The red-and-blue of Dulwich Runners completed the fourth and final round of the Start Fitness Surrey Cross Country League on Saturday, writes Jonathan Whittaker.
The ladies team started the round second-bottom in Division 1 with three to be relegated. A series of high-scoring runs was essential at Richmond Park to preserve top division status.
Clare Elms set the tone with a stellar display to place 11th overall and first in her V50 age group. Helen Lister followed up with a 45th place finish, translating her marathon training form to the muddy trails of Richmond Park.
Becca Schulleri, Tess Bright and Ola Balme then finished in quick succession to help the team to a 10th place finish on the day.
Dulwich overturned a 99-point deficit to relegate Stragglers and Ful-on-Tri – the latter, a club that had finished fifth last season.
In the overall championships Ros Tabor secured second place in the V60 category, and the B team placed seventh out of the 15 teams.
Meanwhile down at the now customary Lloyd Park, Croydon mud-fest the men’s team started the final round of Division 2 in mid-table.
Five Dulwich Runners comprised the top 30, with Tim Bowen, Steve Davies, Buzz Shephard, Greg Hills and Oscar Hussey leading the way. An overall fourth-place performance on the day was not enough to move Dulwich up from fifth overall.
In the overall individual championships, Steve Davies placed third in the V40, Steve Smythe fifth in the V50 and a clean sweep of the podium in the V60 category saw Hugh Balfour beat Mike Mann and Graham Laylee to first place.