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  • Noel Carmody

Weekly Update - 22nd May 2024

Southern Counties Veterans League (Kent), Bromley (Fri. 17th May)

A very pleasing and enjoyable evening in balmy conditions for our teams, with excellent team spirit shown, which augurs well for the rest of the season, writes Tim Carter.

Men (Tim Carter): The team produced an very solid performance gaining 4th place - just a single point behind Bromley. All events apart from PV M35 were covered on the night. Some notable performances included first places for Steven Marlow in the M35 discus, with an excellent throw of 34.97m and for Chris Loudon (M35) in the 3000m - a stunning run recording 8:53.7s winning by over 20 secs.

Second places for the every versatile Wole Odele - M50 400m - 59.6s and Edmund Adigwe - M35 400m - 55.1s, both giving many years away to their competitors. Solid 3rd places for Neb Jovanovic M35 B-string 400m, Martin Leat  M60 400m , David Worden - M35 B-string 3000m and Paris 'all events' Hunt M60 LJ.

A warm welcome to the team  for Hjalti Rognvaldsson recording 4th place in M35 LJ. Many thanks for the competitors doubling up in events for points not in their age groups - Paris, Wole and Martin again and Peter Wishart for competing in M50 discus.

Additionally had three non-scoring creditable performances by Peter Reynolds in the 3000m and John Barron  with James Rooks in the 400m.

Women (Chris Bond): A great start to the season with a third place finish behind Tonbridge and Blackheath. The evening kicked with the 400m, with Sophie Johnson recording our only win of the evening with 71.0s in the B-string. Rose Baker, who had come along to officiate on the discus, stepped in to run the W35 3000m, so a big thank you to Helen Jousselin for volunteering to assist on the discus.

Natalie Mann finished second in the W35 discus with 23.39m. Julie Backley had strong opposition in the W50 3000m where she finished third (the race was stronger than the W35 B-string).

Maria Macdonald dropped two age groups for the W50’s triple jump where she jumped 5.03m, for an inaugural W70 club record.

Southern Athletics League - Division 1, Norwich (Sat. 18th May)

Our first Southern Athletics League match in the Premier Division was in Norwich, writes Sophie Fenner, with quite a depleted team, due to the distance, where we finished in 5th place overall. We have three competitions left, which are a lot closer to home, to make up the points and position. The focus is to stay in the top division!

Women (Sophie Fenner): In the sprints, Christal Izuchukwu won the 100m with a PB of 12.5s and came 2nd in the 200m with a PB of 26.1s. Nirah Valinejad won the 100m B string with a time of 12.6s and came 2nd in the B string 200m. The 4x100m relay team won with a time of 49.4s.

Keziah Olaleye did the maximum number of events for the day. She finished 4th in the 100m hurdles, 2nd in the 400m hurdles, jumped 1.30m in the high jump and achieved a PB in the triple jump of 9.08m. Amirat Muhammed Hassan picked up points finishing 2nd in the B-string 100m hurdles and 2nd in the triple jump. Competing only for the 2nd time, Lina Poku jumped 3.08m in the long jump.

Sophie Fenner was only 20cm away from her PB in the hammer with a best throw of 37.11m. She also came 4th in the B-string f shot and discus. Natalie Mann competed in all four throwing events, picking up valuable points, finishing 4th in the shot, 3rd in discus, 5th in javelin (all A-string) and 2nd in the B-string hammer.

Men (Omari Markland-Montgomery): Jack Ebanks and Ekene Ogbonna both clocked 100m PB times of 11.7s and 12.1s respectively, alongside Tomisin Awolowo who ran a PB of 24.6s in the 200m; Reuben Chandler (U20) secured a PB of 64.3s for the 400m hurdles over the senior men’s heights; Bobby Babaker ran well in his first outing over 800m this year clocking a time of 2:03.9s, just 0.4 seconds away from his lifetime best. Brandon Sikity and Tomisin Awolowo won both strings in the high jump.

