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Inter Services Cross Country Championships 2017

27 February 2017
Nearly 100 of the best endurance athletes from all three Services took part in this year’s Inter-Services Cross Country championships held at HMS Raleigh.

The race saw the best cross country runners from across Royal Navy, Army and RAF compete against each other over four separate races. The course itself was very tough, technical, undulating and muddy; with senior and veteran men races taking in a nine kilometre (2.5 laps) course, and the ladies and under 23 men races completing six kilometres (1.5 laps).

Team honours were jointly split between the RAF and the Army with the RAF winning both the senior and men veterans’ races and the Army being crowned champions in the under 23 and ladies categories.

The Royal Navy took second place in the women’s team event. Team member Petty Officer (PT) (Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor) Julie Stroud, who is currently based at HMS Raleigh, said, “This is the best I’ve ever seen the women’s team perform in cross country and with definitely the highest standard. In the past years it has been a challenge for the Navy to find enough ladies to fill the team but for once there were more than enough quality runners.

“It was amazing to see a Navy girl come in second position and for us to beat the RAF in the team competition was great. The pace was quick right from the start and the competitors spread out straight away. The speed and muddy conditions around the course made this a really tough competition and definitely for me the hardest race I’ve done all season.”

This race usually attracts both national and county standard athletes, with a legacy of history between us all. The Inter-Services races have a habit of normally bringing the very best out of you

Warrant Officer 1 (PT) Sean Childs, the Base Warrant Officer at BRNC Dartmouth

Despite losing out to the Army and the Royal Navy in the ladies race, the RAF dominated the men’s competition, winning all three individual titles.  

Warrant Officer 1 (PT) Sean Childs, the Base Warrant Officer at BRNC, competed in the veteran’s competition for the Royal Navy.  

Sean said, “The standard of competition at this level is extremely fierce, and with the numbers being restricted from each service for each event, there is nowhere to hide. Usual race tactics for these championships go out of the window, as everyone is keen to impress to stay with the main pack; therefore you have to go out much harder from the start than what you are usually accustomed to.

“This race usually attracts both national and county standard athletes, with a legacy of history between us all. The Inter-Services races have a habit of normally bringing the very best out of you. Both Lt Cdr Ginge Gough, the championship co-ordinator, and the PT department at HMS Raleigh put on a great event and should be praised for their slick and professional organisation.”

HMS Raleigh has been the home of RN Cross Country since the early 90s. In recent months the base has also hosted the Western regional championships and then the Royal Navy championships prior to selecting the team to face the RAF and the Army.

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