The Southern Cross Country
By Alastair Aitken
Read Part 1
At Parliament Hill Fields Lily Partridge won the Southern Women's race and her club Aldershot Farnham & District finished all their team in the first five home. When there was a lap to go there were Lilly Partridge, Steph Twell and Emily Pidgeon, all running up the hill together, out in front. Back some 30 metres down from the leading group, in about eighth place was Rachel Felton the ATW Met League overall winner. The race up the final straight really was the clincher as Partridge managed to move clear of Twell and Pidgeon was a good third followed by Rachel Felton who moved up and was ahead of Georgie Bruinvels, the last scorer for Aldershot, in fifth out of the field of 255 finishers.
First six:- 1 Lily Partridge (AFD) 28:57; 2 Stephanie Twell (AFD) 29:01; 3 Emily Pidgeon (AFD) 29:02; 4 Rachel Felton (Shaftesbury Barnet) 29:24; 5 Georgie Brunivels (AFD) 29:26; 6 Olivie Walwyn (City of Norwich) 29:28.
Teams First six:- 1 Aldershot Farnham & District & DAC 11; 2 Serpentine RC 121; 3 London Heathside 142; 4 Highgate Harriers 212; 5 Havering Mayesbrook AC 212; 6 Belgrave Harriers 267
" I first ran the Southern when I was 13 and came 2nd. I have been interested in running since I was a toddler and I was taken down the club when I was 10"
I might add her Father and Mother were 'Class athletes' when they were young Ruth Smeeth (International) and Richard Partridge cross country and road 'Star' for Aldershot.'
The race:- "Mick (Woods) told me to start really steady and when you feel good go for it! I then found that we did not seem to be going that fast so, on the 2nd loop I started working really hard. Came out of the wood and Mick stood there screaming at the 3 of us to go because they were coming back to us. I put the foot down and the girls came with me."
" I am getting over the injury much better. I had some surgery again and this year is rehab for me. I wanted to be competitive in the Southern and, as we have got each other to compete against it brings you on."
Regarding the Olympic Games and all the media hype of having to look always towards the Olympics as the one event to go for.What did she think of that?"
A good healthy answer came from Steph to that comment!
" I would be a runner anyway if I was good or not."
" I am on the way back. Really happy with third. The first lap went off really fast. I like the mud as long as I don't run too hard. Coming down the first lap I felt really good and from fifth I moved up to the front group but not pushing too hard. Lilly and Steph were together and too strong at the end. I am running better again after stress fractures in the last couple of years. I joined my new coach (Woods) last year and I feel I am more like the person I was five years ago."
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Posted Date: 21st Feb 2013