Northern Cross Country Championships – Harewood – Saturday 27th January 2018


2018 Northern Cross Country Championships

Harewood – Saturday 27th January 2018


The 2018 Northern Cross Country Championships were staged at Harewood, in the landscaped South Park below Harewood House. As always there was a big turnout of runners from all parts of Northern England. 2375 athletes battled it out through all of the age ranges. There had been a lot of rainfall in the week leading up to the championship meeting and on the day the runners had to contend with strong winds and some testing hill sections. There were sticky patches on the course but also some stretches where fast running was possible.

Eight Kingston athletes were in action at the event and the club had representatives in the senior men’s, under 20 men’s, and both the under 15 boy’s and under 15 girls races.

Harry Powell has put in some outstanding performances both on the road and cross country during the course of the autumn and winter months. He was the winner of the 10 kilometre race at both the July and August Trafford Grand Prix meetings and represented the club at the Northern Counties six stage road relays in Manchester and the Northern Counties cross country relays in Sheffield’s Graves Park. An excellent performance at the British Athletics Cross and European trials meeting saw him finish 81st in a field of 635 athletes, which included all of the best cross country runners in the UK. January saw him winning his 4th consecutive County championship title. At Harewood he ran in the senior men’s twelve kilometre race among a field of 761 athletes. He covered the course in a time of 40:52 sec and crossed the finishing line in 9th place. (V35) athlete Gregan Clarkson also contested the senior men’s race and he finished 111th running a time of 45:49 sec and he was happy with his run which was his best performance at the Northerns for a number of years.

The under 20 men’s 8 kilometre race brought Baldvin Magnusson and Shaun Smith into action. 2017 had seen mixed fortunes for both of them. Shaun was out of action for nine months missing the entire track & field season and he only got back into competitive action in October at the Northern Counties relay championships and in November he put in a good performance at the British Cross Challenge in Liverpool. Baldvin meanwhile had the best year of his career so far, breaking the Icelandic 3000 metre record at Junes Trafford Grand Prix, and then winning the Reykjavic 10 kilometre race. These feats saw him selected for the Iceland team for the annual Nordic Cross Country Championships, which were held this year in Denmark. The two athletes ran in the under 20 men’s 8 kilometre race at the Northern championships in a field of 73 contestants. They both put in good performances which saw  Baldvin Magnusson taking 4th place in the race running the course in a time of 28:10 sec and Shaun Smith covered the course in 30:19 sec to cross the finishing line in 32nd position.

Jodie Martin, winner of the recent Humberside championship found the undulating 4 kilometre course to her liking in the under15 girls event. With almost 250 athletes entered the race started at a rapid pace with the leading contenders battling to avoid being boxed in and allowing their rivals an early tactical advantage. Jodie used her track speed to good effect and was well placed as the race settled down with the rolling hills of the Harewood Estate starting to take their toll on some of those athletes who had started too quickly. She maintained her form throughout and finished strongly in 14th place in her first Northern championship on the country, clocking 16 min 35 sec. The title went to Macclesfield Harriers Sian Heslop, the 2017 English Schools cross country champion.

Thomas Smales, Harvey Roberts and Adam Fox contested the under 15 boys race which was also run over the 4 kilometre course. All three of them have been heavily involved in the 2017/2018 cross country and road running season. They all train together and usually compete together, in 2017 they ran in both the Northern and the England Young Athletes road relays and the Northern Counties cross country relays. At January’s County Championship meeting Thomas was the silver medallist and Adam took the bronze medal. There were 197 runners in the under 15 boys race where Thomas Smales was the highest placed of the three crossing the finish line in 63rd and running the course in a time of 15:35 sec, Harvey Roberts was the next of the trio to cross the finishing line covering the course in 16:10 sec and Adam Fox came home in 135th and he ran the 4 kilometres in 16:48 sec.