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Exciting Finish Brings Cross Country Success

Wessex Cross Country League 2023
By Martin Grimsdale, Cross Country Team Manager

Brilliant performances by both the women’s and men’s teams in the first two rounds of the Wessex Cross Country League at Canford Heath and Bryanston School set the Purbeck Runners up perfectly for the crucial final round at Canford School on 17th December. The event did not disappoint with some sensational racing and great performances by all the Purbeck Runners on what proved to be a surprisingly testing course!

In the women’s race Izzy Davis and Anna Philps had a scorcher of a battle. Izzy managed to get a small lead over Anna as they fought round the 6.6k course and they were both eyeballs out coming down to a final sprint with Izzy just hanging on. Their first and second places in the race also confirmed Izzy as the league winner from Anna. Izzy and Anna also finished first and second in the Dorset County Championship and they were both immediately selected to represent Dorset in the prestigious Inter Counties cross country race. An equally determined Liz Goldsack ran brilliantly to achieve the FV50 league title and an excellent third overall. There were also great performances in the race from Tracey Brooks and Barbara Murray. In early rounds the team was also supported with some great running by Jayne Turnley and Joy Norman. This superb effort by everyone confirmed the Purbeck Runners women’s team as League Champions for 2023!

In the men’s race, although up against it from the start with some very strong Bournemouth and Poole Runners teams, they showed great determination to figure prominently in a super competitive and exciting race. Jack Matthews showed great pace judgement, coming out ahead of Ali Zanconato and Julian Critchlow to be the first Purbeck Runner at the finish. Ali and Julian’s excellent running over the series brought them 4th and 5th places in the league with Julian securing the MV60 title. Also, in the team Chris Miller rolled back the years beating many younger runners and holding off the challenge from Club Chairman Nigel Haywood and debutant Greg Bemment, with excellent finishes from them all. In the earlier rounds there were some great performances from Tom Palmer, Stuart Morris, Hamish Murray, Tom Trevorrow, Alan Lewis and Guy Hammersley. The final results saw the Purbeck Runners men’s team finish in a fantastic second place in the League!

Cross Country is thriving in the Purbeck Runners with the Club going from strength to strength and it will be exciting to see what the 2024 season can bring!

Top left: Izzy Davies leading Anna Philps in a neck and neck battle. They finished 1st and 2nd in the race and in the League.
Top right: Jack Matthews tracking Julian Critchlow in the early stages. Jack was the first Purbeck Runner home in the race with Julian winning the MV60 title in the League.