Another week focused on cross country wins and great participation as the weather makes it impossible to predict the conditions of any course in advance! It’s one of the reasons why we love it so much. If you have been inspired by our runners and you are in year 7 upwards then remember that the final Essex cross country league race on the 10th February would be a great race to compete in as a first timer. Its free for you and a great way to get some experience. Full details on Spond, please register on Roster.

Essex Schools Cross Country

The Essex Schools Cross Country Championship took place on Saturday in Benfleet. Those secondary school pupils in year 8 upwards who had qualified to compete for their Essex district, were bought together to earn selection for Essex Schools at future events (Top 20 in the Intercounties and Top six in the ESAA Final). With the icy conditions, a last minute change to the course was instigated leading to a somewhat flat and dull circular loop, however great running by our Beagles ensured it was worth the watch.

In the junior girls race, Summer Smith dominated the event with a strong run to finish first and earn automatic qualification for the English Schools (ESAA) final. Missy Tiller finished in the top 10 (earning an Essex Schools intercounties place), with Katie Hawkins 35th. Nicole Hawkins started strongly but unfortunately had to pull up with a muscle injury.

The intermediate girls race saw another great Beagles run – this time for Evie Warn who finished second earning her ESAA final place. Jemimah Knightbridge ran strongly in the senior girls race (final position to be confirmed).

Our Beagles boys also ran strongly in their events. Jude Hearn looked in great form in the junior boys event coming second and gaining his ESAA final spot. The race also saw Zac Thomas and Alf Carter run strongly. In the intermediate boys race, Max Sanderson finished sixth gaining his automatic ESAA spot. And in the senior boys race Louis King also ran a great race (result to be confirmed).

Congratulations all – great to see so many Beagles qualify again for future events. And a big thank you to Laurence Sanderson who took on photography duties.

London Cross Challenge

Saturday also saw cross country action at Parliament Hill where the much hyped London International xc cross challenge event was taking place. With an attempt a more European style cross country with runners doing laps and running through a marquee, the event proved a challenge for many runners. However, our Beagles love the hills and Mattie Delea had a good U15 boys race once again seeing his strength return following recent growth spurts! The 4k race saw Mattie finish 27th in 16:56. In the U15 girls race, also over 4km, Olivia Forrest continued her dominance in this series with another compelling win to finish in 15:20, 16 seconds ahead of the field and securing her fourth win out of four in the series so far. Isabel Forrest also ran well to finish 23rd in 17.46. Finally, Preston Taylor had a strong start up the hill in the U17 men’s race before having to step aside with hip pain.

Parkrun and Junior parkun round up

The warmer weather hadn’t arrived in time for our Saturday 5k parkrunners but the cold didn’t stop a good turnout and some exceptional performances. 

At Victoria Dock, Madison Kindler (18:17) was in sensational form on her debut effort at the course. She achieved an age-grade of 93.35% (the 6th highest of the day throughout the UK), and unsurprisingly she broke the JW10 age category record by nearly 4 minutes. It was the 5th fastest time by any female at the event. Congratulations! 

There were several Beagles at Brentwood, with Dan Jaycock* (20:29) finishing 3rd overall. Not far behind was Stuart Crowther* (21:10) while picking up a very impressive course best was Daniel Smith (22:35 PB), closely followed by Lianne Esterhuysen (22:41 PB) and Laura Durn (22:47 PB). A great performance from everyone, with Lianne moving into 2nd in the JW10 age category. Meanwhile Daniel Esterhuysen (23:32 PB) easily beat his previous time on the course and more good times were to follow with Lorraine Massarella (24:33) equalling her course best and Harriet Ward (33:46) just a few seconds outside hers. 

At Raphael there were more quick times; Callum Goodey (20:35 PB) finished 16th picking up a course and all-time parkrun best, great running! Matthew Jones (21:55) also ran well finishing 25th while Emily Brewington (22:53) continued a good run of times to finish 5th female overall!  There were more excellent performances from our younger runners at a very crowded Billericay. Ollie Johnson (20:21) ran superbly to finish comfortably in the top 10 from a field of 315, while not far behind him was an impressive Sophie Bickerstaff (21:10 PB) who finished 17th and 2nd female overall, picking up a new course best and all-time Parkrun fastest time, amazing running! Elliot Worth (19:15) also ran, picking up 3rd place. 

On Sunday, milder but windier weather tested our juniors at local events. There was a strong turnout of Beagles at Hutton Rec though and they were led in by Missy Tiller (07:54) who was running the course for the first time, Missy was also celebrating her 50th junior event! Not far behind in 3rd was Daniel Smith (08:37), fresh from his PB at Brentwood the day before. He finished just ahead of Colm Forrest (08:43) in 4th, with Nadia Price (09:43) in 6thNora Heidemans (10:15) was 7thJessica Thomson* (10:31) 8thChloe Thomson* (11:14) 11thMax Morris* (11:15) 12thElise Gosling (11:33) 13thJoshua Thomson* (11:58) 15thand Bailee Abrahams* (12:18) 16th

Over at Harrow Lodge, Isabel Forrest (07:46) led the club in with a 2nd place and finished 1st female. Also performing strongly was Emily Brewington (08:38) 4thOliver Trevor (08:45) 5th, and Blossom Smith (09:02) 7thFreya Brewington (10:33 PB) ran strongly to pick up her course best and finish 17th. Meanwhile, at Lake Meadows, Sophie Bickerstaff (08:33) finished 3rd with Danel Esterhuysen (11:34) in 23rd and Liza Esterhuysen (14:24) 48th. Finally, and capping off a great weekend, Madison Kindler (07:31) was breaking course records again as she finished 1st at Northlands, over 2 minutes ahead of the rest of the field and picking up the JW10 age category record. Liam Worth (10:59) finished 5th.  

Well done to all our runners this weekend. Note, if you or your child has an * by their name, please help our editors by adding Brentwood Beagles as your/their club under their parkrun profile (groups). Feel free to contact us if you need help setting this up. 

Coming up

We are thrilled to be taking 24 runners to this weekends South of England Cross Country Championships in Beckenham with teams in a whole range of age groups. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather! Some of our primary school athletes will be taking on the Pope & Smith cross country again this week and Madison Kindler is running another 800m at Lee Valley. Good luck to all!