Special thanks to Masters' Andy Kruszewski and Paris Hunt for their efforts in the field events.

Ras y Gader / Cader Idris Mountain Race, Dolgellau, Wales (Sun. 19th May)

I now fully appreciate why the Ras y Gader (Cader Idris Race) is the club’s favourite fell race of the season, writes James Floyd. An unprecedented turnout of ten Harriers made the journey to Southern Snowdonia and were rewarded with an entire weekend of truly brilliant weather, a challenging race, and exceptional views.

The team consisted of all abilities and experience, myself and Robert Barns making our fell race debuts, while others had too many past performances to count. For, Jamie Evens, it was a hometown race, but one he hadn’t run before. Dubbed “one of the toughest fell races in Wales”, a 17.8km race to over 900 meters elevation covering varying and very technical terrain, going from tarmac to dirt track, through woodland, across bogland, up stone steps, to take on every imaginable size of rock obstacle from gravel to huge boulders. A total of 298 runners started from the picturesque market town of Dolgellau and took on the gradual but persistent 1.5km incline out of the town. Each runner has their own story of the day, and I can’t do them all justice, but here are some of the achievements made by the Cambridge Harriers team.


First CH home was Tarbo Fukazawa in 32nd position overall, in a time of 1:51:36 displaying fearless downhill speed and after a 100-mile cycle to the race the day before. Tarbo has delivered the best Harrier performance at Ras y Gader a total of five times since 2017. Next home (quite literally) was Jamie Evans in 45th place in 1:54:51 followed by Christian Poulton less than three minutes later in 51st position. Christian achieved 4th in the V50 age category just 46 seconds behind 3rd.

James Pitts was fourth CH in 108th position in 2:12:00 and was his first fell summit as his debut race, Snowdon last year, was cut short due to bad weather. 

Fifth CH was James Floyd in 2:22:53 closely followed by sixth place Jon Wilson in 2:24:18. Jon and James swapped positions a few times during the race and arrived at the summit virtually at the same time. Jon then drew on his downhill experience to establish a lead, notably clocking the third fastest descent time in the team. But after the hard descent, Jon slowed on the flatter sections. James caught Jon by the final 3km. James and Jon took overall positions 144th and 149th respectively.

Tarbo Fukazawa - Jamie Evans - Christian Poulton

James Pitts - Jon Wilson - James Floyd

Robert Barns - Steve Brown - Clem Dixon

Robert Barns finished seventh CH in 186th position in a time of 2:34:30 describing the experience as “brutal but good” and “one of the most physically demanding things I’ve ever paid to take part in”, but equally “thoroughly fantastic”. Steve Brown finished in 223rd position in a time of 2:44:54. 


Ninth for the club was Clem Dixon, who arrived with the expectation of possibly making checkpoint 3 before the 75 minute cut off, due to surgery earlier in the year. Clem broke all expectations with an inspirational performance of 3:03:57, I’m sure giving a strong green light to future races already in his calendar.


Unfortunately, Paul Kent had to retire during the first section due to knee pain. The race was won by Tom Wood of local club Eryri Harriers in 1:28:34. 


A truly memorable race and weekend. A big thank you to all those that helped in various ways to make the weekend possible. I encourage anyone interested in getting involved in fell running to consider the next fell race, which is Coombe Hill on the 2nd of June, see the fell calendar for more details. Also, thank you to Mark Newell, Tina Brown and Emily Floyd for their pictures and support on the day.

Riga Half Marathon, Riga, Latvia (Sun. 19th May)

In hot sunny conditions Graham Maynard finished 988th and 10th M60 in 1:53:40.

Hackney Half Marathon, London (Sun. 19th May)

Stephen Thompson was the first club member to finish in 346th in 1:24:49. Other finishers were Ben Thompson (1:38:36) and Hakim Mendjeli (1:38:37).

Editors note: Due to the results of YDL (Lower) match on Saturday not having been published yet - report on this match will appear next week


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