Nolan recovers from fall to make Surrey cross-country history

Dominic Nolan picked himself up from a fall to race home as the winner of the senior men’s Surrey County cross-country championships at Lloyd Park on Saturday, becoming only the second Croydon Harrier to lift the prestigious title in the event’s 101 years.

Champion performance: Dom Nolan (No700) on his way to a historic Surrey cross-country win at Lloyd Park

After racing over 7½ boggy miles, Nolan beat a field of nearly 200 runners, winning a desperate sprint finish by just 2sec from Cambridge athlete Nathan Mapperley.

Nolan, 28, has been in the form of his life recently, having won gold in the South of the Thames five-mile race, also staged in Lloyd Park at the end of November.

Croydon Harriers’ men’s team was just outside the medals on Saturday, placing fifth thanks to Nolan, Pete Chambers (9th), Phil Symonds (32nd), Isaac Flanagan (40th), Luke Wakeling (55th) and James Moore (138th).

The highest Croydon Harriers finish in the young athletes’ races came from Zoha Jetha who was seventh in the under-17 women’s race.

In the senior women’s race, Madeleine Armstrong-Plieth led the Croydon team home in 44th, with the team placing 11th.

Nolan is a former student at Loughborough University. Last year, he finished 18th in the National Cross-country Championships. His best previous performance at the Surreys was in 2017, when he won the silver medal.

The Surrey county cross-country championships is an event with a history stretching back to 1922. Before Nolan, the only Croydon Harrier to win the senior men’s title was Yacin Yusuf, in 1998 when the race was held at Coulsdon’s Happy Valley.

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