Croydon hosts successful EA Test XC event

28 Oct 2020

Lloyd Park played host to a cross-country pilot event on Saturday, the only one of its kind to take place in all of England this past weekend. 

Sanctioned by governing body England Athletics, the race doubled up as the East Surrey League. It was hosted by Croydon Harriers with help from all competing teams including neighbours Striders of Croydon. 

With parkrun still suspended, athletics did return in the latter half of the summer post-lockdown with socially distant Covid-secure track meetings and road races. 

But cross-country racing still hasn’t kicked off in earnest as of yet and question marks remain over the championship races held early next year, while others like the South of Thames championships and popular Met League have been cancelled entirely. Chelmsford were due to play host to a relay event this past weekend but it was cancelled due to a Covid outbreak at the venue.  Saturday’s event therefore will be used by England Athletics to guide them on what cross-country racing may look like in the coming months

Covid-secure measures included the scrapping of a mass start and instead having groups of ten runners on a start line standing 2m apart. They were then set off at 3 minute intervals so groups wouldn’t catch each other. The course was also set to one lap to minimise contact. Entries were restricted to 150 for adults and 100 for young athletes. 

In the races themselves, Croydon’s Dom Nolan took the spoils in the men’s race, while Herne Hill’s Steph McCall won the women’s competition. McCall would lead Herne Hill to the women’s team win, while Hercules Wimbledon’s solid packing ensured they won the men’s team event. 

In the young athlete’s races, Sutton & District’s Alex Lennon beat athletes up to five years his senior in the boy’s race, while Hercules Wimbledon’s Georgina Clarke won the girl’s race. Herne Hill would win the boy’s team race and Hercules Wimbledon matched that feat in the girl’s team category.

Commenting on the event, race organiser Matthew Kiernan said: “It was an extremely proud moment for Croydon Harriers, in our 100th year, to host the test event for England Athletics. It was a great team effort from everyone at the club to make it happen, and we had some tremendous help from all the other clubs in the league. It was a great example of the athletics community coming together to produce something very special. Hopefully this means there will be more cross-country events on a regular basis this season – the sport desperately needs them to happen. A massive thanks to Nichola Skedgel from England Athletics and Paula Hunt from Croydon Council for all their help and assistance”. 

A massive shout-out to all the helpers on the day including:

Startline / Group organising – Pearl Sethna-McIntosh / John Chambers / Andy Del Nevo

Timing and recording: David Harris / Nicola Fleet / Paddy Clark / Peter Howes / Don Turner / Peter Crawshaw

Marshalls: Maurice Sharp / Anthony Austin  / Ray Cowper / Marian Cowper / Peter Johnson / Richard Carter / Mick Turner / Peter Chambers / Jon Dean / Ruth Pearson / Dennis Williams / John Foss / Geoff Jerwood / Maurice Sharp / Luke Hill / Richard Fox / Marc Burrows

Covid marshals: Glenn Barden / Mike Fleet

Setting and packing up: Norman Hemming / Keith Brown / Colin Oxlade / Matthew Kiernan / Alan Burn / Murray Gordon

Full Croydon results:

Dom NolanCroydon HarriersSM016:42:00
James HancockCroydon HarriersSM017:40:00
Alex PenfoldCroydon HarriersSM018:45:00
Rob SpaldingCroydonSM319:54:00
Stevie Lawrence (Runner-up)Croydon HarriersSW1219:58:00
James NuthallCroydonSM1820:07:00
Henry ButtCroydonSM1520:15:00
Dan HillCroydon HarriersU20M1220:46:00
Sophie Cowper (Guest)Croydon HarriersSW620:55:00
David BrownCroydon HarriersSM1820:55:00
James MooreCroydon HarriersM402421:09:00
Zachary BlairCroydon HarriersU20M1221:21:00
Jacob Armstrong-PliethCroydon HarriersM452721:54:00
Ashley GeorgeCroydon HarriersSM3322:13:00
Will Lyon TupmanCroydon HarriersSM2122:15:00
Colin OxladeCroydon HarriersM603023:01:00
Jerusalem AlemnehCroydon HarriersU20W3023:04:00
Murray GordonCroydon HarriersM403023:19:00
Terry LapinsCroydon HarriersSM4223:37:00
Andy Del NevoCroydon HarriersM503023:48:00
Laura MarshallCroydon HarriersW452723:54:00
Antara SinghCroydon HarriersU20W4224:29:00
Nicola MeheranCroydonSW3926:02:00
Sandie Sarker-BellCroydon HarriersW553927:52:00
Jules Del NevoCroydon HarriersW454529:05:00
Miriam De SouzaCroydon HarriersW454229:24:00

The men’s team would finish third, missing out on 2nd by one point. The women’s team would finish fourth, missing out on 3rd by one point.

Young Athletes results:

Douglas AikmanCroydon HarriersMU17400:16:25
Samuel MowaCroydon HarriersMU151800:16:59
Kyron-Bailee BurkeCroydon HarriersMU152100:17:39
Kyra Sethna-McIntoshCroydon HarriersFU175200:18:46
Alice MaingayCroydon HarriersFU175300:18:50
Faith ChenCroydon HarriersFU175400:19:28
Zoha JethaCroydon HarriersFU157000:19:34
Leanne MooreCroydon HarriersFU175700:19:59
Amber BloomfieldCroydon HarriersFU157100:20:19
Gulcin ErtenCroydon HarriersFU176300:20:59
Jana Sethna-McIntoshCroydon HarriersFU159100:22:07
Jasmine BellCroydon HarriersFU158700:22:38
Noah RalphsCroydon HarriersMU153200:22:55
Tugce ErtenCroydon HarriersFU179200:22:57
Evelyn BosokoCroydon HarriersFU139300:31:06
Chizoba NkamuoCroydon HarriersMU17 DNS
Ebuka NkamuoCroydon HarriersMU17 DNS

The boys and girl’s teams both finished 4th.

Links to Photos from Terri

Pics from Richard Carter:

Croydon Sports Arena,
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