Silver for GGAC at Surrey Masters XC Championships

2 November 2022

Words by Mark Tennyson, Photos by Beth Davies

Surrey Masters XC Championships – Nonsuch Park – Sat 29th Oct 2022.

Saturday proved to be another successful day for GGAC’s growing team of Masters athlete’s. They
returned to Nonsuch Park, the scene where at last season’s Surrey Masters XC Champs their W45
Women & M50 Men both won Team Gold and their M40 Men’s Team placed fifth.

Nonsuch Park staged the race last time after a very late change of venue, due to the original venue –
Morden Park – being double booked with another event – a ‘Tough Mudder’.

After the success last year, it seemed fitting that Nonsuch Park continued to host this event for a
second season, this time in unseasonably warm late October conditions. This year’s event attracted
possibly an all-time high number of entrants – 299 in total – split across two races. Race 1 – W35+
Women & M60+ Men (174 entrants) and Race 2 – M40+ & M50+ Men (125 entrants).

The G’s W45+ Women on this occasion were unavailable to defend their crown. The Men were 13
strong across the M40+ & M50+ age-group categories. Some of the men had originally planned to
travel to Long Eaton, nr Nottingham to partake in the BMAF XC relays, where last season they were
Silver medallists at their first attempt in the M55+ race. However, with one of their medallists
unavailable – due to a last minute trip to Perth, Australia – the men switched their attention to
defending their M50+ Surrey Team title. Could they repeat this success and could the M40’s sneak a
Team medal?

Race 2 – was three laps of a flattish 3k course. Terry Booth (M55) led the G’s charge, with Ben
Sunckell (M40), Mark Tennyson (M55) and David Williams (M55) in pursuit. Ben had tracked Mark on
the opening lap, moving ahead before the lap was complete. Lee Lintern (M40) was next followed by
Rob Marcus (M45) and Ian Davies (M45) running strongly together. This was good news for the
M40+ Team, as competition for the last scoring position in the 3-to-score event is always
encouraged. Five M50+ runners followed for the G’s – Phil Pryke (M50), Jon Monk (M55), Jason
Robertshaw (M50), Charlie Alger (M50) & Brian O’Kane (M55) all running very well. These were
superb numbers – eight G’s competing in the M50+ event. However, it was not a good day for one G
as Mathias Cartailler (M45) who had been running strongly, pulled up and DNF.

Story of the day went to Charlie Alger who informed us prior to starting the race, that the last time
he had raced competitively the year was 1988. That’s a very long period between races and a stat
that GGAC like.

Terry Booth (M55-1) went on to take Gold in the M55 category with Mark Tennyson (M55-2) taking
Silver and David Williams (M55-4) narrowly missing the bronze medal by 2 seconds. These three
combined to finish second overall in the 3-to-score M50+ team event; behind a very strong South
London Harriers contingent.

Ben Sunckell who had a brilliant race finishing 16th overall (M40-8), Lee Lintern (M40-12) and Rob
Marcus (M45-16) were the scoring three for the M40-49 Team, with fine support from Ian Davies
(M45-17) only 3 seconds behind Rob. G’s M40’s finished 4th Team an improvement of one place on
last season.

Teams – M40-49 Points
1 – Ranelagh Harriers 19
2 – South London Harriers 24
3 – Epsom & Ewell 31
4 – Guildford & Godalming 39

Teams – M50-59 Points
1 – South London Harriers 14
2 – Guildford & Godalming 18
3 – Ranelagh Harriers 33
4 – Epsom & Ewell 35