With the cross country season very much nearing it’s end, our Beagles have been determined to see it out in style with brilliant performances against the best in the country. We’ve also seen schools XC success and great performances on track in another busy week for our athletes.

National Intercounties & Cross Challenge Final

On Saturday #teambeagles became #teamessex for the British Athletics Intercounties XC final & the final race in the cross challenge series. Taking place Wollaton Park in Nottinghamshire, we had 7 Beagles running across 4 Essex County Athletics Association teams. Needless to say all did a brilliant job but with 2 individual winners & an Essex U13 girls team victory too we’ve certainly had a great day!

The second race of the day saw Summer Smith lead the Essex U13 girls team to victory over the 3k course. With a controlled performance throughout, Summer stayed with the front runners before pulling clear & showing her strength over the hilly, challenging course. With a brilliant finish she took the tape 5 seconds clear of her nearest rival in 11:05.

Next Beagle to run was Jude Hearn who competed in the u15 boys race over 4k. With almost 300 boys in the race, Jude was determined to give his best in his first national final as a u15. Showing commitment throughout the race, Jude finished strongly in 13:40 (103rd).

The U17 men’s race saw both Max Sanderson & Preston Taylor in action over 6km. With both first years in the age band, & Preston making his Essex debut, we knew they would both give their all against the very strong field. Max – whose preparation for the event included leaving all his race kit in Brentwood & not taking it with him to Nottingham – showed real determination & ran really well to finish 3rd for Essex & 65th overall in 18:59. Preston had an excellent initiation to such races with a fall after 2k but displayed excellent resilience to fight back to 109th in 19:21.

Finally, the U15 girls also ran over 4k (with a bit added on for an extra loop they were accidentally sent on!). Olivia Forrest who has been dominant throughout the cross challenge series, once again took victory in the race taking gold 10 seconds ahead of the field in 13:40. And also picking up the cross challenge series win too. A great run from Evie Warn who struggled with leg pain in the latter stages but still powered through to finish 3rd for Essex & 36th overall in 15:11. & it was brilliant to see the real return to form of Isabel Forrest who absolutely outperformed expectations to come 4th for Essex and 50th overall in 15:19.

Pope & Smith Cross Country

The final event in the Year 4, 5 & 6 schools Pope & Smith Cross country series took place on Wednesday at Writtle. With the full results yet to be published we apologise to everyone we have definitely missed in this report!

Congratulations to Nadia Price who finished the year 4 girls race in second place and also was the second place athlete across the whole series. Nora Heidemans finished 4th in the same race and picked up the third place athlete across the series. Congratulations too to Camilla Nash who really finished the series in style with an amazing 5th place finish (up from 32nd in the last race). Likewise Bailee Abrahams who finished 27th a ten place improvement.

We also saw success in the year 4 boys race with Callum Evans on the podium at the race and taking the first place trophy for the series!

Lianne Esterhuysen finished the series with the same consistency as she has shown throughout in second, also collecting the second place trophy for the series.

Madison Kindler also collected a trophy – for her the year six girls one – having dominated all of the races in the series finishing first every time. Another dominant race win at this event.

International Women’s Day

Thank you to England Athletics for profiling our Chair Elaine Forrest on Friday’s international Women’s Day! You can read the article in full here –  ChairWOMAN: Elaine Forrest on gender equality in sports leadership – England Athletics


Sunday saw the final BFTTA of the indoor season 2023/24 at Lee Valley with several Beagles wrapping up their winter indoor sprints.

The mezzanine level saw the hosting of the double 100m, being a rarely run indoors event it attracts many athletes. Ava Carter (U15G) showed tremendous consistency through the 2 rounds of the 100m with 13.38 and 13.37, establishing a new indoor PB. James Gillingham (Snr) also proved his consistency with 11.29 and 11.22.

Madison Kindler (U13G) ran in the 800m competing against a variety of age groups, returning a solid performance of 2:22.37. Jake Mitchell (U15B) decided to step out in the 600m setting a PB of 1:43.11.

Four Beagles used the 200m as an impressive warm up for their later plans. Under 15 girls; Ava Carter in her third race of the day ran 28.12, Katie Lowe established a new lifetime best of 28.15. Stephanie Smith stepping down from the 300m, and competing in only her 2nd 200m this winter, embraced the event with a new indoor PB of 27.78, Honey Peck further improved her indoor PB with 27.59, both Honey and Stephanie running close to their outdoor personal bests.

