- Noel Carmody
Weekly Update - 11th Jan. 2023
England Athletics Indoor Race Walk Championships, E.I.S. Sheffield
Luc Legon and Hannah Hopper came away with silver medals from the England Athletics Indoor Race Walk Championships held in Sheffield on Sunday over 3000m. Luc, who was recovering from the cold/chest infection that has been circulating, tracked the gold medallist for the entire race, but was unable to pick the pace up to make a challenge for the lead crossing the line in 13:15.92s, just three seconds behind.
In the women's race defending champion Hannah pushed the pace from the gun with only the eventual winner able to go with her. Hannah led through 2000m with a healthy lead, but as she entered the back straight on lap twelve started to retch. She made it round to the end of the lap, but collapsed on the track and was sick, being passed by the athletes in second and third. Hannah regained her composure and got back into the race. Whilst the win was now out of reach she made up around 50 metres on the athlete in second and passed her coming off the final bend to claim silver in 15:31.92s.
Kent County Cross Country Championships, Brands Hatch
The Brands Hatch course was at its bleakest for this year's Kent Championships. In good weather I expect you get spectacular views across the Thames Estuary, but we never seem to get good weather., writes Clem Dixon. To paraphrase something that someone once said about somewhere up North: if you can see Canary Wharf it is about to rain, and if you can't see it, it's already raining. This year it was the strong winds that will live longest in the memory; the course has many sharp turns where you would exchange the brief respite of a tail wind for a return to running into the teeth of a gale.
Nine women braved the 8.3km course, reports Rose Baker. We took the advice of the marshal and did not park on the grass but even so my poor little campervan had its own cross country experience dodging the potholes in the track to the car park. We parked overlooking the main circuit – shame we can’t run round that, said Chris Bond. For 30 years before it was tarmacked over in 1950 before being used for top level races including the British Grand Prix, the circuit was grass and mud used by motorcyclists for motocross and we turned our backs on the circuit to head in the other direction for the cross country run course. It was true cross country – hilly, grassy, rather cold and soggy. Unusually, the women raced last so the ground was well churned up by the time we took to the course. It did at least mean that I had plenty of time for park run first. As Peter Hamilton pointed out, if your name is a four letter word beginning with R and ending in E, you will do park run and cross country.
I was lucky to get shouted updates from Mick Bond and Glynis Penny as I ran round – I heard “Kate is second!” quite a few times. Kate Curran (pictured above - courtesy of Mark Hookway) was indeed second and automatically qualifies for Kent selection, well done Kate. Lara Atkinson followed in 10th place, with Julie Backley, the first W50 home, completing our Team of three finishing in 28th position overall. We were fourth in the team of three competition, out of 15 teams, and were only three points behind the third placed team.
In the team of six, the additional closing runners were Hayley Newman, Maggie Illingworth, and Chris Bond and myself finishing more or less alongside each other. So nice to have you back at cross country, Chris! As in the team of three competition, we finished 4th overall, this time out of nine teams. Chris and I ran to the pile of bags (the tent having suffered an injury of its own) and grabbed more clothes, attempting to get back to the finish to cheer in Angela Ford and Maria McDonald, but they came in so swiftly that they had finished before we got there. Shout out to Maria, first and only W70 on the course and taking on a challenging 10 mile run the day after.
The senior men's squad was somewhat depleted for a variety of reasons and the standard here is significantly higher than in the Kent League so team medals were never on the cards, writes Clem Dixon. Scoring here is for teams of six and twelve: James Macdonald had his highest ever place in a Kent Championships (20th) with Tom Brooke (43rd) our second finisher. John O'Mahony, Ben Rew and Geoff Smith all finished within 12 seconds of each other with James Pitts having his best run of the season completing our six to score team for 6th place. We were beaten not only by the four clubs that normally seem to beat us here but also, by a narrow margin, by Tunbridge Wells Harriers, but in the twelve to score our greater strength in depth elevated us above them and into 5th spot, Joe Sheldrake having the honour of being our 12th finisher.
A silver lining to the cloud of having become as slow as I am now is that in a three lap race I will be lapped by some of the leaders and so get to spectate while running: there were huge gaps at the front of the field with James Kingston of Tonbridge winning by more than a minute. In past years Kent AC have given Tonbridge a run for their money in the team competitions but not this year, Tonbridge were easy winners with eight of the 19 who finished in front of James Macdonald.
In the young age groups, reports Mark Newell, the under 13 girls Celia Yeatman, Delilah Lester and Sophia-Rose Bonnar all equalled or bettered their performances from the previous four Kent League races of the season. Celia Allen started but unfortunately had to drop out due to breathing problems. The team came away with team bronze medals, the first time I can remember this happening in my long time as a team manager. Monty Brown and Alex van den Berg put in their usual strong performances in the under 13 boys race with Monty getting the better of Alex for the first time this season.
As has been the case for the majority of the season, Iris was our lone competitor in the under 15 girls race and did well to finish in 9th place in her first year in this age group. There was a good turnout for the under 15 boys. Things got off to an exciting start when Olly Buck took an early lead and stretched the field out. He paid the price for this fast start to eventually finish 6th overall which was still a great performance. Sam Scrase-Field struggled with the windy conditions and was disappointed to finish in 13th place. Our bronze medal winning team of four was completed by Josh Wellings and Felix Tynan, with Sam Holloway our fifth finisher for the club.
The under 17 women had a massive increase in distance from 5k in the Kent League to 6.1k, Amelia Lawrence and Evie Ravenscroft both did well to complete the distance in 10th and 22nd places respectively.
Under 15's Sam Holloway - Iris Williams - Felix Tynan - Josh Wellings - Olly Buck - Sam Scrase-Field with Club President Dean Lacy
Pictured with Club President Dean Lacy
Left: Delilah Lester - Celia Yeatman - Celia Allen
Right: Eva Armitage-Woods - Evie Ravenscroft - Amelia Lawrence
Senior Men (1200m): 20 James Macdonald 44:13, 43 Thomas Brooke 46:23, 62 John O'Mahony 48:37, 64 Ben Rew 48:45, 66 Geoffrey Smith 48:49, 84 James Pitts 50:14, 104 Christian Poulton 52:37, 105 Mark Penny 52:43, 127 Peter St Amour 54:36, 141 Daniel Easton 55:46, 147 Graham Maynard 56:21, 170 Joe Sheldrake 60:10, 179 David Hunt