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Baker Cup Handicap 1st April 2023

It’s unclear just how long the Baker Cup has been going for, but the first known event was in 1911, after the cup itself was presented by Fred W Baker, club President (1912 – 1920) and one of our longest-serving members, in 1910.

Over the course of time, whilst the cup has prevailed, the route however, has changed quite dramatically; in previous reiterations it was held on Ham Common, then it took place on Middle Road, and now it’s two ‘lovely’ loops starting from the side of the Ballet School, down to Sheen Roundabout, back up to a turn point before Pen Ponds carpark and round again to the side of the Ballet School. An undulating distance of approx. 5km/3miles.

After a Friday before of biblical rain, there was some apprehension that the event would be a washout. But the weather gods prevailed, and the rain stayed away. 33 athletes turned up to collect their numbers, pass comment (aka exclaim, curse, swear, whinge, moan, complain, mutter…) on the handicapper’s decisions (aka reasoning, madness, insanity, irrationality, logic…), warm up, and be ready to toe the start line.

Set off by race starters Gordon Whitson, Simon Martin & Clive Naish, Alan Lang led the way, striding off purposefully round the back of the Ballet School. Minute by minute, name by name, each athlete strode up to the start line and were set off.

Most meekly waited their turn in (dis)orderly fashion; although some were so intent on warming up that they missed their start time (Chris Owen), some were unfortunately overlooked (Mick Lane), while others showed years of expert race form by warming up straight through to their start (The Right Honourable Lord Professor Peter Haarer and Mr ‘Win Everything’ Marc Leyshon).

Yes, ladies & gentlemen.. welcome to the Baker Cup.

After everyone had started, race officials and timekeepers waited eagerly to see who would come past, to begin their second lap. Alan Lang, still striding as purposefully as when he started, was the first, disappearing once more again round the back of the Ballet School. Soon each had come across the line to take their second loop.

For a while, there was only the genial banter of the race officials to fill the air.

Then over the crest after the Ballet School, the first athlete came into sight. It was Alan Lang, still striding determinedly towards the turn point at Pen Ponds. Everyone waited with bated breath – would anyone be able to overtake Alan? Would it be Lloyd Camp, who had professed over and above boy scout integrity when he’d run a minute faster than his handicap the day before? Would it be Mike Peace, Ranelagh’s fastest septuagenarian and last year’s winner? Would it be Lizzie Broughton, in her first ever Baker Cup?

Alan continued his dogged stride towards the turn point. Runners crested the rise. Rachel Revett powered ahead, overtaking runners in her eyeline – would she be able to reach Alan? Alan came round the turn, full of purpose and determination. Behind Rachel, Hadi Khatamizadeh was also running strong, picking off runners one by one. Rachel reached the turn point…..

But to no avail. Alan strode inexorably on, an octogenarian Terminator, crossing the line and winning the Baker Cup in an impressive 34:11!

After kudos were given to Alan, all eyes turned to the battle for 2nd & 3rd. Hadi was running impressively and motoring up the field like a man possessed. As Rachel came up the final (oh-so-cruel) uphill towards the finish, Hadi was right on her tail!

A huge cry ensued from everyone: ‘COME ON RACHEL! (sorry Hadi). Rachel took one glance, accelerated admirably and crossed the line in an elapsed time of 36:26 (race time 23:46), with Hadi a close 3 seconds later (race time 19:39).

A truly exciting finish to a wonderful club day. Everyone piled back to the clubhouse for the prize giving and Carol’s much anticipated tea. Shout out to the fastest 3 ladies (Suzy Whatmough | 18:33, Lizzie Broughton | 18:36 and Rachel Revett | 23:46) and the fastest 3 men (Marc Leyshon | 16:50, Mark Herbert | 17:14 and Ted Mockett | 17:22). Huge thanks to all the race officials, marshals & volunteers for their unwavering support & efforts.

Coming up next…. The Clutton Cup. Thrice the distance and certainly thrice the fun! Entries by 11 April @

💛 Results (PDF): >
💙 Speed Order: (PDF): >

july, 2024

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Surrey cross country league standings

LeagueTeam PositionFull details
Ladies Div 17/15league table
Men Div 18/9league table
Ladies Div U159/16league table
Men Div U15/U1716/18league table