The final event of the day was the 4 x 200m relay, open to composite and club teams the in form Brentwood Beagles U15G united as a team. Ava ran the 1st leg, which is within lanes, powered out of the blocks and kept the team in strong contention, handing to Katie who while new to the 4 x 200m demonstrated solid strength taking the break and powering down the back straight to move Beagles into joint 2nd place. With a smooth handover to Stephanie a little relay tussle and leaning ensued, more commonly seen in the 4 x 400m, to try and gain the optimum position for the bend, Stephanie resolved the matter with a clear and clean statement of racing intent. Honey took the final leg, handling the pressure to maintain the 2nd place position with strength and determination seeing off a determined attempt, Honey held her position forcing the competing team to run wide on the final bend and being unable to pass. The team achieved a fabulous time of 1:51.9 and 2nd place to a combined Havering & Woodford Green with Essex Ladies team.

Thanks to Mark Smith for the photos and report.

Other Schools News!

Congratulations to Daniel Smith who took part in in the SE region indoor athletics cup final at Lee Valley and ran a new 800m PB!

Well done to our Coopers students who took part in the South East schools cross country championships in Harrow this week. Daisy Middlemiss finished 10th (13:15) in the junior girls race with her team winning the competition. Orly Martin finished 2nd (10:00), with Joe Sandford 3rd (10:21) ensuring their junior boys team also won gold.

Parkrun and Junior parkun round up

A sunny Saturday morning greeted runners as we begin our round-up of the weekends’ parkrun action at Raphael. Jemimah Knightbridge* (20:31) finished 19th and 2nd female while Matthew Jones (21:16) was just a few places further back in 27thEmily Brewington (22:34) ran well to finish in the top 50 and was also 3rd female. At Maldon Prom, Dylan Hussain (26:41 PB) made his 2nd appearance on the course, comfortably surpassing his previous best time from 2022.

At Billericay, there were more PB’s to come. Elliot Worth (19:55) led the Beagles in finishing 5th, with Sophie Bickerstaff (20:49 PB) less than a minute behind finishing 9th and 1st female. Sophie’s time scored a 79.90% age grade and was her 4th course PB in a row, plus her fastest ever at the distance, great work! Just 10 seconds behind was Laura Durn (20:59 PB) who cracked sub-21 for the first time ever and ran her 3rd course PB in the last 4 efforts. Daniel Smith (24:58) ran well with Camilla Nash* (31:25) closely followed by Nora Heidemans (31:26), just a second behind.

At a busy Chelmsford, Missy Tiller (19:15) made her course debut, running strongly to finish 13th and 2nd female; Missy picking up her best Parkrun time and scoring an age grade of 82.94%, the highest of the event, great running! Adam Armour (19:40 PB)25th, was also in fine form, another of our Beagles achieving their best Parkrun time this weekend!

At Brentwood, Daniel Jaycock (23:16) finished 6thHugo Wilks* (23:40) 9th, with Robert Barke (30:24) coming in 39th. Finally, at Wickford, Scott Brooks (19:08) finished 4th from a field of 174 runners.

Sadly, the weather turned for Sunday morning and our Juniors’ runs. At a muddy & soggy Hutton Rec., despite the conditions, 8 of our runners completed the 2k run. Jamie Murphy (09:02) led the field home to finish 1st, while 1st female went to Nadia Price (09:50). In 4th was Rafe Matthews* (10:44), just finishing in front of Liam Worth (10:45). Despite the weather, Camilla Nash* (11:09 PB) picked up her best time over the course, just ahead of Nora Heidemans (11:12) in 7thMax Morris* (11:49) came 9th while Max Wilson (12:15) finished in 12th.

At Harrow Lodge, Isabel Forrest (07:56) ran well again, finishing 1st, followed in by Oliver Trevor (08:40) in 3rdAria Lily Sabado (08:45) was 4th while Harry Collier (10:42) was 10th.

Finally at Lake Meadows, we had 4 of our girls taking part. Finishing 5th was Lianne Esterhuysen (08:27), just ahead of Sophie Bickerstaff (08:44) in 7thDanel Esterhuysen (14:36) came 32nd, with sister Liza Esterhuysen (14:52) one place behind in 33rd.

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

Coming up

It’s the tail end of the cross country season and this Saturday sees Summer Smith, Jude Hearn, Evie Warn, Olivia Forrest and Max Sanderson, travel to Pontefract to represent Essex Schools at the English Schools Cross Country Final. With England vests up for offer we are sure they will be competitive races! On Sunday, our AGM and awards evening take place and we hope to see as many of us as possible join us for the event.