World Race Walking Tour - Bronze/Dublin GP of Race Walking (Sun. 17th Dec.)
This year the Dublin Grand Prix of Race Walking which is categorised as a World Athletics Race Walking Tour - Bronze, meaning athletes score World Athletics ranking points, attracted over 200 athletes from 24 different countries, including the USA, Canada and Mexico.
Hannah Hopper, making her third appearance at this event and Luc Legon, making his second, received funding from the English Race Walking Association to cover travel and accommodation costs, for which they and the club are grateful.
Hannah took third place in the senior women's 10k with a seasons best of 51:58, walking a negative split, to record her second fastest time ever for the distance and over two minutes faster than this race in 2022. Luc, who is adjusting to working full time, put in a very solid performance over 20k for 18th position in a season's best of 1:37:14.
South of the Thames Cross Country Championship Race, Croydon (Sat. 16th Dec.)
In some ways the South of the Thames Championship is a relic from a bygone era, writes Clem Dixon. In the first boom years of cross country running, the 1880's and 1890's when our own club was formed, there was a demand for a competition for the less elitist second tier London clubs who were denied access to the county championships. In response to this demand the South of the Thames and North of the Thames associations were formed. Such was the success of their races that the more established clubs wanted to get in on the action and there ended up being two races, the Championship and the less prestigious "Junior" race.
Roll the clock forward 135 years and not that much has changed. Women now get to run too, running with the men but scored separately. The catchment area has been extended and the races are entered by clubs from Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire as well as South London (but on no account by clubs from North of the River!) There are still two races although there is no longer anything "junior" about the first of them other than that it is shorter (5 miles as opposed to 7.5). And a parkrun-style barcode system has been introduced to help with recording at the finish, but this only came in last year.
Is this race still relevant? Fortunately there are still plenty of folks out there who seem to think that it is, perhaps the feeling that you are running a piece of history is part of the appeal. Team scoring for both men and women is for teams of six and there is also a twelve to score for the men: both Tonbridge and Kent AC fielded very strong squads lured by the impressive array of ancient silverware up for grabs, but both were disappointed with Belgrave Harriers making a clean sweep of all three team competitions.
As for the Cambridge contingent: sadly no women were entered and of the twelve men only eleven showed up so we were one short of registering in the larger team competition. It was John O'Mahony (57th) who was our first finisher followed by Ben Rew, Stephen Thompson and James Pitts. David Reader just managed to hold off Jonathan Sargent in a sprint finish, those two completing the six to score team for 10th place; not great but our best for twelve years.
Hakim Mendjeli - James Pitts - Jon Sargent - Stephen Thompson
All that ran were agreed that this was one of the best courses of the year, lots of variation, with hills and mud aplenty, and those that ran with a GPS all reported that the three laps were pretty much bang on the stated 7.5 miles. Sorry that you missed it? Well, that's another good thing about the South of Thames, the courses they use are different every year (it depends on which affiliated clubs they manage to lean on to host!) so there is plenty of variety but no telling when we will next be back at Lloyd Park.
Cambridge Harriers results can be viewed here
Sutcliffe Indoor 60's, Sutcliffe Park (Sun. 17th Dec.)
The club’s first indoor 60m promotion of the winter took place last weekend at Sutcliffe Park with 120 sprinters signing up to compete, including a healthy 22 from Cambridge Harriers, reports Mick Bond. There were PB's all round especially from those who have been getting stuck into their winter training. Top club times in the men’s event went to Moshood Erinfolami (7.36s), Jack Ebanks (7.39s) and Jason Adeogun (7.51s). In the women’s event the top three were Doyin Aderinto with an excellent early season 7.65s, Emily Cadman (7.93s) and tying for third Faith Assah and Derin Aderinto on 7.99s.
The event was livestreamed on YouTube and so for a flavour of what went on check out this link -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqOfL8PcmRk.
Cambridge Harriers results can be viewed on Power of 10 here
After Christmas we have our first go at running an indoor hurdles competition on Saturday Jan. 6th followed by flat 60’s the next day on Sunday 7th.