National Cross Country Championships 2018

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Report  by Clive Thornton

The National Cross Country Championships returned to its now spiritual home for the 2018 edition at Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath in London. In a record breaking year some 6444 athletes competed on the day across 10 events. New Marske Harriers small contingent of 3 athletes braved the arctic windchill blast of weather, when running was definitely warmer than spectating.
The Parliament Hill course is famed for its hill start, a 400 metre 1 in 10 ramp which thins out the competitors in readiness for the remaining undulations, the ankle deep in parts mud bath and sometimes hard underfoot fast running ground, and generally great cross country course.
Jack Farrel was our youngest competitor competing in the under 13 boys was off first, where in field of 570 he claimed 270th in a time of 14.33 for the 3km course. Next up was Eli Barnbrook in the junior women, Eli had a terrific run where after a slight diversion for the leading runners, she came in 29th from a field of 146 in a time of 27.10 for their 6km+ course.
In the final event of the day Clive Thornton competed in the senior mens event over a 12km course, finishing 929th from a field of 2328 in a time of 53.18. Next year sees the Nationals heading north, possibly and likely to be held at Harewood House just north of Leeds, where the Northern Championships were successfully hosted earlier this year. Thats a terrific course for competitors and spectators.
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