London Marathon


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.


National Road Relays and Half Marathon

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.

Regency 10km

Regency 10k

Callum Hanlon of Leamington C&AC strode to victory in the Regency 10k on Sunday, just a few hours after competing in the National Road Relays the afternoon before.

Hanlon was one of 47 Leamington C&AC runners who turned up on a reasonably warm Sunday morning to take part in the local 10k race which takes runners around Newbold Comyn before sending them through the local streets and parks to finish in Mill Gardens.

The local 10k saw runners start in waves this year due to a concern that newly erected bollards may cause an obstacle if too many runners set out at once. Hanlon set out in the first wave and quickly became part of the leading pack but couldn’t quite shake his competitors off as quickly as he did in his last 10k. His strength showed and he managed to get to the front of the pack when it mattered and finished in 32:39 with team mate Andy Savery hot on his heels to take second in a time of 32:58. Tom Foulerton, who narrowly missed out on first place at the Warwick Half the weekend previously, found himself sprinting to the line again this time to come in 6th with a time of 34:05.

The club’s junior contingent showed off their strength with Greg West leading them back to take first in the age category and coming 10th overall. West was also the club’s fourth person home. Dean Mawby was 3rdjunior (20thoverall, 37:18) with Dom Priest taking the fourth junior place (23rd, 37:48) whilst Kieran Chahal (39:43), Niall Salmon (41:25); Toby Loveday (45:47) and Jamie Wollaston (45:47) also highlighted the strength of the club’s youth training scheme, made even more impressive by the fact that West, Mawby and Chahal had all raced the day before.

John Knibb, who had also ran in the relays the day before, finished 29th overall taking the first prize in the MV50 category with a time of 38:07 bumping up the club’s medal hoard.

The club’s ladies were also out in force with Jenny Jeeves
finishing first for the club and sixth female overall in a time of 41:56. Jeeves was followed in by Jade Holt in a time of 42:09. Both women claimed second position in their relevant age categories. Saffia del Torre ran a strong race to finish 10th lady in a time of 43:24. Holt and Del Torre had both represented the club in the road relays the day before making their efforts on Sunday all the more impressive.

Rosie Cale showed fine form to finish in a time of 47:36 to take second place in the junior girl’s category whilst Alice Parson, running her first 10k, ran a time of 54:06. Sisters Georgina (54:21) and Larissa Hurt (67:15) also represented the club for the junior girls.

Other runners: Craig Biggerstaff (37:36); Marc Curtis (39:11); Tristan Warren (39:33); Andrew Cooknell (40:29); Simon Perkin (40:51); Paul Caruana 41:46); Peter Stockbridge (41:48); Andrew Higgins (42:09); Craig Bower (42:37); Paolo Foglino (43:04); Rob Wilson (43:05); Philip Pavey (43:36); Caroline Coward (45:38); TonyFoster (46:03); Alex Montgomery (46:40); Wes Stanton (47:22); Shamira Naidu-Young (47:26); Charlie Mitchell (48:15); Sue Harrison (48:19); Simon West (48:49); Jane Senior (50:36); Roger Fagge (51:02); Rupe Chahal (51:27); Carol Blower (51:38); Tara Fagge (52:13); Laura Gould (52:58); Christian Ibbs (53:45); Helen West (55:22); Faye Barr (58:16)