(1) SURREY SENIOR & JUNIOR MEN CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS, WIMBLEDON COMMON, 7TH JANUARY 1961
Below is a shot of the Junior Race. 22 J Derham, Herne Hill Harriers; 55 G Wood, Mitcham AC followed by Kevin McBrearty, Hercules; 123 (striped vest) M Parsons, Redhill & Reigate AC. They stayed in this order but the spacing grew to 59 seconds.
Photo by G H Cranham
Over the two lap five mile course on Wimbledon Common the Milners of Walton soon showed in front. The going was flat and fast which favoured track runners. Tony Milner came in a comfortable first in front of his brother Peter for Walton to gain a clear team win despite the fact that they only had five finishers.
The experts who did not stray from the southside said that the going was good - so it was for most of the way! In the image below good club men splash after the leaders. 187 C Bray, Herne Hill Harriers; 171 J Bull, Ranelagh Harriers; 98 Clive Shippen, Belgrave Harriers; 11 J Moran, South London Harriers; 157 B Williams, Guildford & Godalming AC.
Immediate pre-race news was that Mick Firth and Laurie Reed both of South London Harriers and Tony Towl of Herne Hill Harriers had all been laid low with post-Christmas germs. With Gordon Pirie not entered and the only track-suited world record holder in sight a lady, the race was thrown wide open; rash thoughts were entertained of Mitcham unseating the holders SLH.
On the second of the three laps of 2½ miles the experienced Rowland Langridge, brilliant when a junior, had seen his chance and opened a small gap from Eddie Watt and Eric Shirley; the holder, Ernie Earl, very short of racing, was doing better than expected about twenty yards back. At the finish the leaders piled in for ten to home in twenty seconds. South London had their last man of six home in seventeenth place to show their strength in depth.
Photo by E D Lacey
First three in the Senior race. In the centre is Rowland Langridge, South London Harriers, who was first. On the left is his clubmate, Neville Chanin who was second. On the right is Ernie Earl of Hercules AC, last year's winner, who came third.
(2) SURREY YOUTHS CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS, GUILDFORD, 14TH JANUARY 1961
98 runners and 13 teams completed the testing course at Guildford which include a steep climb on each of the three laps of the 3½ miles race. Mitcham won the third time in a row but Wimbledon's second place probably gave them more satisfaction.
Fred Stebbings, Croydon H, won by 150 yards from the fast finishing Mick Gowan of Herne Hill who was just in front of Terry Naish, Sutton & Cheam, filling third place for the second year.
At Milnerfield Farm, Bingley the 300-odd starters faced driving wet snow and sloppy mud on the worst day of the year. Our team was weakened by the unavoidable absence of Earl and Heywood, third and fourth in our championship, and Firth and Reed. Malcolm Robinsonmissed the train at London but British Railways rose to the occasionand got him there just in time - let us hope that he was grateful.
At the start all were caught in the ruck except Eric Shirley but he paid for his folly and had to retire. Rowland Langridge was, of course, disappointing after his County win. Neville Chanain improved from fortieth and in their first races for Surrey, Mike Gillett, who went up twenty-seven places, and Alan Black both did well.
Bill Lucas, the team manager, points out that we were twelfth the previous time and, now being sixth, sees us winning next time. He could well be right.
(4) JUNIOR MENS INTER-COUNTY CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS, WOODFORD GREEN, 21ST JANUARY 1961
At Woodford Green as with the Seniors at Bingley, the Juniors, in their first Inter-County event, had thick mud even if no snow. The Milners stayed up with Jim Catto (Essex) for two miles but were forced to drop back. David Harvey was attacked by stitch. We finished third of the four teams taking part.