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Cross Country Starts as Road Racing Rounds Off

The Gloucestershire 2022/23 Cross Country League kicked off on Saturday in the beautiful setting of Cirencester Park, this year hosted by our friends at Running Somewhere Else.

The weather was not as bad as had been forecast earlier in the week and the rain held off for the most part until the final event of the day, the men’s race. Rain in the preceding weeks meant there was mud to be found out on the course although, some finishers reported, not as much as last year.

There was a good junior turnout for the club. See Dorian’s report in the News Feed for a full round up of those results. The youngsters had to contend with significant delays to the start of their races following a road accident nearby. Never easy, especially on a chilly, damp day.

First Cirencester lady home on the 6.4k route was new member Elysia Harrison taking 3rd spot in the LV35 category. Elysia was closely followed by Holly Willis, Nea Sneddon-Jenkins and Harrie Siebenaller. There were more impressive age group placings for Karen Higuera, 2nd LV55, and Kate Sackett, 3rd LV60. Jo Roberts and Tanya Everett completed the Cirencester ladies line up. This was Tanya’s first foray into Cross Country and she reports being glad she did it and really appreciative of the club support.

The men’s race involved a slightly longer route at 9.3k. This being the last race of the day and with most people having gone home to get warm and dry, the start area fell eerily quiet once they had thundered past and dropped down into the woods.

First to finish for Cirencester was Bill Leggate in overall 14th and taking 2nd MV45 with his fine 38.12 finish. Aaron Willis claimed 3rd MV40 with James Thomas close behind. There were strong performances across the board combining to earn the club 6th place in the Open Team competition and 2nd in the Men’s Masters.

Tim Francis, who usually favours longer, slightly more sedate adventures enjoyed his first crack at fast and furious Cross Country. He had to do such a quick change after helping out in the finish area for the previous races that he forgot to pin on his number. Lucky that a couple of club mates were the final note takers in the finish funnel!

James has posted a link to a gallery of great photos that really capture the spirit of the day on the Club WhatsApp group. If all this is enough to tempt any of you to have a bash at Cross Country, the next fixture in the league is at Arlingham on 10th December.

5th November, Gloucestershire Cross Country, Cirencester Park, Various Distances

Mens Race Distance – 9.3km

1 Dominic James (Western Tempo) 34.40

14 Bill Leggate (Cirencester AC) 38.12 – 2nd MV45

29 Aaron Willis 39.34 – 3rd MV40

36 James Thomas 40.22

67 Ian Barrett 42.33

71 David Musgrove 42.49

100 Tim Francis 45.12

109 Simon Campbell 45.50

115 Andy Fellows 46.15

167 Tom Payne 51.24

208 finished

Team Open – Men

1 University of Bath (A) - 43

6 Cirencester AC – 317

25 finished

Team Masters – Men

1 Western Tempo (A) – 124

2 Cirencester AC – 181

21 finished

Ladies (+MU17 +MV65+) Race Distance – 6.4km

1 Harry Maxwell (Team Bath AC) 24.34 – MU17

6 Phoebe Hayashi (University of Bath) 26.58 – LU20

36 Elysia Harrison (Cirencester AC) 30.48 - 3rd LV35

51 Holly Willis 31.53

55 Nea Sneddon-Jenkins 32.27

56 Harrie Siebenaller 32.34

101 Karen Higuera 35.24 – 2nd LV55

118 Kate Sackett 37.00 – 3rd LV60

152 Joanna Roberts 40.54

172 Tanya Everett 43.52

192 finished

Team Open Ladies

1 University of Bath – 38

11 Cirencester (A) – 142

22 Cirencester (B) – 275

41 finished

Team Masters – Ladies

1 Team Bath (A) – 86

8 Cirencester AC – 255

21 finished

On Sunday morning there was a good Cirencester contingent at the popular Guy Fawkes 5 mile race on flat country lanes near Tewkesbury.

The well organised race was the final event in both the club and county Road Race Championships for this year and there was a lively buzz in the sports hall race HQ both before and after.

