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  • Noel Carmody

Weekly Update - 3rd April 2024

Folkestone 10, Hythe (Fri. 30th Mar.)

The Folkestone 10 celebrated its 40th birthday this year, writes Clem Dixon. Back in 1984 Cambridge Harrier legend Mick Ellsmore finished 15th in a race won by Mike Gratton, winner of the London marathon the previous year. Fast forward to 2024 and both men were in attendance again, Mick Ellsmore running the race for the 25th time at the age of 71 and Mike Gratton as celebrity starter.

Mick's highest position came in 1987 when he was 7th but, incredibly, only the 4th Cambridge Harrier, the race being won by Keith Penny with Barry Watson third (club record holders at 10k and marathon respectively). Glynis Penny (club record holder at both 10k and marathon and most things in between) also ran that year, 25th overall in 56:22 and first lady by more than 6 minutes.

So what of 2024? We didn't have four in the top seven, but we did have three in the top ten, easily good enough to take the team prize. Liam McLaughlin and Dave Worden kept each other company for most of the race with Liam managing to pull away at the death for 5th place with Dave 7th. James Macdonald was a minute further back in 10th.

Liam McLaughlin - David Worden

There was a great turnout for the club, 18 finishers in all, including impressive performances by Alex Peet (just missing out on a sub one hour time), Jonathan Sargent and Stephen Thompson. Sally Carr was the first of the club's women in 1:19:16.

James Macdonald - Alex Peet

Jonathan Sargent - Stephen Thompson

Back in the 80's the race started in Folkestone and you ran to Hythe and back, these days it is the other way round so you usually have the wind against you for the second half and this year was no exception; the sinking feeling that you get when you reach the turn and exchange a tailwind for a headwind and realise just how strong it is will have been shared by all!

Results can be viewed here.

Tonbridge AC Easter Open Meeting, Tonbridge School (Mon. 1st Apr.)

The outdoor track season began in earnest with the Tonbridge Open Meeting on Easter Monday, reports Mick Bond. The weather forecast was mixed but in the end was reasonable for the time of year. Best performance of the day came from 12 year old Miya Cook who launched the 400 gram javelin to 32.73m, a distance that would have placed her third in last year’s national rankings. Chloe Lyndsey improved on last year as well with 15.41m

In the hammer Sophie Fenner was only a meter behind her 2023 best throwing 35.44m in the 6th round and had good backing from Natalie Mann with a 31.72m throw in the 5th round.


On the track  the 1500m proved a successful event for a number of harriers. Chris Loudon was quickest with 4.06.09s, an outdoor PB. Aiden Newton front ran a 6 second PB of 4.23.80s whilst Celia Yeatman took 8 seconds off her PB with 5.06.57s. In her first race over 1500 U13 Seren Yeatman ran an excellent debut in 5.23.49s. Brett Baker won the 3000m in a PB of 9:19.70s.

Brett Baker - Emily Yeatman

(Tonbridge Photographs courtesy of Mark Hookway (TAC))


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