Race report – 23 February 2020


  • English Cross Country Championships
  • Parkrun Personal Best’ s [PB] for Jason O’Callaghan and Oliver Collier 
  • Sunday half-marathon PB’s for Rob Huish , Jason O’Callahan and Dave Tyler.

England Cross Country Championships

The 2020 Saucony English Cross-Country Championships took place for the third time at Woolaton Park, Nottingham on Saturday 22 February.

People who compete in National cross country will understand the awe of this event as you race against the best runners in the country.  Both rivalry and banter is infectious and the stampede at the start is breath taking as the kaleidoscope of club vests charge at the start to obtain the best positions. 

The first so-called ‘National’ race was held in 1876 in Epping Forest. This race was declared null and void as the competitors lost their way en route. 

The Folkestone runners had a great day and were also spoilt with the culinary delights from Tina Eke, who although was unable to run this year, managed to support in spirit with one of her delicious traditionally baked cakes

Senior women

Certainly not losing her way was Catherine O’Connor who was first back for Folkestone in the senior ladies 8km, race finishing in position 663 in a time of 53.37.  

I love this course, I have done it a few times now and each time there is more mud and water pits…competing in a national event is something else.

Catherine O’Connor

Close behind in her, in her debut appearance, was Vicky Green in a time of 54.01.

Running hills and in mud up to your knees was great fun.

Vicky Green

Also making her debut appearance was Kayleigh Cumber in a time of 1.23.27.

I bet I fall in a puddle ‘Vicar of Dibley‘ style. 

Kayleigh Cumber

Senior men

In the men’s race Ian McGilloway came home in position 645 in a time of 55.22.

Liam Cumber was next in his debut appearance in position 1141 in 1.04.57.

Paul Bartlett was next in 1253 in 1.06.55.

Ian Merrick on his debut appearance was 1482 in a time of 1.13.22.  

It felt like we were going into battle from the start, as a loud roar of nearly 2,000 men rang out.  And, it was a battle against energy sapping mud, logs to hurdle and knee deep water in places

Paul Bartlett

Sunday half-marathons

On Sunday it was the Brighton half marathon where Dave Tyler knocked off an impressive 3 minutes from his previous time, as he ran 1.15.14 finishing in 20th place.

Also in the same race where the competition was strong, Jason O’Callaghan who not only ran a PB the day before at the Folkestone parkrun, ran a personal best of 1.43.53 in the tough weather conditions.

The conditions were horrendous…[but it was] a huge confidence boost. 

David Tyler

Up in Settle, Yorkshire, Rob Huish, who also ran a parkrun the day before ran a PB of 1.38.50 despite all of the Yorkshire hills.



Dan Voller came in first for Folkestone and first finisher in a time of 18.33.

Our other runners were:

  • Tristan Bruce 19.35
  • Joe Bruce 19.47
  • Nick Steele 19.52
  • Torben Jessen 20.05
  • Phil Hoyland 20.28
  • Nikki Goodwin 20.41 [First lady]
  • Tim Warren 21.26
  • Darren Crew 21.57
  • Richard Fowles 22.04
  • Neil Trett 22.05
  • Deborah Jeffery 22.26
  • Jason O’Callaghan 22.35 [PB]
  • Oliver Collier 22.58 [PB]
  • Stuart Erskine 24.04
  • Jody Stoakes 25.51
  • Catriona Watts 25.54
  • Debbie Dunham 26.31
  • David Rodacan 26.46
  • Deidre Coombs 28.06
  • Jenny Quinn 29.18
  • Angela Warren 30.56
  • Margaret Whitham 31.11
  • Malcolm Gibbs 31.20
  • Julie Gibbs 31.21
  • Diane Parsons 31.36
  • Oscar Collier 31.38 [First timer]
  • Rob Collier 31.43
  • Catherine Anne Curtis 32.43
  • Lisa York 34.16
  • Paul James 39.03
  • Nicola James 39.04
  • Shannon Quinn 45.32 

Parkrun tourism

There was plenty of parkrun touring this week the furthest being in Italy at Roma Pineto; Clive Allon ran 25.02 and his wife Pam came in at 27.47.

Simon Coffey ran at Heaton Parkrun in Manchester in a time of 23.48.

At Moors Valley in Dorset Lynsey Tighy ran the beautiful course in 34.28.

At Telford in Shropshire Dave Walbrook also ran around a scenic park in 24.20.

Up in West Yorkshire at Cliffe Castle parkrun Rob Huish ran 24.05.

Finally over in Canterbury, Callum Howes ran the course for the first time and finished first too in a time of 19.48.

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