Chichester athletes enjoy new cross country course at Ardingly

After the first two fixtures at Goodwood and Stanmer Park in Brighton, Chichester cross country runners joined counterparts from across Sussex in travelling to a new course at the Ardingly showground for round three of the county league last Saturday.

Some of the Chichester men's team at Ardingly
Some of the Chichester men's team at Ardingly

Heavy overnight rain had made the undulating course very heavy underfoot and the consensus from runners was that the conditions made for a true test of cross country running.

Chichester were missing a number of their top runners who are still recovering from recent illnesses, but others stepped into to fill the gaps.

Team-wise, it was the under-17 girls who once again were the club’s most successful team with Cerys Dickinson, Gemma Appleton and Isabel Issitt in fine form.

This weekend, several of the club’s juniors will be in action at Lloyd Park, Croydon, wearing the Sussex county colours in the South of England Inter-Counties Championships.

Even though the event will just be between under a quarter of the 44 counties in the UK, such will be the standard of competition from the likes of Surrey, Middlesex, Kent and Essex among others that Chichester’s athletes will have their first taste of what to expect in the National and UK championships in 2022.

After a gap of four years, the national club championships will be returning to the home of English cross country running at Parliament Hill Fields, north London, in February.