ECCA 2014


ECCA National Cross Country Championships, Wollaton Park, Nottingham

Saturday 22nd February 2014

HHAC ladies team ECCA

Senior womens team:  Jordan Mullinger, Helen Fines, Helen Berry and Katie Walshaw.

Records aplenty were created at Wollaton Park, Nottingham when the Saucony English National Cross Country Championships were staged on Saturday. On a sunny but windy day over 10,000 athletes and spectators attended the Championships creating a fantastic atmosphere and the local organisers Notts AC and Nottingham City Council put on a great event. As well as the overall big number there were a number of record fields of finishers from the 10 races in the programme.

It is now 20 years since the men and women’s events combined to stage a joint championship and 4686 finishers were recorded across the 10 events for a new record total. There were a number of individual race records, with the under 17 Women getting things going in race 1 where 211 athletes finished. There were further records in the junior women’s race where 134 finished and the senior women’s championship where 708 came home to the previous record by 58.

The huge field that lined up for the senior men’s race was spectacular to see, with 1657 taking part.

School half-term holidays meant a large contingent of Holmfirth’s juniors were absent. The club’s Senior athletes were also thin on the ground, with many turning out to more local road races the following day.

Olivia Sykes ECCA1The highlights from the juniors was in the Under 15 Girls race where Olivia Sykes continued her good form to come home in 23rd place out of 355 runners. In the Under 13 Boys race Ollie Rees was the first Harrier in 82nd with Jimmy Burke and Sam Bedingfield following in 107th & 262nd respectively. The only juniors to field a full team were the Under 17 Men with Lavell Pierre leading the way in 118th followed by Alex Robinson 152nd, Eddie Hinchliffe  160th & Kai Sunman 230th bringing the team home in 19th. In the Junior Men’s race Peter Brookes produced a good display to finish in 52nd as did Richard Smith in the Senior Men’s race to finish 128th.

Holmfirth’s ladies were the only Harriers other than the Under 17 Men that managed to field a team on Saturday and they were rewarded with a superb 7th place, behind dominant clubs such as Aldershot, Farnham & District, Charnwood and Rotherham.  Northern Athletics Cross Country Champion, Katie Walshaw continued her success with a top 10 placing, making history for the club yet again.

Walshaw set out with the leaders on the 8km course and for some time was racing alongside eventual winner, Gemma Steel of Charnwood AC.  On the second lap she settled in to the chasing pack and battled with fellow GB mountain international, Sarah Tunstall, to finish ahead in a sprint finish in 9th place.

Helen Berry ran true to form in a well-paced race, moving through the field after the first lap to finish in 40th position. Close behind was Helen Fines in 53rd and with Jordan Mullinger in 194th the ladies secured 7th team.

Katie Walshaw ECCA1

Full results:


1st Gemma Steel (Charnwood) 27:42

9th  Katie Walshaw 29:00

40th  Helen Berry 31:12

53rd  Helen Fines 31:47

194th  Jordan Mullinger 35:02


1st Steve Vernon (Stockport) 36:23

128th Richard Smith 40:12

450th Alistair Rees 44:35

557th Jonny Sykes 45:55

691st  Gareth Humphries 47:16Richard Smith ECCA1

Junior Women

96th Ruby Sykes 27:35

Junior Men

52nd Peter Brookes 34:01

176th Robert Hinchliffe-Smith 41:57

Under 13 Girls

349th  Millie Stewart 15:14

418th  Alice Shelbourne 16:56

Under 13 Boys

82nd  Oliver Rees 12:16

107th  Jimmy Burke 12:26

262nd  Samuel Bedingfield 13:25

Under 15 Girls

23rd  Olivia Sykes 16:13Lavell Pierre ECCA1

340th  Daisy Smith 22:45

Under 15 Boys

207th  Harry Shelbourne 16:48

Under 17 Men (19th team)

118th  Lavell Pierre 22:20

152nd  Alex Robinson 22:53

160th  Eddie Hinchliffe 23:06

230th  Kai Sunman 24:42

253rd  Joe Law 25:37


Event photos courtesy of Norman Berry on HHAC Flikr site here.


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