Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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North London Cross Country Championships (November 2015)

Hackney Marshes 21st Of November 2015

JOHN FRANKLIN had a comfortable win in the cold winds on the marshes.
However, the race of three laps had a respite, when they ran through a wood and beside the river which, both overall winners enjoyed.
Jon Laybourn lead, as they approached the wood on the first lap then, Franklin took over and never looked back. Franklin had been injured in September, which mucked up his preparation for running in the San Sebastian Marathon but, was back on form with a diet of 80 miles a week. Looking back he said “My most satisfying result was winning the Sheffield half marathon in May 2012, as it was in my hone town”
He ran personal bests of 14:53 for 5000 and 68:52 for a half marathon this year.

Alex Gounelas, the North of Thames Champion, won the North London championships before in 2013. She went into the lead, straight away in the women’s race and was never again headed.
She did wonder why the Highgate Harriers were not competing and prefer to train on the Hampstead Heath, rather than pick up trophies here!
Natasha Sheel, shortly after the start, went into second place and held that to the finish.
Sheel, only started running properly when she joined Serpentine RC two years ago and, made progress, winning the six race Tour of Merseyside in July and recently, came third in the North of Thames behind Gounelas.

London Heathside targeted the North London and won the Men and Women’s team titles.
The races at Hackney were over 8000m for men & 6000m for women.

Men:- First 3 were 1 John Franklin (Serpentine RC) 28:42; 2 Jon Laybourn (Highgate Harriers) 29:23; 3 Hugh Torry (Serpentine) 29:40.
Teams First 3:- 1 London Heathside 18; 2 Serpentine 59; 3 Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets 171.

Women:- 1 Alex Gounelas (Eton Manor) 24:39; 2 Natasha Steel (Serpentine) 25:23; 3 Kelly Thorneycroft (Mornington Chasers) 25:24
Teams:- 1 London Heathside  31; 2 Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets 36; 3 Eton Manor AC 54.

Alastair Aitken

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