Warwickshire Road Race League – Race 2
The warm still conditions also greeted 236 runners for the third Annual Monty 5k race held at Leamington Spa last Sunday. Organised by the local Leamington Cycling and Athletic Club saw athletes from clubs mainly in the Warwickshire Road Race League compete in this “multi – terrain” event taking in the local Victoria Park, trail paths, grass and the all-weather track itself.
LCAC responded with volunteers around the course and still managed to field 19 men and 9 women to take three of the four team accolades. Leading from the gun, Callum Hanlon continued his great form to cross the line first in a time of 15:55 and with 5 others in red white and blue in the top 10 secured the team award. Paul Andrew not feeling 100% entered the track second but was beaten by Ben Taylor (Kenilworth) to the line with Andrew’s 16:43. Greg West fourth and first M20 in 17:08, Dean Mawby’s 17:37 (7th) Bal Kandola 17:57 (9th) and first masters M50 John Knibb in 18:00 for 10th.
Leamington also took the individual honours for the ladies with Laura Fuller’s 19:47 (50th overall) just holding off a fast finishing Monica Williamson 19:51 (53rdand first F55). The team was supported by Saffia Del Torre 20:46 (77th) and Elaine Sherwin 20:50 (79th, first F45).
Others running were Jason Hill 18:24 (18th), Jack Savage 18:28 (22nd), Gavin Fowler 18:35 (24th), Simon Perkin 19:58 (56th), Andrew Higgins 20:18 (64th), Paolo Foglino 20:40 (74th) Kevin Walpole 20:46 (78th), Rob Wilson 20:53 (80th), Simon West 22:11 (108th), Wes Stanton 22:15 (111th), Paul Okey 22:36 (119th), Shamira Naidu-Young 22:38 (121st), Juzar Kandola 23:31 (146th), Carol Blower 24:58 (171st), Sara Atkins 25:06 (172nd), Graham Roberts 25:40 (185th), Helen West 26:40 (198th) and Louise Marsh 26:40 (199th).
A special thanks to all helpers from the club both young and old with a special mention for George Phipps at aged 92 not only marshalling but cycling to and from home in Warwick showing that local athletics is for all ages from aged 6 upwards and all abilities.
Mel with her medal
Mel running along the themes
Leamington C&AC youngster, Melanie Gould, had a taste of the high life this weekend, being part of the West Midlands U13 team to run the Virgin London Mini Marathon. Having finished in a nail-biting sixth place to qualify for the prestigious place earlier in the year, Mel ventured off for an overnight stay at the Royal Holloway College with her fellow athletes before being taken into London on Sunday for the event. The mini marathon covers the last three miles of the marathon course which sees athletes aged 11-17 running past the London Eye, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace before crossing the marathon’s finish line. Mel ran well and completed the course in a strong position coming 67thout of 243 girls in a time of 19:58.
Whilst most of the country were enjoying the increased temperatures at the weekend, the heat was not welcomed by those taking part in the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday. With temperatures reaching 24oC, it has since been confirmed as the hottest London Marathon on record. Despite the weather, 7 Leamington C&AC athletes travelled down to London to take part although for many of them, the hard months of training for the new PB were not enough to cope with the heat. One athlete who did not appear to be affected was Richard Merrell who knocked 55 seconds off his personal best to finish in a time of 2:50:05 and crossing the line first for the local athletics club. Charlie Staveley came home in just over the three-hour mark in 3:04:32.
Mary with her medal
Natalie Bhangal who has returned to fine form since the birth of her son a year ago, was hoping to beat her PB of 3 hours 12 minutes, but the conditions meant that by half way she knew it was not going to happen. Not being phased, she decided to continue with a smile and soak up the atmosphere to finish in a very respectable 3:16:09. Wendy Daniels also had to deal with the realisation that the sun had put paid to the months of extensive training, with Daniels often running twice a day to get the miles in. Daniels finished in a time of 3:25:10. Courtney Thornberry, as seasoned runner over the 26.2 distance ran just under the 4 hours mark in 3:54:00, Anouk Molliex also finished under the 4 hours mark in 3:58:01.
Mary Donaldson, who is more accustomed to throwing the javelin, had decided at the end of 2017 that 2018 was the year to try a marathon. Not being used to any kind of endurance, Donaldson has been training steadily throughout the year so far to increase her mileage from short track distances. She faced hurdles in her training due to the bitterly cold weather and her first attempt at a half marathon was hindered due to the Warwick half being postponed due to the snow. She successfully completed her half marathon just two weeks before the London marathon. Donaldson, suffered with the heat on the course like others but also had to deal with the fact that many water stations had run out of water by the time she reached them. Nevertheless, she continued and finished her first marathon in a time of 5:21:40.
Norwich Half Marathon
To start Well done to Husband and wife duo, Kevin and Eve Walpole who took part in the City of Norwich Half marathon at the weekend. It was the couple’s first attempt at the 13.1 mile distance being relatively new to the running circuit. The couple had been scheduled to run their first half marathon earlier in the year but cancelled due to the snow. A delayed debut saw the couple benefit from extra training and fine race conditions. Kevin, fought off a sore throat and bad cold to finish in a time of 1:34:46 with Eve crossing the line in 1:50:25.
Here’s the pair at the start with family and friends.
National Road relays
Four weeks after the qualifying Midland relay event where the conditions were akin to mid-winter saw Leamington C & A C return to Sutton Park for the National Road Relays in much warmer conditions. Although clashing with the local Regency 10k the following day, the club was able to put together strong teams.
The course around Sutton Park is not flat and at times exposed to strong winds and consists of long stages of 5.38 miles and shorter 3.165 mile efforts. Team Managers had set a target of sub 5 hours and top 50 for the men. Sub 2.45 and top 40 for the women and both were achieved with plenty to spare.
The men set off first with Paul Andrew coming in 29 minutes 24 seconds for 46thout of the starting 69 teams before the shorter stage from Jack Savage 19.01 (57th) and Callum Hanlon storming round for 28.03 to move the club up 16 places to 41st. London based Charlie Eastaugh was next woth 17.07 (37th), Club Captain Phil Gould 30.47 (36th) and half way reached with John Knibb’s 18.42 (38th).
Well on target Johnny Brown suffering on the long stage with 33.45 (44th) didn’t take the emphasis away from the targets. Junior’s Keiran Chahal 18.24 (44th) Greg West 30.55 (44th) and Dean Mawby 18.30 kept the club up in 43rdplace. The final two runners, who are both running the London Marathon this Sunday, Rich Merrell 30.51 (43rd) and Charlie Staveley 18.07 brought the team home for 40thand breaking the time target in 4 hours 53.36. Tonbridge AC Won the Race in 4.17:24.
The women set off 20 minutes later also with a long stage from Zara Blower, lacking a bit of strength at the end she recorded a consistent 36.14 for 40thof the 54 staring teams. The next two stages are over the shorter distance with Elaine Sherwin running without her dog this time setting a time of 21.26 (39th) and Jade Holt’s 20.59 to move up 4 places. Courtney Thornberry, also taking on London ran the longer stage in 40.30 (38th) before Saffia Del Torre 21.57 (35th) and debutant Laura Fuller bring the team home in 20.50, a total time of 2 hours 41:56 and 30thposition. Leeds AC won the race in 2.11:27.