The British Middle Championships were held at The Devils Pound, the area just north of Sandhurst Military Academy, the scene of yesterdays Sprint race. A lovely sunny day greeted the competitors, which made it a lot more enjoyable for the many spectators in the assembly area, where good views of the spectator control and finish could be seen. There was one course each for men and women, the men running 7km, the women 5.5km. These might sound like rather long middle distance races, but the area was lightning quick in places. The terrain consisted of some fast pine woodland, interspersed by blocks of low visibility forest and young plantations which were difficult to penetrate and even more difficult to keep your line through.

As usual the race had a randomly drawn seeded block of the best elite runners at the end. There were also some top Belgian runners, who had come over for the weekend, setting off first. And it was one of these runners who set the early pace on the mens course. Fabien Pasquasy, Belgiums highest world ranked runner, ran an excellent time of just under 37 minutes which proved very hard to beat. It was not until the seeded block got under way that anyone got close to this time, and in the end only 3 British runners ran quicker than the foreigner. Oli Johnson ran a superb race to take the victory in a time of 35.23, adding to the 3rd place position he got in the sprint yesterday. Runner-up was Graham Gristwood, 50 seconds behind, who was another runner who had a superb weekend, finishing 2nd in both races. In 3rd place was yesterdays winner Nick Barrable a further half minute behind GG, Pasquasy the Belgian was 4th and completing the podium was Mark Nixon who despite losing time in the second part of the course ran a controlled race to get 5th place.

In the Boys' Junior Elite Championships, on the same course, Ross Sanderson, EUOC, took a somewhat unexpected victory in a time of 48:04. A further 6 minutes down was Tom Bray, SN, in 54:47. Taking the bronze position was Rhys Findlay-Robinson with a dissapointing 56:54.

In the womens event the Belgian runner Aline Hermans ran a good race with a very early start time, which again took a long time before anyone else took the lead. However, it wasnt until the seeded block again that we saw who the title contenders were. Victory went to Heather Monro, completing a double victory for the weekend, who beat 2nd placed Sarah Rollins by just over a minute. Sarah had run the sprint race non-competitively citing knowledge of the area, but she was able to run todays race, and proved that she is one of Britains top female athletes. In 3rd place was Helen Winskill, 4th Helen Bridle and completing the prize-winners was Rachel Elder.

In the Girls' Junior Elite Competition Tessa Hill, recently returning from Bulgaria, took the title in 42:35. Kirsten Strain, EUOC, took 2nd place in 46:04, just ahead of Ruth Holmes in 3rd, 46:35. Ruth lost well over 3 minutes on lucky number 13.

Thanks must go to Dave and Jenny Peel, BAOC and the Emit team for a superb weekends racing, and congratulations to the newly crowned British champions Nick Barrable, Oli Johnson and Heather Monro.

BEOC Middle

1 35:23 Oli Johnson ShUOC
2 36:13 Graham Gristwood OD
3 36:48 Nick Barrable FVO
4 36:53 Fabien Pasquasy Belgium
5 37:10 Mark Nixon EUOC
6 37:37 Matt Crane ShUOC
7 38:05 Jeremy Edwards WAROC
8 38:34 Ewan McCarthy MAROC
9 38:34 Matt Speake EBOR
10 38:41 Pieter Hendrickx Belgium

1 48:04 Ross Sanderson EUOC
2 54:47 Tom Bray SN
3 56:54 Rhys Findlay-Robinson ShUOC

1 32:00 Heather Monro SLOW
2 33:03 Sarah Rollins BAOC
3 33:34 Helen Winskill SYO
4 34:11 Helen Bridle WIM
5 35:08 Rachel Elder ShUOC
6 35:39 Clare Ward INT
7 37:00 Jenny Whitehead SYO
8 37:56 Aislinn Austin CLOK
9 39:09 Annabel Fernandez Badolana
10 39:44 Sarah Noot EPOC

1 42:35 Tessa Hil HOC
2 46:04 Kirsten Strain EUOC
3 46:35 Ruth Holmes SARUM

For full results see the EMIT UK Website

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