On Sunday 19th January, Bedford’s Matt Leach moved to the top of the 2020 UK Half Marathon rankings with a superb new club record of 62:57, which he achieved when running in the Houston Half Marathon in the USA. Matt and his dad Andy (71:10) both ran at Houston, and broke the Guiness Book of records World record for a combined father and son time in the same race. The record they broke was held by our own Josh Lunn and his dad!

Matt Bergin and Dan Jarvis

Bedford and County AC claimed a narrow victory in the fourth round of the Chiltern Cross Country League at Keysoe on Saturday, beating chief rivals Milton Keynes by 3421 points to 3392. The club’s Senior, Veteran and Under 20 Men provided the nucleus of a strong performance that that saw the three teams – plus the combined Under 20 / Under 17 Women - win their matches.

Harry Brodie

Bedford and County AC sent a team of fifty-six women, men, girls and boys of all ages to compete in the third round of the Chiltern Cross-Country League at a windy Stopsley Common in Luton on Saturday. The removal of that hill proved popular with the competitors in advance of the race. But the high standard of competition – over a thousand runners from all of the region’s top clubs took part - combined with the wind and heavy underfoot conditions to make it a gruelling challenge nonetheless.

Bedford and County team photo

The Eastern Athletic Association’s cross-country championships came to Keysoe on Saturday 16th November. After a busy schedule this month that included a bronze medal at the National Cross Country relays and a tough British Cross Challenge the previous week, most of Bedford and County AC’s Senior and Under 20 Men’s team were taking a well-earned rest.

Matt Bray racing

The British Athletics Cross Country Challenge came to Milton Keynes’ Teardrop Lake on Saturday 9th November. The event drew over 1700 runners from across the country, including many of Britain’s best, and it also incorporated this season’s second Chiltern Cross-Country League match, so within each race our athletes were competing for both national and local positions. Take last week’s torrential rain, add in rapidly dropping temperatures, and then get all of those pairs of feet to plough up the course, and you have classic muddy cross-country conditions.

Saturday 2nd November saw the English National Cross Country Relays at a wet and windy Berry Hill Park, Mansfield. Bedford and County fielded sixteen teams in five different age categories. We achieved four top twenty finishes, the highlight of which was an outstanding bronze for the Senior Men’s A team. Team Manager Tony Forrest takes up the story:

Saturday 12th October saw more than fifty runners from Bedford and County, ranging in age from under 11s to masters, take part in the first round of the Chiltern Cross-Country League. Competing against forty-three clubs from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire, Bedford finished in second place overall. In the age group competitions, all of the club’s teams finished in the top ten, with the Under 20 Men winning their competition, and the Senior Men, Under 15 Boys, Under 20 Women, and Under 13 Girls all finishing second.

Forty-six runners from Bedford and County, ranging in age from eleven up to fifty, took part in the English National Road Relays at Sutton Park, Birmingham on Sunday 6th October. In total, fourteen teams from the club took part, and three of them achieved top twenty finishes.

Around sixty athletes from Bedford & County made the trip to South London to compete in the Southern Road Relays at Crystal Palace on 22 September. The Under 13 Girls produced a brilliant team performance to win silver. Competing against over fifty teams from across the South of England, the girls’ team clinched a superb runners up spot in a classy field.

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