There’s a saying used by the old hands in the sport that you cannot call yourself a runner until you tackled the Parliament Hill cross country course. On Saturday 13Harriers did just that doing battle in the Southern Counties Cross-Country Championships.

Gemma Holloway not only survived the tough conditions but won the Under 20’s championship. It was a solid, competent run where she held off the talented attentions of Aldershot’s Niamh Brown. This great performance sets Gemma up for the CAU Inter Counties race later this month where CAU rules demand she run as a Senior.

The other outstanding run of the weekend came from Stanford’s Hayley Instance. She battled away in and around the top ten for the whole race and in the run-in fought on to overtake two athletes to clinch 8th place.

In the senior race over a thousand runners stormed up the first hill and Thurrock’s Alec Finch did well to clinch 220th place – in a race that is unusual in that it covers the traditional distance of nine miles.

The performances of all the other Thurrock finishers pleased coach Brenda Stone. The most eye catching performance amongst the other ten was Sam Smith’s 47th place in the high quality under 20’s field.

Under 13 girls   Demi Eves
Under 13 boys   Dylan Harrod 137th, Sonny Vehit 227th, Kai Lovelock 250th
Under 15 girls  Amy Raven 244th
Under 15 boys   Ben Prior 89th
Under 17 boys Sarab Dhillon 91st, Joe Logan 131st, Jack Exley 169th

Highlight of the Parkrun performances was Keith Willett’s at Thurrock where he was first to cross the line.

Dave Staines