Men’s Div. 1 XC Race 3/4 (Sandwell Valley Park)

Men’s XC Captain Rob Andrew reports:

BvH turned out in force producing some great performances at the 3rd
league race hosted by Tipton at Sandwell Valley last Saturday. It was
the first time this season that the club was able to field its
strongest team, and the ‘A’ team showed its true potential finishing
in an excellent 7th position on the day, and an equally impressive
improvement by the ‘B’ team who finished 3rd. The club fielded 4
complete teams (24 runners) and enjoyed tremendous encouragement from
the ladies who had raced earlier, and the usual enthusiastic
travelling supporters.

The race consisted of one medium lap and three large laps of a tough,
muddy and undulating course. The first three runners home for the ‘A’
team were making their seasonal league debuts – and how we’ve missed
them in previous races. Gary Blackman was first back in 26th place,
Dean had an absolute stormer finishing in 36th and Orlando despite a
groin problem ran bravely to finish in an excellent 49th position. The
ever reliable Paul Thompson was 61st, Chris Collins ran fantastically
well to finish 76th and Matt Cook rounded things off in 88th. A
similar performance in the final race at Birchfield on Feb 9th should
ensure our Division 1 status is retained,but anything less will not be
enough so the pressure is still on.

I (Rob) was first back for the ‘B’ team in 96th, followed closely by
Gareth in 102nd, and Sam Chatwin in 105th. Rich Bayliss was next home
in 117th, showing continued improvement after an injury lay-off. Sean
Rose 126th and Chris Tarren 133rd completed the team. The ‘B’ team
score this time was better than our ‘A’ team score in the first League
race in November.

Brad Tod 152nd and Stuart Pearson 156th led the ‘C’ team with Matt
Sandison (172nd) and Oliver Kirkland (176th) making promising debuts
for the club. Daniel Wilson 191st and Jonathan Hammond 197th ensured
all the ‘C’ team finished within the top 200.

7 seconds separated Andy Hoole 216th, Andy Wheeler 218th and Leigh
Church 219th – the first 3 back for the ‘D’ team. Jack Roberts 234th,
Mark Doudican 242nd and Anthony Stewart 246th completing the scoring.

Overall this was an excellent result and shows what I think is the
true standing of the club in what is a competitive league. It was be a
terrible shame if we lost our Division 1 status, and I’m optimistic
this can be retained at Birchfield next February despite the terrible
start to the season. I know that the team is keen to make sure this
happens, and so hopefully with a bit of luck on the injury front, and
some sensible training, we can get a similar turn-out next time. Well
done to all who raced and supported us at Tipton – now on to
Birchfield on Feb 9th and let’s make sure we finish the season on a

3 Replies to “Men’s Div. 1 XC Race 3/4 (Sandwell Valley Park)”

  1. My wife Katie and were extremely pleased that we were able to witness the splendid performances of the BvH Ladies and Men`s Teams in their respective league races at Sandwell Valley Park on Saturday last. It was a `tough,muddy and undulating course` and the times run by BvHers were all the more commendable for that. We feel for those, who for whatever reason eg.injury,illness are having to take some time out, and hope that they will soon be running again.
    Barrie Roberts

  2. Saturday was an exceptional team performance. Passionate running by the women’s and men’s teams and fantastic and loyal support all round the course. Days like this are priceless and emphasise why running as part of a club is so beneficial. Pat on the back to everyone involved. Let’s make sure that we show our strength again in the final meeting and avoid relegation. We are way too good to be relegated.

    * and special congratulations to Dean – top 40 finish against some very strong runners and well deserved after last season’s injury ravaged XC season. Wonderful to see him up there fighting hard.