well to finish 14th of 80 girls in 14:21. I'm not quite surely how far Layla ran but the girls were misdirected and certainly ran further than the intended 3 kms!

And there was just one of our young runners in the Under 13 Boys' race. Cross country running must be in the Delamere genes with William following his sister with another good run; 5th of 81 runners - and 1st Mid lancs finisher - in 10:46.

The singleton runner syndrome continued with Emily Dean our only finisher in the Under 15 Girls' race. Emily completed the 3 kms in 12:20.

Thankfully we returned a team finish in the Under 15 Boys' race with Monty Barr leading them home, 33rd in 10:35 for 3 km, followed by Reuben Donnelly, 41st in 10:52, and Luke Ward, 54th in 11:19.

We didn't have anyone running in the Under 17 or Under 20 races but It is just worth mentioning the combined Under 17 and World Athletics Junior Women's race. which was arguably the most competitive race of the day. No spread-out field here but bunched runners competing every step of the way. Under 20 Megan Keith from Inverness won in 14:45 with Under 17 Jess Bailey from Leven Valley 2nd in 14:53. A master class in running for the young spectators!

We did have two Under 20 Woman running at Sefton Park. They ran in the Snr Women's race as that would be their race in the Mid Lancs League but meant here that they would have to move up from 6 kms to 8 kms. Jess Dean has run 10ks and even a half marathon but Lucy Milling had never raced that far and so it was a daunting prospect but one she was more than capable of. At the moment, I have to guess at Lucy's time because the results system has classed her as Under 20 and so times her from the start of the Under 20 Women's race until she crossed the line in the Snr Women race. But, give or take a second, she completed the 8.1 kms in 31:59, the first Southport Waterloo runner to finish in the race and so she becomes our 2021 Women's Cross Country Champion. Jessica Dean our 3rd Senior Woman finisher in 36:59

Of our actual 'Senior' Women, Clare Constable finished 2nd behind Lucy, in 35:29. Then Andrea Scarborough was 4th in 38:11, then Michelle Spencer finished in 39:23, Helen Lavelle in 40:28, Katy Coupland in 43:28, Gemma Delamere in 43:32,Helen Lodge in 44:30 and Susan Cooper in 49:46. Again, we must await the Mid Lancs results to see vet and team standings.

Our Senior Men were competing in both the Mid Lancs League and, for some, in the Liverpool & District Cross Country Union 2021 XC Championships. After some early jockeying for position, James Tartt was first home for the club in 32:59 for the 9.8 kms. Bearing in mind Jay has not run competitively since February 2020, this was an outstanding run! And it was 3 minutes faster than he ran the same course in 2019. A win also makes him club Cross Country Champion for the eightth time!

Ben Johnson was 5 places behind in 33:22 then Mark Denham finished in 34:06, Andrew Kershaw in 34:12, David Hamilton in 34:47. and Rob McGrath in 36:31. That must be our strongest team finish this season - and possibly last season as well!

Others were Alex Waddelove, 37:14, Andy Veevers, 37:15, John Delamere, 37:25, Peter Roome, 39:01, James Playbody, 39:05, Marc Singer, 39:07, Matthew Halsall, 40:04, Ian Fitzpatrick, 40:33, Steven Howard, 41:46, Neil Adshead, 42:06, - and 1st MV60 overall - Richard Talbot, 42:42, Graham Cuddy, 42:47, John Sanders, 43:12, Carl McMahon, 43:49, Stephen Ward, 46:09, Lee Coupland, 49:24, and Ian Pike, 58:28. Some new names there and that shows real growth potential for the Senior Men's team.

Results | Team standings