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  • Noel Carmody

Weekly Update - 1st Feb. 2023

World Athletics Indoor Tour Bronze - Manchester

Sabrina Sinha opened her season at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Bronze meeting at Sportcity in Manchester on Sunday, recording a time of 4:30.82s in the 1500m.


South of England Cross Country Championships, Beckenham Place Park

The SEAA who organise this event came in for a bit of stick from some clubs this year, reports Clem Dixon. Firstly because it was being held in Beckenham rather than reverting to Parliament Hill (the spiritual home of England cross country racing), and then because some of the earlier course designs were deemed to be unworkable or unsatisfactory for various reasons. Politics in cross country? Surely not! Well I am pleased to report that by the time we got there the various storms in tea cups had abated. It may not be Parliament Hill but Beckenham Place Park is scenic enough. The course was generally well received, from the mass start up David Bowie Hill (explanation to follow) towards the Palladian Mansion and onwards it had plenty of variety if perhaps too much in the way of stony paths for some purists.


We had eight runners in the senior women's race, Megan Marchant (pictured - Thanks to Mark Hookway) had a great run for 10th place (up from 24th last year) and was well backed up, Georgia Huddleston, Christine Lutsch and Sue Dixon completing the four to score team for 12th place. The race was dominated by Aldershot, Farnham & District who not only had the winner (Georgie Bruinvels) but they had five of the nine runners who finished in front of Megan.

And so to the men's race. Chris Loudon was somewhat below par running with a cold and swapped places with James Macdonald a number of times during the course of the race before having the strength to open up a lead in the finishing straight. Team scoring is for six in this one: John O'Mahony, Geoff Smith, James Pitts and Peter St-Amour taking us to 22nd. James Kingston of Tonbridge won by a huge margin as he had at the Kent Championships three weeks earlier but despite having six in the top 34 Tonbridge finished second to Highgate in the team competition.

Top: Chris Loudon - Geoff Smith

Bottom: Peter St-Amour - John O'Mahony


In an age when some governing bodies have introduced equal race distances for men and women, or are considering doing so, the SEAA persist with just 8k for women and 15k for men (almost double!). However the consensus among those that ran the men's race with a GPS was that it was considerably shorter than billed, not that anyone complained! One other thing that the SEAA have come under criticism for in the past is switching off the results system (which records finishing times from chips worn round the ankle) after 90 minutes which seems somewhat petty and contrary to the inclusive nature of the sport. I am pleased to say that although this had again been threatened it didn't actually happen so our good friend Vernon Thomas of Greenwich Tritons who can't be far from his 80th birthday is shown in the results (665th and last in 1:36:11).


So, David Bowie: the story is that he used to live in a house that backed on to this park. When it was time to leave for a gig, rather than risk the mob of screaming fans outside his front door he would squeeze through a gap in the fence and leg it down the hill to the park gate where the limo would be waiting for him. I have no idea how good a runner he was, anyway he only had to run down the hill, we ran up it.


Results:

Senior Men (15km): 96 Chris Loudon 51:54, 101 James Macdonald 52:02, 202 John O'Mahony 55:50, 235 Geoffrey Smith 56:56, 335 James Pitts 1:00:11, 455 Peter St-Amour 1:05:45, 526 Graham Maynard 1:09:02, 570 David Hunter 1:11:40, 613 Clem Dixon 1:15:09, 620 Joe Sheldrake 1:15:36.


Senior Women (8km): 10 Megan Marchant 27:54, 77 Georgia Huddleston 31:17, 105 Christine Lutsch 32:14, 172 Susan Dixon 34:23, 234 Christine Bond 36:31, 294 Sally Carr 39:11, 349 Angela Ford 43:07, 369 Maria Macdonald 44:38.


Young Age Groups: U15B: 7 Samuel Scrase-Field 14:12, 20 Olly Buck 14:32, 103 Joshua Wellings 15:46, 110 Samuel Holloway 15:53, 111 Felix Tynan 15:53, 133 Aniket Iyengar 16:18; U13B: 73 Monty Brown 11:19, 82 Alex van den Berg 11:24; U17W: 41 Amelia Lawrence 23:37, 99 Evie Ravenscroft 27:11, 104 Eva Armitage-Woods 27:39; U15G: 177 Sophia Pawa 20:34; U13G: 78 Celia Yeatman 12:17, 101 Celia Allen 12:28, 106 Delilah Lester 12:30, 112 Sophia-Rose Bonnar 12:38.


London Indoor Games (Age Groups), Lee Valley

Emily Cadman continues to impress, writes Mick Bond, with two comfortable wins in the Under 15 60m and 200m at last weekend’s London Indoor Games, and will go to the National Championships in Sheffield on Feb. 11th and 12th with high hopes.

Another hoping to do well in Sheffield is Elijah Olaleye who won both his 60m hurdles races on Saturday and sits second in the UK rankings. On Sunday he returned to run a 300m PB of 39.96s whilst fellow Under 15 Rhys Joyeux took 1.5 seconds off his PB with a time of 40.76s.

Over the 60m hurdles there were personal bests for Under 17’s Keziah Olaleye and Lily Gayle (9.37s and 9.49s).

In the field Michael Bridge was not at his best and was up against Geoff Capes' son Lawson, who tops the UK rankings. He still managed second place with a best of 11.32m

First year Under 15 Nia Thomas had her first outing over the higher hurdles and did well recording 10.32s and set a new 60m flat PB of 8.60s.


RunThrough Battersea Park Chase The Moon 5km/10km

On Wednesday at Battersea Park, Catherine Martin reduced her 10km personal best by almost twenty seconds to 40:07.

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