British record, gold, bronze and bronze.

Paula Williams after winning the gold medal and becoming European Champion in the shot put at the European Masters Championships in Italy.
Pride of place this week has to go to Paula Williams who has been adding to her trophy cabinet (s!) at the European Masters Championships in Italy by winning gold in the shot put and a couple of bronze medals in the javelin and 4 x 100m relay. She is competing in the 80m hurdles on Thursday afternoon.

After a hectic T&F season, Adam Linforth was back doing his day job last weekend by competing in the British Aquathlon Championships in Kent, where he finished an impressive 4th in his age category.

Last Saturday was a glorious day at the Sutton Park Relays where Team Manager Richard Harrison was able to select 7 complete teams to compete in this well established event. All of our athletes gave their very best and did the yellow and black vests proud. Highlight of the day was our U17 ladies securing the silver medal with superb runs by Maisie-Joy Spriggs, Niamh Hillard and Maddie Linfoot. Richard righty went on to praise all of the athletes and all of the parents for bringing them along and supporting, as well as helping out.

Phil Brennan has sent in his typically witty and self deprecating report on the Folkstone Rotary Half Marathon. Keep ’em coming Phil.

Dan Southam, now residing in Surrey, continued his year of PBs by knocking 41 seconds off his 10k previous best in the Vitality 10k in London.

Finally there are a few more photos from Sutton Park and the obligatory Sunday morning on the Welcombe Hills photo.

Take care.

David Jones
Last week’s newsletter

Last week’s newsletter was a particularly long one (5400 words and multiple photos) and because of this I suspect some of you won’t have received it. In fact I know some of you didn’t.

I’m told that all email systems have size limits, one applying to the email itself and the other to the size of attachments. These will vary depending on the service. Outlook for example has a 150 megabyte limit on the email itself. I suspect last week’s exceeded some of your email size limits.

If you would like to read last week’s, please let me know and I can try sending it to you again or failing that send it to you as a PDF. 
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Paula followed her gold medal with a bronze in the javelin
And she followed that by helping Team GB secure the bronze medal in the 4 x 100m relay.
Pescara – Italy
Report – David Jones

Paula Williams is currently enjoying spectacular success representing Great Britain at these championships.

She started her championships off in the very best of style by winning  the gold medal and becoming European Champion in the shot put, improving on her own British record with a best  throw of 13.30.

Starting off with a throw of 12.31 it was her 2nd throw that sealed the gold medal. She finished 79 cms ahead of the 2nd placed thrower, Sonja Roemmert of West Germany.

It was then on to the Javelin where Paula won the bronze medal with a throw of 35.97, with the gold medal going to Hungary with a throw of 41.27.

Paula then ran the anchor leg of the 4 x 100m relay, helping GB secure the bronze medal with an overall time of 55.31. The Italian team claimed the gold medal in 50.83.

At the time of writing GB stand in 2nd place in the medal table.

Paula is due to compete in her final event of the Championships, the 80m hurdles, where she is drawn in lane 6, on Thursday afternoon.

I’m sure you will all join with me in congratulating Paula on what has been a magnificent performance.
Adam Linforth
British Aquathlon Championships

Report – Adam Linforth

On Saturday I travelled down to the beautiful Heaver Castle in Kent, former home of Anne Boleyn to take part in the British Aquathlon Championships.

The event was part of the Castle Race Series and the weekend involved Aquabike, Duathalon, Triathlon, junior events and of course Aquathlon.

I arrived at 8am and it was somewhat chilly to say the least.

Watching the first few races get in the water at 16 degrees it was at that point I wondered why I had got up at 5am to get there and miss out on one of Karl, Simon and Joe’s swim sets at Shipston pool.

Fortunately the air temperature warmed up a bit in time for my entry in to the water for a deep water start. The swim was an out and back 750m course, which due to the width and size of the field (circa 130) meant there wasn’t too much jostling for positions, so I was able to just focus on my race. I had a good swim and so much better than at Menen a few weeks prior, completing the swim course In 13:15.

