Taking 11 men to Chelmsford for the 4 x 3.64 mile relays was a vast
improvement on recent years but we were never going to be truly
competitive with most of our best men elsewhere. It was a first taste
of road relays for some of the guys. As expected, Gavin Lewis was fastest of the day. He ran 19.12, which compared to the day's fastest of 18.04 by Basildon's Ross Clarke (who has joined us on the Higher Competition basis for the coming track season).
A team, 8th: Ray Dzikowski 21.04 (16), Gavin Lewis 19.12 (9), Martin McLean 19.43 (8), Ashley Mildenhall 21.17
B team 15th: Dave Cox 20.34 (12), Keith McShea 22.01 (15), CJ Shepherd 22.04 (14), Terry McCarthy 22.23
C team 22nd: Martin Mack 24.22 (26), Steve Dawkins 23.14 (23), Steve Lambert 25.17 (25), Keith McShea 23.54
The race also saw a return to form from Jamie Nunn, who represents us on the track during the summer. Representing Billericay, