What a time to Gee alive! Guildford win their first ever Division 1 fixture

16 October 2022

Our Home fixture was a huge success! A huge thank you to all the volunteers, marshals, caterers and officials who made this event so fantastic.  An honourable mention to Dave, Matt and Andy who spent so much time planning and implementing this event.

Now to the racing!

On a warm and surprisingly sunny October afternoon, the Cross Country season officially began at Effingham Common. The course was walked and runners shared their feedback: “undulating”, ”bumpy”, ”uneven” and “hilly” seemed to be the main descriptors along with the classic talking points of what spike size and shoe type would be best suited to the course.

Lead Mens Group – Photo by Stuart Johnson

Mens’ Race Report – Ethan Kendall

At 2pm on the dot, the senior men started and almost immediately went into the first challenging ascent on the course. At the 2K point, there were 6 Guildford athletes in the Top 10. As the runners negotiated the challenging and twisty section leading onto the bottom field, the leading three men (Andy Coley-Maud – GGAC, Ian Crowe-Wright – 2C Belgrave and Seb Anthony – 2C GGAC) began to stretch away from the large front group. Although bumpy and slightly uneven, the bottom part of the course was still conducive to some very fast running. At the halfway mark, the lead group was down to two, just Coley-Maud and Crowe-Wright. Negotiating the footbridge, the lead pair had to endure one last hill before they turned back downhill and the sprint towards the finish. Coley-Maud was really trying to stretch I Crowe-Wright on the hills, but Crowe-Wright remained stubbornly glued to his heels. Coley-Maud continued to push the pace and was finally rewarded, as he used his local knowledge to thread his way superbly through the challenging twisty wood section to pull away from Crowe-Wright and take the win by just under 10 seconds.

As the rest of the field flooded into the finish, numerous GGAC athletes were finishing higher than they have ever achieved before. A later look at the results showed that Guildford’s first 10 scorers had managed to win the league fixture by over 100 points and narrowly missed out on a magic sub 200 point score. This was a historic and special day for the team as they celebrated their first ever Surrey League team victory at a fixture since its inception in 1962!

Athlete Results

1st Andy Coley Maud 23:05 – Superbly paced performance, continuing to showcase his incredible talent for cross country. This result was also his 7th individual Surrey League Division 1 win, putting him 5th on the all-time list for number of D1 wins. We’re sure he’ll be looking for more this season. 3rd Sebastian Anthony 2C 23:43 – On his debut for the Gees, Seb ran brilliantly to claim the final spot on the podium. Hopefully the first of many. 10th Tom Foster 24:19 – While juggling looking after his baby son, Tom just about managed to fit in running a 20ish minute cross country and continued his superb form with his best ever Surrey League finish. 14th Johnny Van Deventer 24:36 – The ever-consistent supreme talent that is JVD ran very well and was just about able to hold off a fast-finishing Danny. 15th Dan Wallis 24:38 – Fresh from a very impressive National Road Relay leg 2, Danny continues his tradition of improving his best ever Surrey League result at every fixture he races in. 18th John Sanderson 24:51 – Continuing on his return from injury, John ran a perfectly paced race to finish just inside the top 20. 24th Matt McDaniel 25:08 – It’s hard to find someone who hates a muddy cross country more than Matt, but thankfully the course was dry and he performed superbly. 25th George Dolliner 25:16 – Off minimal sleep courtesy of an unwell child, George performed brilliantly in the circumstances to finish in 25th a great start to the season.36th James Harvey 25:30 – Surely too soon to be crowned most improved athlete of 2022, James smashed his previous best Surrey League performance! –  56th Callum Job 26:07 – Rounding out the scoring 10 Callum finished in a fantastic 56th on his first ever Surrey League Cross Country.

A further mention goes to the following athletes who performed superbly in their age group categories! A terrific start to the season:

76th Ollie Gosden 26:57 – A superb 5th in the V45 category a reward for some brilliant training, 91st Kay Davies 27:24 – In his first senior cross country, Kay ran very respectably finishing in a terrific 3rd in the U20 category. 102nd James Parton 28:03 – James’s best Surrey League performance to date! 118th Simon Zieleniewski 28:43- A strong first ever outing over cross country for Simon, 122nd Mark Tennyson 28:51 – 1st in the V55 category (and adding to his historic number of SLXC appearances!) , 129th Michael Garnett 29:07 – 16th V35, 138th Rob Marcus 29:27 – 13th V45, 139th Lee Lintern 29:29 – 11th V40, 142nd Matthias Cartailler 29:32 – 14th V45, 151st Alistair Wilkie 30:46- 12th V40, 152nd Robin Boon 30:48 – 4th V50, 153rd Jason Robertshaw 30:54 – 5th V50, 156th Ben Fiddes 31:13 – 21st V35, 158th Jonathon Monk 31:24 – 6th V50, 163rd Jon Heasman 31:45 – 17th V45, 166rd Phillip Pryke 31:52 – 8th V50, 169th Nick Groom 32:14 – 13th V40, 179th Chris Nugent 33:47 – 15th V40, 186th Robert Harrison 35:13 – 5th V55, 188th Martin Newman 36:16 – 6th V55

Womens’ Match Report – Suzie Monk

What a great start to the cross-country season, with a wonderful day at Effingham Common for the first Surrey league race thanks to all the athletes and organisers. Whilst hard to top the Senior Men with an incredible win, the Senior Women had a strong turn out and good start to the year finishing 7th in the team event. First home around the 5.2km course for the Gee’s was Suzie Monk in 4th with second claim athlete Katie Bingle hot on her heels in 6th. New to the club having started at Surrey Uni, Evie Warren had an outstanding first fixture to finish 14th. Also in the scoring team was Sam Ludlow Taylor (41st), Katie Grinyer (56th) and Emily Ealham (77th), all having great runs over the undulating common. It was great to have lots of green vests with Alice Batchelor (83rd), Amy-jo Clarke (90th), Michelle Oldham (104th), Laura Hales (122nd), Cath Marcus (129th) and Sarah Fiddes (153rd).

In the under 15/17 race, our Guildford athletes had a tremendous day with Robin Simons taking the win, Abigail Bushell in 8th as well as great performances from Amy Voogd, Roisin Davies and Annie Williams. 

Although our only athlete in the U13 girls, Jamie Simons did a great job to finish 14th

Overall, what a fun day with so much action and support from within the club – I think we can all be proud to be members of Guildford and Godalming and bring on the next Surrey League! 

Full Results available here