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Alex Gibbins and Jane Bradshaw are champions
There was a disappointing turn out for the Blackheath & Bromley Club 5 Cross Country Championships at West Wickham with only 40 finishers, the lowest this Century. Although the date had to be moved forward from its traditional October slot and this may have affected numbers, it is probably fair to say that the Olympic legacy has not extended to Cross Country.
This is a shame, not only because of the big effort by the Club’s volunteer officials to ensure the event took place, but also because the Club 5 is one of the oldest trophies in the World, first having been contested in 1880 and the list of previous winners gives a taste of the richness of the Club’s History. Past victors have included in 1884 Walter George, former World Record Holder for the mile, while a more recent winner was Mark Steinle, the fastest Briton over the Marathon this Century. Not that this years winner was not a distinguished individual. Alex Gibbins has been a stalwart of the Club’s cross country, road and track teams for many years and is joint captain of the men‘s Winter team. The 36 year old won the race in 29.29 from Peter Tucker who timed 30.06. Roy Smith celebrated his 50th birthday a week early by securing third place in 32.47, a good performance from someone who does the majority of his aerobic conditioning on a bike and who regularly triggers airport alarms with his hip replacement.
Winner of the womens race was team captain Jane Bradshaw, who was 13th overall in 36.27 followed by youngsters Amber Reed in 36.44 and Georgina Taylor in 36.50.
Amber and Georgina were 1st and 2nd in the Junior Womens race with Niamh Bridson Hubbard in third with 39.59. Winner of the King-Morrison Trophy for the Junior Mens race was Richard Webb in 33.42 with Bailey Stickings 2nd in 34.22 and Tom Desborough 3rd in 36.09.
The race incorporated the second of the Bennett Cup Handicap races, a series of nine events which take place over the Winter months. Winner was Rebecca Taylor who made a welcome return to racing. Now in her 5th year of studying Medicine she was actually 4th woman overall. Mick Jones was second in the handicap with Rebecca’s younger sister Georgina third.
Mick leads the Handicap on 118 points but there are still 7 events to go and he can’t afford to be complacent with Scott Bulmer on 113, and Sarah Belaon on 110. In fact seven athletes are already over 100 points meaning that the Handicap Title is again promising to be a keenly contested event. Fresh from becoming a father Alex Bruce Littlewood finished in 22nd place at the Notre Dame Invitational in the United States. He timed 24.12 and helped McNeese State University to finish in 9th place in the team race. Kev May finished in 11th place in the Barns Green Half Marathon in a time of 77.58. He was the second over 40 to finish.
The Kent Relays took place the previous weekend at Norman Park and, despite the poor weather which meant that the Meeting was abandoned towards the end of the afternoon, there was still plenty of success for the Club in the younger age groups.
Particularly noteworthy was the performance of the under 13 boys quartet of Adefela Lipede, Harry Taylor, James Low and Daniel Ndukwe who won Gold with a PB time of 51.4 sec. This ranks them 3rd club in the country this year and was close to the Club record which has stood since 1993. They won by nearly six seconds.
Similarly impressive were the under 17’s women 4 x 100 metres team of Vivien Olatunji, Cheriece Hylton, Shannon Hylton and Dina Asher Smith who won by nearly three seconds in a time of 48.8.
Further victories came from the under 15 girls 3x800 team of Leah Everson, Jessica Keane and Shannon Riskey who won by 12 seconds in 7.19.0; and the under 13 boys 3x800 metres team of Dillon Robertson, George Pipe and Jake Potter. They won by nearly half a minute much to the delight of their team manager Paul Austridge who said “It was worth being soaked to the skin seeing the lads ignore the rain and the depleting crowds and race with such great determination. Another great effort”.
The under 15 girls 4x100 metre team of Isabella Hilditch, Kate Woodbridge, Megan Beaman Browne and Jamilya Robinson Pascal finished second in 53.6; and there were bronze medals for the under 13 girls 3x800 metre team of Naomi Kingston, Yasmin Austridge and Satiya Atkins-Dyke and the under 17 womens 3x800 trio of Bethany Frost, Samantha Leighton and Holly Fletcher.
Many runners will now know whether they have gained entries for next years London Marathon, but if they think the distance is a long way they need to talk to John Turner. He has just completed his 5th 24 hour track race at Tooting Bec over Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd of September. Without any specific training he was the first over 60 runner completing a total of 91.25 miles.
Some may think that running round a track for 24 hours might put extra pressure on the left hip but they need not be concerned as half way through the race the athletes do a reverse turn and run the last 12 hours in a clockwise direction.
At the Enfield One Hour walk at Hemel Hemstead Peter Hannell finished in 10th place covering 9,717 metres while David Hoben was 22nd in 8,335.
Andy Tucker was the Club’s first finisher in the latest Bromley 5km Parkrun at Norman Park. He finished in 6th place in with Richard Daniel 11th and Steve Pairman 12th. First female from the Club to finish was young Yasmin Austridge who finished in 57th.
Naomi Kingston was winner of the womens race at Crystal Palace. She was 11th overall in 20.14 with Mary Guy 26th.
Steve Cooper was 4th in the event at Ipswich while at Orpington Jessica Keene was the first Club member to finish in 7th .
As the Club caters for all disciplines, (including cross country, road and track and field), in all age groups, from under 13s upwards to the Masters age groups, it always welcome new members. The Club has a Competition Policy which aims to provide appropriate levels of competition to all athletes of all abilities.
For further information on your particular interest please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively leave details on the Club answer phone service on 020 8462 3115. For all the latest Club news visit the website at www.bandbhac.org.uk