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Surrey Masters Championships

On Saturday 28th October, thousands of cumulative years of running experience descended on Nonsuch Park in Ewell for the Surrey Masters cross-country championships. The course was largely flat, but days of persistent rain had made the going underfoot very slippery and awkward.

Walton were represented by six athletes across four age categories and two team age groups. This was the first year that M35 men were able to run in the event, previously, it was reserved for M40 and up.

At just over 9km, this is the longest cross-country race for many, aside from the Surrey champs themselves and it proved very challenging.

Duncan Woolmer, double defending champion in the M40 age group, finished 3rd overall, behind two other M40 athletes, taking a very deserved bronze. Jani Kraner was 11th overall and 4th M40 making an impressive Walton debut at the county level, well done Jani. Another 4th place but this time in the M35 age group was Robert Smith, finishing 18th overall. This was enough to ensure that Walton took home gold medals and were declared Surrey team champions in the M35-44 age group, a super result.

Less than a minute behind Robert was Jamie McLoughlin, finishing 7th M45 and 26th overall, and 30 seconds later, Richard Singleton crossed the line as 10th M45 and 34th overall. Chris Ness was next, our sole M50 representative in another very strong run to finish 11th M50 and 52nd overall. This led to an impressive 4th place in the team standings for the extremely competitive M45-54 age group.

All in all, a very successful day and 6 very strong runs from our masters athletes.

Reigate Priory relays

The 67th edition of the Reigate Priory relays took place on Saturday 4th November with Walton fielding their largest team for several years.

Again, the going was tough, with an adapted route of approximately 3.6km, practically a sprint for our distance runners.

Ladies’ teams included:

  • Team A – Lizzie Amos, Susie McLoughlin, Helen Channon
  • Team B – Mandy Ruks, Alex Slotwinska, Michelle Tafili
  • Team C – Livana Stuart, Eleanor Palmer, Rebecca West

Men’s teams were:

  • Team A – Alfie Pike, Duncan Woolmer, Robert Smith, Jani Kraner
  • Team B – Greg Havard, Richard Singleton, Chris Ness, Jamie McLoughlin
  • Team C – Ben Harling, Martin Willis

Ladies team B were first home in 8th place, team C followed in 13th place and to round off a successful Walton ladies performance, team A finished in 19th position. All three teams finished in the top half of the standings, so a very strong showing, well done all, especially to those who were running for Walton for the first time and also to those who don’t normally run cross-country but threw themselves into it with gusto!

Mens team A took gold with Duncan Woolmer also taking the individual award for the fastest leg of the day. This is the first time Walton have won the priory relays so a brilliant achievement. Mens team B finished in 5th, all running within 15 seconds of each other, demonstrating excellent strength in depth. Team C had 2 runners only but both had strong runs to top off an excellent day all around for Walton.

Well done to all the Walton athletes that took part in races over the past two weeks, everyone is performing brilliantly and I am sure there is more to come as we progress through the season.