Then on to transition and out on the run which involved an undulating 2 laps of the 5k Cross Country course laid out for us.

The run had everything, wet slippy grass banks, gravel paths and a lovely long drag of a hill enabling me to make good progress and overtake a number of other competitors from both the Aquathlon and other events running at the same time.  

I completed the run in 22:52, overtaking another athlete in my age group in the final straight for a combined time of 38:48. This gave me 33rd position overall and a 4th place in my age group which I was really pleased with.

Hopefully between the results from this race and the EU champs a few weeks ago I should be able to qualify for GB Age group again for next year ????.

Then it was off to face the toughest part of the day..  the M25 and drive home..
The Dream Team is back. U17 ladies – Maddie Linfoot, Maisie-Joy Spriggs and Niamh Hillard all wearing their well earned silver medals.
Sutton Park Relays.

Report – David Jones

Team manager Richard Harrison managed to select 7 complete teams of juniors to compete in this well established event.

It was pretty much a perfect day to race in, on what was a particularly fast course.

Our U 13 boys, consisting of Kipp Stevens, Toby Wilkinson and Tom Yates raced over a 1 mile course and recording times of 5.52, 7.11 and 6.04 to finish in 30th place. Toby generously stepping in at the last moment.

Our U15 girls team consisting of Lois Ford, Marijke Tear-Verweij and Brooke Rossney completed the 2.35k course in 9.36, 9.37 and 11.40 respectively to finish in 32nd place.

We had 2 complete U15 boys team and one incomplete team. Will Hovell, Josh Davies and Tom Fisher completed the course in 7.47, 8.30 and 8.00 respectively to finish in 14th place overall with Joel Ledgard (8.42), Sam Plumb (8.29) and Aran Cooper (8.17) finishing in 26th place. The incomplete team were Sam Lambert (7.39) and Arthur Williamson (8.11). Sam’s time was the 9th quickest of his leg.

The U17’s raced over 3.88k and our men’s team of Will Mayes (13.04) brother James (14.11) and Zak Lambert (13.00) finishing in 16th place overall. Zak, like brother Sam, recorded the 9th quickest time on his leg.

We also had two U17 ladies teams competing. Bo Algate, Martha Peters and Abbie Cooper recorded times of 16.20, 17.14 and 16.19 to finish in 15th place.

Our other U17 ladies team finished in a magnificent 2nd place out of 24 teams competing from as far away as Swindon, North Somerset, Telford and Tipton. Maisie-Joy Spriggs ran the first leg in a time of 14.08, to hand over to Niamh Hillard in 3rd place. Niamh ran her leg in 14.51, picking up one place to hand over to Maddie Linfoot in 2nd place. Maddie, making a welcome return to racing, was able to hang on magnificently to 2nd place with a time of 15.04. MJ, Niamh and Maddie were 3rd, 2nd and 5th fastest of their respective legs, with MJ being the 6th fastest of all legs. A superb achievement.

After the event Team Manager Richard Harrison commented “A great day’s racing with smiles all around. A couple of thank yous: First, thanks to everyone who competed on the day, you were all great and should be very proud of your races.  Second : Thanks to all parents for bringing them along and supporting, as well as helping out, it was much appreciated”. 
U13 boys – Kipp Stevens, Toby Wilkinson and Tom Yates.
U15 girls – Marijke Tear-Verweij, Lois Ford and Brooke Rosney.
U15 boys – Josh Davies, Aran Cooper, Sam Plumb, Sam Lambert, Arthur Williamson, Will Hovell, Tom Fisher and Joel Ledgard.
U17 ladies – Abbie Cooper, Martha Peters and Bo Algate
U17 men – Zak Lambert with James and Will Mayes
Our U17 ladies
Phil Brennan
Folkestone Rotary Half Marathon
Host to the British Masters Half Marathon.

Report – Phil Brennan

I decided to get rid of some of my frustration at not being in Italy (GO, Paula!) by doing the Folkestone Rotary Half Marathon, host to the British Masters HM.

