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  • Noel Carmody

Weekly Update - 31st Jan. 2024

RunThrough Battersea Park Chase the Moon 10k (Wed, 24th Jan.)

Catherine Gonzalez recorded a personal best of 39:23 for 58th overall and third woman, just two seconds behind second.

London Indoor Games (Under 17), Lee Valley (Sat. 27th Jan.)

Another full day’s competitions at Lee Valley saw plenty of our Under 17’s in action, writes Mick Bond. The club’s hurdle squad were out in force and there were PBs for Hans Nmaju (8.30s), Elijah Olaleye (8.54s), Lily Gayle (8.93s) and Gabby Noyce (9.36s) over the 60m hurdles with Hans and Lily’s time putting them in the UK top ten on the Power of 10 rankings. Over the 60m flat Emily Cadman set a season’s best of 7.82s in her preparation for the National Indoor Championships in Sheffield whilst Arianna Clarke was only 1/100th of a second outside her best with 8.11s. Over 400m Elijah Olaleye showed the benefit of a good winter’s training with a second sub 53 second run of the winter whilst Rhys Joyeux started his 400m career with a very satisfactory 55.6s. After a summer chasing the two minute mark over 800m Sam Scrase-Field resumed his campaign with a 2:00.32 clocking, a sub-2 is only a matter of time!

PB’s and smiles all round for Elijah, Lily and Gabby

SEAA Cross Country Championships, Beckenham (Sat. 27th Jan.)

The South of England Cross Country Championships were at Beckenham Place Park, writes Clem Dixon, for the third year in a row, a venue that the senior men know well as it has hosted the South of Thames races many times as well as the Southerns. Know and love? Well, it's no Parliament Hill but it is a good looking park, the investment that Lewisham Council made in converting the old golf course is finally paying off. Each year we are presented with a different course, the first year that the Southerns were here the senior men's race was four laps, which for a field of getting on for a thousand runners is not ideal, the next year it was three and this year just two (with a small start loop). In an era when everyone else is standardising on a distance of 12k for championship races the SEAA resolutely stick to their guns and insist on 15k just because it has always been that way. The irony is that however many laps they make it they always seem to end up with a distance that is considerably less than billed! This year it was well over a kilometre short. These days almost everyone runs with a GPS watch and many were holding themselves back thinking that they had a mile to go only to find themselves in the finish straight. Irritated but perhaps secretly glad? Another quibble would be that although there were some muddy sections where spikes gave you an advantage there was also some stretches of non spike friendly gravel path to negotiate.

The race was an easy victory, well he made it look easy, for last year's winner and national champion James Kingston of Tonbridge. The Cambridge squad was much depleted through injury and illness although our two most consistent performers, Tom Brooke and Bobby Babaker, were back in action with Bobby (78th) again coming out on top, Tom was about a minute behind but just squeezed into the top 100. Our six to score team was completed by Dave Worden, Ben Rew, Mark Penny and Will Longhurst for 26th place.

Bobby Babaker - Thomas Brooke - David Worden

Ben Rew - Mark Penny - Will Longhurst

Bobby now has a commanding lead in our club's Grand Prix competition with two more races to go. In all we had 11 finishers, mention should also go to Martin Leat, Jon Wilson and James Floyd who are all new to the club this season and who have all turned out for virtually every race putting themselves in contention for the Cottrell Cup which is based on participation rather than performance.

In the senior ladies championship Holly Dixon collected bronze. with the four to score team comprised, Phoebe Cooper in 118th, Hayley Newman 194th and Susan Dixon 178th.

For our young athletes, the day started with the under 15 boy's race, reports Mark Newell. Aniket Iyengar was our only representative, finishing a very respectable 33rd from 181 finishers.

Next up was the under 13 girl's race. Sophia-Rose Bonnar and Charlotte Foster were within metres of each other for the duration of the race. At the finish, Sophia-Rose (26th) held off Charlotte (27th) by a fingernail with both being given the same time. Seren Yeatman (105th), Lizzie Saunders (113rd) and Saskia Moon (149th) were our others to complete the course.

There was another close finish in the under 13 boy's race with Austin Richards (48th) and Alex Van Den Berg-Hows (49th) separated by one second at the finish. Monty Brown (90th) an Oto Weir (131st) completed the team.

Celia Yeatman (64th) was first club member to cross the finish line in the under 15 girls race. Meredith Cummins had her best placing for the club in 99th place, followed home two seconds later by Celia Allen in 100th. Delilah Lester, suffering from a cold, battled bravely to finish 142nd. Isabel Brand was our final club finisher in 145th.

We had one athlete in each of the men's and women's under 17 races. Sam Holloway finished 118th in the men's and Amelia, a very respectable 24th, in the women's.

The full results can be accessed here.

London Indoor Games (Under 15), Lee Valley (Sun. 28th Jan.)

Sunday saw the turn of our under 15’s. Nia Thomas had the best performance of the day with a 9.48s clocking in the 60m hurdles which should mover her into the UK top 10. Nia added a PB of 27.86s in the 200 with Celia Allen not far behind also with a personal best of 28.03s, having run in the SEAA Cross Country Championships the previous day. On the boys side Jovani Lindsey was just outside his best over 60m recording 7.72s but set a good inaugural PB of 24.50s over 200m.

Aldershot Open Track Walks, Aldershot Military Stadium (Sun. 28th Jan.)

The fourth and final event in the Ray Hall Winter Track Walks League was held in deal conditions on Sunday morning at the Military Stadium in Aldershot. Luc Legon won the senior men's 5000m in a seasons best of 23:07.51s to claim the men's league title. Hannah Hopper, who did not race as she was away at Exeter University as part of her degree apprenticeship, took the overall women's league title having amassed sufficient points over the previous three league races.


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