There were great performances all round. Brecht Grieten ran a superb 30.07 for a top 20 finish. There wasn’t much to separate Leigh Guilbert, Brian Harris and Karen Higuera. Brian was taking it steady as he continues on the road to recovery. He enjoyed running with Karen who took 2nd LV55 despite having run Cross Country 24 hours earlier!

Gareth James, less than a year into his running career, was keen to test his pace in readiness for a bash at a sub 50 minute 10k at Castle Combe in a couple of weeks time. He was very pleased with his run and is feeling confident.

There were V70 age group placings for Gordon Jones, 2nd, and Liza Darroch, 3rd. Ruth Fulford tried her new age category for size. Her 47.23 finish earned her 2nd place LV75+ and is an inaugural Club FV75 record.

Rachel Jones finished looking strong just inside 50 minutes and Paul Barrow was pleased to ditch his planned run/walk strategy early on and keep on running.

After a long road race season that started back in February at Bourton, the final standings in both County and Club Campionships are now available.

The club had several age group successes in the County competition. There were 1st places for Brian Harris, MV60, Rachel Barrow, FV50 and Ruth Fulford, FV70. Barbara Thomas took 3rd place in the FV65 category. Paul Barrow was 5th MV70. (Queries can be submitted to Glos AAA until 20th November).

Brian has added the final points from this race to the Club Championship standings and will update the website in due course. But, taking into account points scored at the various races though the season and extra points for those who also completed a marathon, the top three in the men’s and women’s competition are:


1 Brecht Grieten 138 points

2 Brian Harris 104 points

3 Rob Tuttle 76 points


1 Rachel Barrow 134 points

2 Ruth Fulford 102 points

3 Rachel Ranger 95 points

Well done all who took part throughout the year.

6th November, Guy Fawkes 5, 5 miles, road

1 Will McKemey (Birmingham Running Athletics & Tri) 25.58 chip time

17 Brecht Grieten (Cirencester AC) 30.07

93 Leigh Guilbert 36.03

97 Brian Harris 36.15

108 Karen Higuera 36.39 – 2nd LV55

145 Gareth James 39.40

149 Gemma Lund 39.50

159 Gordon Jones 40.27 – 2nd MV70

170 Rachel Barrow 41.01

184 Rob Tuttle 41.30

268 Ruth Fulford 47.23 – 2nd LV75+ and inaugural Club LV75 record

279 Liza Darroch 48.21 – 3rd LV70

301 Rachel Jones 49.55

313 Barbara Thomas 51.51

377 Paul Barrow 1.02.35

381 finished

Also on Sunday, Jill Hadland and David Moss both ran well to complete the Marlow Half Marathon with Jill taking 3rd FV50.

6th November, Marlow Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, road

1 Aran Davidson (Chiltern Harriers AC) 1.15.48 chip time

197 David Moss (Cirencester AC) 1.49.24

230 Jill Hadland 1.51.10 – 3rd FV50

659 finished

In parkrun news this week Ollie Campbell ran a new best time for the course at Coventry of 16.48 to take 1st place in what looked to have been a very close battle.

At Cirencester Jo Musk accompanied her son Brecon as he ran a new PB of 30.32. At just 6 years old Brecon concentrated hard and picked up the pace with each mile. Also on a family outing, Rupert Chesmore ran with his daughter.

Meanwhile, at Tetbury, Paul Timms and Rachel McAdam were both 1st in their respective age groups.

5th November, parkrun, 5k trail

Coventry parkrun

1 Ollie Campbell (Cirencester AC) – 16.48

570 finished

Cirencester parkrun

1 James Denne (Unattached) 18.16

92 Pamela Wheeler (Cirencester AC) 30.20

97 Jo Musk 30.32

125 Rupert Chesmore 38.53

132 finished

Tetbury Goods Shed parkrun

1 Tony Cover (Unattached) 18.52

21 Paul Timms (Cirencester AC) 22.40

38 Alan McAdam 25.01

42 Rachel McAdam 25.37

74 Samantha Timms 29.17

121 finished

A little bit of late news to finish with. Harrie Siebenaller completed the London Marathon last month but kept very quiet about it and slipped under the radar as she was listed under her former club. She ran a splendid 3.53.13. Well done Harrie.

If you don’t want your result to be missed please let Rachel know at

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