The course was basically an out and back from Folkestone to Hythe along the promenade, with twiddly bits in each town.

It embodied my two worst nightmares.

Sunday dawned bright and breezy in Folkestone and stayed that way all day. By “breezy” I mean the sort of westerly gale which scattered the Spanish Armada and it was full-on in your face on the outward leg.

Fatal mistake was not looking for some big person to hide behind into wind and wait for the downwind leg but to try and maintain my target pace.

I actually succeeded but at the cost of being completely knackered at the turn and unable to take advantage of the downwind.

I have often felt the need to have a rant in this newsletter about sadistic course designers and their delight in upward finishes. This one was Olympic standard. Suspicion began to dawn on the way out: the way down to the beach was basically a cliff pretending to be a road.

Was this the “cheeky little hill” referred to in the course notes?

It sure was.

As we turned into it from about 12.5 miles, I was reduced not only to a walk but having to haul myself up by the handrail.

A mediocre finish time was instantly converted to a forgettable disaster.

Aside from my personal pain, it was a well organised, mega friendly event. The hill in question was actually the “Road of Remembrance”, part of a spectacular war memorial and where some of my ancestors may very well have marched down to the docks to embark for the War to end all Wars.

While I was hanging around for the BMAF presentations, they were giving out the open race prizes. I wasn’t paying much attention until I heard “And finally I have an apology to make. When we promised to award prizes in five-year veterans’ categories, we didn’t realise that there was an 80 year old entrant who finished today. So there’s nothing for him but if he’d like to make himself known…..”

Cue round of applause, hug from nice lady and a promise of a prezzie in the post. That was nice. Plus the BMAF title.
Dan Southam
Vitality 10k – London

Report – Dan Southam

Now being a resident in Surrey, London races are becoming my local hunting ground in the search of PB’s! Having raced London Marathon 3 times, I was excited to head into the capital for something a little shorter this time round. 

Arriving into Green Park, there was a huge buzz as swarms of runners flooded into the park. It certainly had the feel of a big event! There was a bit of chaos due to seemingly hundreds and hundreds of people not receiving their bib numbers in the post. Not something you’d expect given this is the same group that organise the marathon! Thankfully, mine arrived via Postman Pat so I left my mate in the queue to get his and went to warm up. 

I got to the start line with plenty of time and after chatting to the people around me, I found a group that were hoping for similar times and we decided to work together. I love running in a pack instead of being a Lone Ranger! 

The gun went and we were off. My goal was to run progressively quicker through the miles and I settled into an early rhythm, ticking off the first mile without problem.

As the course meanders through Piccadilly Circus and out towards St Paul’s Cathedral, over some rolling hills that were definitely noticeable, I gradually picked up the pace. Working through the first 5k in 17:31 I was feeling good and continued to try and quicken the pace a little. Hitting the 8k mark the race was starting to hurt but I still felt in control and kicked on. 

Turning the corner onto Birdcage Walk I knew the end was in sight. Having felt the pain of running down here in the marathon I had a sense of familiarity as my lungs were burning and legs full to the brim with lactic!

I turned the corner to see the clock tick over the 35:00 minute mark. Frustrating as my goal was sub 35, but I gave it my all to get over the line as quick as I could. Even more frustrating was the fact I ended up running 6.36 miles, which tells me I need to stick to the racing line better! 

I finished in an official time of 35:02 (damn those 3 seconds!) but massively pleased with knocking 41 seconds off my PB to continue a year filled with PB’s across most distances.

Next up, Kingston Half Marathon on 22nd October. 
Sutton Park Relays

More photos of our juniors at Saturday’s memorable event
Leg 1 of the U15 boys race. Will Hovell 2nd from the right – front row
Leg 1 U15 girls race – Lois Ford 3rd from the right, front row.
U17 men.
U17 ladies – Can you spot M-J ?
U15 boys before.
And after – boy that was quick
Sunday on the Welcombe Hills

The Magnificent 7.