Middlesex Veterans Cross Country Championships – Ruislip – 2nd February 2002

It didn’t take long for 2000 champion Seamus Kerr to stamp his authority on this event and reclaim his title, making up for being forced to drop out last year with a calf injury, Gavin Collett reports. With Kerr enjoying a one minute winning margin at the end of the three lap slog through heavy mud, ultra specialist Chris Finill emerged from the five-man chasing pack to claim second, despite sporting teeth marks on his leg after an altercation with an alsatian dog when training on Thursday morning.

Irish international John Sheridan led the over 50 race for two-thirds of the race, but his English counterpart John Willoughby finished the stronger to retain his title, as did Ron Higgs in the over 60 category.

The men’s team event was a close affair between Harrow, Hillingdon and London Irish, the only three clubs to have previously won this event, but it was the Exiles who emerged victorious on this occasion by the narrow margin of three points from the host club Hillingdon. Hillingdon went even closer in the women’s race, this time being denied by Ealing, Southall & Middlesex by just one point.

Ealing were led home by Fiona Kennedy, who claimed her fourth successive win in the individual event. This reversed a loss to Shaftesbury Barnet’s Kate Armstrong in the senior championships last month, as several of the leading “younger” veterans in the county gave the event a miss, perhaps voting with their feet for a change of the veterans age-group to over 40? As if to add weight to their argument, Kennedy will be eligible for the over 45 category next year.