Thirty athletes represented MMKAC at the annual South of England Cross-Country Champions held at its traditional home in North London around Hampstead Heath including Parliament Hill.
Eleven senior men were amongst the 1200 strong field that ran 15km on the usual muddy and hilly course.
Steve Tuttle was just off the front after the famous 400m uphill start. He, not surprisingly, dropped back a little during the race but again led home the MK team in a very respectable 48th individual position, one place in arrears from when he last ran here two years ago.
Chris Hearn was hoping for a top 100 position but, in spite of a fine run, had to settle for 129th, 4 places down on his 125th in 2011.
Graham Jones was third scorer (228th). Ross Threlfall placed 273rd having first run in these Championships back in 2000 as an under13 boy. Next home was Steve Herring(321st) followed by Mark Palser(377th) to complete the scoring team of six that closed in 22nd, their best position on this course since 2011. Jeremy Vick was 7thman (468th) and then solid debuts from Chris Dunn(606th) and Chris Finister(663rd).
M60’s Paul Mason and Kelvin Smith reversed their finishing positions when they last run here in 2014. Paul placed 824th just ahead of Kelvin 835th
Seven ladies raced over a two-lap 8km course with over 500 starters.
Lara Bromilow came through after the first climb to lead the senior ladies home in 36th with Nadine Lewycky 52nd, excellent runs and just down on their best performances at these Championships.
Gemma Childs.moved up from the under 20 age group with a top 100 placing(83rd) whilst debutante Natasha Baker(158th) completed the scoring team. .Here they finished 11th team, their best for eight years.
Three other ladies made their ‘senior’ debuts,- Mel Wright(255th), Debra Brent(306th) and Deborah Bottomley(498th).
Sadly there were only a few younger athletes competing and not even enough for scoring teams of four.
Best placing came from Barbara de Koning, 36th for the under 13 girls race over 3km and a huge improvement on her 84th from last year. Imogen King finished 101st and Chloe Munroe 188th.
There were three under 15 girls in action over 4km - an excellent run from Enya Deysel(55th) along with Libby Herdman-Smith(178) and Rosie Merrin(204).
The under 13 boys also raced 3km and Jack Sharp ran himself into a “MMKAC top 20” position, 36th on the day, 16th best all-time. Aidan Murphy placed 98th and Ben Green 162nd.
The under 15’s ran 4.5km with Finlay Gibbs 107th and Aaron Wooton 129th. Finally Ewen Forsythe was the sole M17, 59th overall in his 6km race, just outside the “MMKAC top 20”
>> Rachel Gibbens, after her success in winning the South of England ladies indoor pole vault title, was chosen to represent England at a multi-country international held in Vienna. Rachel placed 2nd equal with a height of 4m01.
She shared this with Austrian and Turkish ladies after all three failed at 4m11 and with the same number of failures during the competition. Rachel has a personal best of 4m10.
>> Five athletes competed at Lee Valley in the London Indoor Games.
Laura Zailor warmed-up for her forthcoming international (competing in the triple jump) this weekend in Cardiff by leaping 1m70 in the high jump. Subomi Onanuga ran a fast 60m in 6.94 for a personal best.
Ebony Carr clocked 7.80 in her 60m race and is getting her times down to almost what she ran last year.
Felix Lum clocked 56.82 over 400m and Mark Dowson ran 1:13.64 for 800m.