Senior wins for Millar and Moyes at Suffolk Cross Country Championships
- Credit: Archant
The Suffolk County Cross County Championships were dominated by ‘international’ athletes this year, in terms of the senior races.
It was terrific to see the duo of John (Jack) Millar and Emily Moyes, both fresh from their appearances at the European Cross County Championship last month, turn up to support and run in their county event, which was held at Culford School on Sunday.
Both Millar and Moyes had donned Great Britain vests for the European extravaganza in Tilburg, the Netherlands, four weeks earlier, helping their respective under-20 teams to clinch team medals.
And both were duly crowned Suffolk champions at Culford, with Millar retaining his county title and Moyes winning the senior women’s crown at the first time of asking.
A member of Ipswich Harriers, and a maths student at Bath University, Millar repeated his victory from 2018, at the same event, with Norman Shreeve (Cambridge & Coleridge) once again the runner-up.
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The gap was bigger this time around, however, with Millar covering the new distance of 10K (as opposed to 12K) with more than a minute in hand.
Millar, who comes from the small village of Helmingham (near Otley), clocked 31mins 51secs, finishing 65 seconds ahead of Shreeve, with Alex Lawrence, another very talented young Ipswich Harrier (and also at Bath University), taking third in 33:08.
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Millar is now looking forward to another international appearance this weekend, followed by a crack at the World Cross Country Trials, which will be incorporated in the UK Inter-Counties event in Loughborough on March 9.
“I was happy with the run, it was nice,” explained Millar.
“It was really dry this year, as it was in fact last year, so it was certainly quick. Last year I had company for the first two laps of what was then a 12K course, from Norman Shreeve, and he was second again this time.
“However, I ran hard from the start, looking for a good run-out ahead of this weekend’s IAAF permit meeting race at Elgoibar, in Spain (Cross International Juan Muguerza), when I will be running for England again.
“It’s also nice to turn up for the County Champs, to see who is about and who is running well.
“I went out hard and I think that I maintained the pace throughout.
“The Europeans were such a great experience, and it’s given me a springboard for 2019. I just want to keep running.
“I’m looking towards the World Trials, which are in Loughborough as part of the Inter-Counties Championships. They are in March, just before the Worlds, to guarantee that the runners who are in form can qualify.
“It will be good to race in the senior men’s event,” said Millar, who is coached by Stephen Hicks at the Harriers, and supported by Vivobarefoot shoes.
Millar, with reference to Moyes’ equivalent win, added: “You could certainly say that the Suffolk Championships were dominated by internationals this year!”
For the first time, the distances for the senior men’s and women’s races were the same, following the recommendations put forward by UK Athletics – both were held over 10K, as opposed to the previous 12K for the men and 8K for the ladies – although Suffolk and Essex were in a minority for embracing this new equal distance running between the sexes.
And Emily Moyes, of Stowmarket, thrived over the longer distance to win the Suffolk title, finishing 27 seconds ahead of runner-up Sam Lines, of Waveney Valley AC.
“I’m usually injured at this time of year, and so had only run the county event once before. It’s the first time I had run it since going to university,” explained Moyes, who is a member of Aldershot, Farnham & District and a former member of West Suffolk AC.
“Last year I was an under-20 running only 6K, so this was quite a big jump, running 10K. It was a big challenge, although most of my training has been endurance-based with (coach) Mick (Woods).
“I was on my own for most of the race, although I had great support from all my family,” added Moyes, who won a team bronze medal at the European Championships last month.
Senior men: 1 J Millar (IH) 31:51; 2 N Shreeve (Cam/Col) 32:56; 3 A Lawrence (IH) 33:08; 4 M Jeffries (WV) 34:14; 5 M Gilbert (Cam/Col) 34:51; 6 A Tripp (IH) 35:27; 7 W Page (Colchester & Tendring) 35:32; 8 N Pollard (NJ, 1st over-40) 35:48; 9 S Ramsey (HH) 35:56; 10 D O’Boyle (SEP) 35:59; 11 K McMorran (IJ) 36:05; 12 D Olefir (SEP) 36:08; 13 A Southwood (SEP, 2nd o-40) 36:11; 14 J Last (FF, 3rd o-40) 36:14; 15 K Tilley (IJ, 1st o-45) 36:31; 16 P Wain (IJ) 36:38; 17 T Gavin (FRR) 36:48; 18 P Miller (Haverhil) 36:50; 19 S Williams (SS) 37:01; 20 A Howlett (FF, 2nd o-45) 37:12. Teams: 1 SEP 59pts, 2 IJ 72, 3 HH 81.
Senior women: 1 E Moyes (Aldershot) 38:24; 2 S Lines (WV) 38:51; 3 L Thomas (IJ) 39:46; 4 H Noone (WS) 39:50; 5 S Bird (IJ) 39:57; 6 J Clarry (SEP) 40:23; 7 H Pettersson (IH) 40:36; 8 A Goodwin (IH) 41:42; 9 A Joiner-Handy (SEP, 1st over-45) 42:53; 10 K King (SEP) 44:00; 11 C Jeffery (SEP, 1st o-40) 44:05; 12 C Anthony (WS, 1st o-55) 44:59; 13 L Smith (SEP) 45:15; 14 S Thorogood (SJ, 1st o-50) 45:16. 15 R Horsfield (IJ) 45:26; 16 O Robson (SEP 2nd o-45) 45:29; 17 Z Chase (WV) 45:53; 18 E Wix (WS) 46:26; 19 G Clarke (FF, 2nd o-50) 46:37; 20 K Martin (Haverhill) 46:42. Teams: 1 IJ 23pts; 2 SEP 25; 3 WV 40.