24th BOX HILL FELL RACE  22 January 2005   Race report


This year’s race saw the youngest ever winner. Dean Lacy made his debut last year taking 2nd place at the tender age of 19. Now with a year’s more experience he improved by a minute to take the title. The 11 time champion Chris Beecham was 21 when he won for the first time; so Dean I don’t know what your plans are for the next 11 years, but….

Dean could actually have gone faster as he was saving himself for the next week’s Southern Champs; that’s a fixtures blight likely to affect us at Box Hill for years to come. Otherwise Dean could have made the all-time top 10. He pulled away from and broke up the lead group of 4 in the last 2 miles. Phil Sheard travelled from the far reaches of Pudsey & Bramley to take 2nd and last year’s 3rd and 4th swapped places with Shaun Whelan in 3rd retaining the veteran’s title but watch out Paul as Phil Sheard says he is now 39!

A previous veteran winner, Kevin Harding, was 2nd vet and first time vet Mark Forrest 3rd keeping another former vet winner John Lowden out of the prizes. Gary Rayner was first supervet and Geoff Burrow first M60.

The ladies race had the highest class field for over a decade and all time top 10 received a major re-write. Top GB international orienteer (and SLOW member) Heather Monro took the win in an excellent 57.35, the fourth best ever. She even took a map with her to check we’d put the flags in the right places. Chasing her home was newcomer Leah Walland; her 58.03 is now 5th best ever. In 3rd place was 2001 winner Sarah Rollins and she ran her best ever time to just make the all time top 10. Click here to see top 10 times and previous winners (pdf file)

All that makes you feel rather sorry for Tracey Apps. Tracey has won for the last two years. Not only did she lose her title and get pushed out of the prizes but her excellent time from last year is no longer in the top 10. It was still a fine run for 4th place. To complete the classy field Alice Bedwell’s time (64.52) as first vet makes me wonder what the fastest ever in that class was.

In the team classification Springfield Striders retained the title dominating the other clubs in both quality and quantity. Do they have a cunning plan to eliminate the opposition by taking a large proportion of the entries – 25 of them run. They were however chased hard by Frontrunners who had a more select representation.



1   Springfield Striders         55                7   Cuchiainos                    229

2   Frontrunners                 69                8   Bishops Stortford RC       293

3   Worthing Harriers           109              9    Serpentine                   294

4   Tring R C                      130              10  Victoria Park                 385

5   SLOW                           207              11  Dorking & Mole Valley     493    

6   Cambridge Harriers         223               12  Woodford Green           542    


Running numbers seemed to sneak in just under the limit again, which means we’ll be continuing our policy of hiking up the entry fee 2 weeks before race day. We started turning people away over a week before the race.

Thanks go again to all the usual suspects.  The National Trust for permission to run on the hills.  Sandra Dunlop and all those at Friends Provident for use of the car park and social club.  And of course the many helpers from SLOW - Dick (entries, registration, and computer), Mike M (signs and course marking), Chris (notices and registration), Richard, Ginny and Mike E (finish), Keira (course sweeper), Kay, Jeremy, Don and Charlie (road crossings).

Finally a plug for SLOW’s promotions over the next few months.  There is a series of Trail Challenge Races (a sort of cross-country cum orienteering hybrid) in the spring :

1)     Sat 19th March (p.m.) Bushy Park – dead flat.

2)     Sun 3rd April (a.m.) Box Hill – don’t you just love all that climb. A Mole Valley OC promotion.

3)     Sun 1st May (lunchtime) Peaslake – run in parallel with the orienteering World Cup race that day.

On Monday 2nd May the orienteering World Cup has its sprint race in Battersea Park with plenty of spectating and running opportunities.

And the Surrey Hill races are on Monday 30th May. These are now billed as Trail Challenge races but with the helpful difference that you can recce the course months in advance.

See the SLOW website www.sloweb.org.uk for any of these.


And next year is the silver jubilee race. We must do something special

Andy Robinson