Written by A. Hack
Surrey Mens CC League, Division 3, Match 1
October 13th 2018 Roundshaw Down
Matt Hyett’s squad travelled to the old Croydon Airport site on Roundshaw Down for their first Division 3 match of the winter season in an effort to establish an early challenge for a quick return to Division 2. Divisions 3 and 4 now race together, so there was a large field of over 275 (149 in D3) for the two-lap course, which appeared somewhat innocuous, but 5 Miles is 5 Miles!
Matt had attracted some 13 good men and true, which always leaves some margin for error, but there was a good pack of 6 inside 30 at the head of the field after lap one. Woking looked to have the edge as they passed the lap-bell and so it turned out, as they closed their 10 runners in with a score of 185,ahead of Dorking MV(255) and then W4H and K&P each finishing with 339 points for 3rd/4th of the 9 clubs in D3.
This looks to be a tad adrift of an ideal kick-off, but there are 3 matches to go, and a closer examination of the places suggests that the return of just one of our leading runners who were unavailable would have brought us close up to the 2 leaders. That needs to be the target on November 10th at the R2 fixture on Epsom Downs.
Matt Atkins, our Surrey Masters Champion, was again our leading finisher, continuing to amaze in 3rd overall (26.55), closely followed by Michael Huntley 5th(27.26), who was fresh from a Half-Marathon PB a week before. Continuing the 6 in 27 theme, Alex Thomas (28.25) ran into an excellent 14th, with Dave Wilby packing into 22nd(28.56), TM Matt Hyett (M35) 24th(29.07) and Chris Gibbons (M35) in 27th(29.19). Our remaining 4 scorers were more stretched apart but our rarely daunted M45 Andy Arbour came home next at 46th(30.59), then James Robertson 52nd(31.35), Stewart Dickson (M50) in a fine 9th scoring place at 64th(32.51), with M35 Peter Wilkins over the line in 82nd(34.55).
Our very welcome back-up threesome were Mark Reynolds (M50) in 39.21,with M60s David Greenfield (home in 40.58) and Mike Edwards (across the line in 44.17) each of them providing a valuable cushion to the scorers as ever.
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