The first weekend of 2024 saw a large number of club members throwing themselves back into racing after the Christmas lull. There were XC county championship races for Surrey and Middlesex, along with the Tadworth 10, while one Straggler chose winter sun over XC mud with the Dubai marathon.
First out the blocks were those competing on Saturday at the Middlesex XC Championships in Perivale. Sophie Biggs was our first woman to finish with an impressive 15th place in 36:32. Tracey Lenthall finished 48th while Sally Boulton was 80th.
For the men, James Darby was the first man to cross the line in 43rd position and in a time of 49:47. Alistair Hall finished 68th, Pavel Przepiorski 90th and Simon Brazil 124th.
On Sunday the Surrey XC Championships were at Denbies in Dorking where conditions, unlike Perivale, were favourable and relatively dry.
Lisa Bailey made the podium finishing 3rd in an time of 33:12. Sarah Holt finished 6th, Eliza Hawthorn 35th and Nicky Hornzee 44th. Rebecca Gravell finished on Nicky's heels in 45th, Libby Ferguson was 50th, Emily Wattret 81st and Merilyn Davis was 87th.
For the men Rhys Doherty was first home in19th in 43:21 earning himself selection for consideration to represent Surrey at the Intercounty Championships. Harry Tivnen was 63rd, Jim Lurkins 87th and Donovan Duffy 145th. Other members to complete the 12k course were Roy Reeder (179th) Jim Desmond (187th), Malcolm Davies (190th), Stuart Hambling (193rd), Mark Pattinson (216th) Gareth Prichard (227th) Andy Howarth (231st).
In Tadworth eight Stragglers completed the 10 mile course. Danny Glebocki was first home in 1.05: 57 and 18th position. James Bowell finished 24th, Kevin Price 89th, Ian Hawkes 123rd, Phil Davies 160th, Per Bogstad 217th, Simon Brazil 222nd and Mirella Genziani 401st.
A bit further from home, Oliver Bowers ran the Dubai Marathon in 3:51:31.