St Albans City Race Preview

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With entries now well over 200 and a forecast of warm sunshine, it is time to look at the field for the St Albans City Race next Sunday and spot the possible winners. Many people have made a weekend of it and will be running on Saturday at Hampstead Village as well as St Albans on Sunday in search of the Nopesport Urban League and South of England Urban Orienteering League points. We have several medallists from the British Sprint Championships and British Middle Championships held last weekend, as well as a few people who will still probably be feeling the effects of the London Marathon. So who will be at the top on Sunday, and will local knowledge pay for the Hertfordshire runners?

 

Young Junior Women (W12-) With gold from the British Sprint Champs and silver from the British Middle Champs this looks promising for Aimee Darley (GO, Guildford).

 

Young Junior Men (M12-) A battle between two HH medallists from last weekend. Can super-fast Alex Fielding (HH, Hertfordshire), who took bronze in the British Sprint Champs, hold off Josh M’Caw (HH, Hertfordshire), who took bronze in the British Middle Distance Champs?

 

Junior Women (W16-) All to play for and no obvious favourite.

 

Junior Men (M16-) Sam Fielding (HH, Hertfordshire) looks the pick of a small field.

 

Ultra Veteran Women (W65+) Probably between Yvonne Hudson (TVOC, Thames Valley) and Ruth Rhodes (SO, Southdowns), although W80 Anne Power (LOK, London) would be in with a real chance if it was handicapped by age.

 

Ultra Veteran Men (M65+) Mike Hampton (OD, Coventry), Martin Wilson (BKO, Berkshire), Jim Prowting (TVOC, Thames Valley) and Mick Smith (HH, Hertfordshire) all finished in the top 12 on M65 at the British Sprint Champs. Mike is probably the favourite on past form, but Mick is a very fast runner and might spring a surprise.

 

Super Veteran Women (W55+) Janet Rosen (HH, Hertfordshire) is on home terrain, but will need to outrun Christine Kiddier (GO, Guildford), Elisabeth Dickson (BAOC, British Army) and W55 British Sprint champion Di Leakey (SLOW, South London).

 

Super Veteran Men (M55+) A very strong field, with eight of the top 16 from M55 at the British Sprint Champs. Gavin Clegg (WSX, Wessex) and James Crawford (GO, Guildford) might just hold off the others.

 

Veteran Women (W40+) Alison Harding (HH, Hertfordshire) and Sue Bett (SN, Surrey) look strongest.

 

Veteran Men (M40+) Another very strong field with local runners Kevin Fielding (HH, Hertfordshire) and Kevin Harding (HH, Hertfordshire) trying to fight off a host of top M45s and M50s including Dave Rollins (BAOC, British Army), Neil Crickmore (SO, Southdowns), NopeSport Urban League co-ordinator Roger Thetford (TVOC, Thames Valley) and British Orienteering Federation Chairman Martin Ward (SYO, South Yorkshire). But it is probably Quentin Harding (SROC, South Ribble) who starts as favourite. Quentin and Kevin are brothers who both went to St Albans School but, as Quentin pointed out to me, that was over 30 years ago so it might not really help much.

 

Women Open Experienced British international Sarah Rollins (BAOC, British Amy) should be too good for the rest of the field. Charlotte Ward (Halo, Humberside) and Beth Hanson (HH, Hertfordshire) will be chasing her.

 

Men Open An Army versus Air Force race. M35 Geoff Ellis (RAFO, Royal Air Force) and M40 Richard Barrett (BAOC, British Army) will do well to stay ahead of M18 Dane Blomquist (BAOC, British Army), fresh from winning a gold medal in Portugal at the World Schools Championships.

 

Apologies to those I have missed. Get out there on Sunday and prove me wrong!

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