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Mud, sweat and cheers

Heathside runners tackle cross-country challenge in rolling park

05 December, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

The Heathside squad that competed in difficult conditions in the Sunday Cross-Country League at Trent Park in Cockfosters

THE mud was sent flying as athletes from Finsbury Park-based running club London Heathside tackled the terrain of Trent Park in the second of five meetings in the Sunday Cross-Country League.

The latest round of the league, which is aimed at providing less experienced athletes with an introduction to cross-country running, saw men and women – including veterans – from clubs from North London and Hertfordshire take on five miles of rolling park and woodland.

Among the top scorers for Heathside in the men’s race was Matthew Wheat, who crossed the finish line in 30 mins, 21 secs to take 31st place.

He finished almost two minutes ahead of his closest clubmate, with veteran Lee Connor finishing in 32:20 secs to take 67th spot.

There were also solid displays from Connor Forbes, who was 108th with a time of 34:11, Tom Bedwell, 110th in 34:13, Lenny Martin, 117th in 34:37, Valentin Valeanu, 133rd in 35:26, Filipe Cardoso, 135th in 35:34, and Gordon Brady, 146th in 35:56.

Overall there were 308 finishers in the race, with Trent Park RC’s Chris Burdett taking top spot with his time of 27:54.

The Heathside men’s “A” team are in 15th place overall out of 19 teams, while the men’s masters team is 12th.

In the women’s race, Zoe Levin whizzed around the course in Cockfosters in 33:19 to take sixth place overall.

Karina Kaufmann was the next Heathsider home – the veteran over-35s runner taking 15th place overall with her time of 36:09.

Satu Hietanen, 30th in 38:24, Gavi Simson, 37th in 39:19, Holly Fenton, 40th in 39:33, Caroline White, 46th in 40:26, Kim Butler, 51st in 41:32, and Rachel Tranter, 55th in 41:47, also all scored well.

Overall there were 186 finishers in the women’s category, with hosts Trent Park again topping the pile courtesy of their runner Emily Jeanes, who won the race with a time of 31:23.

The Heathsiders’ women’s “A” team are sixth in their table out of 19 clubs, while the women’s masters team is seventh.

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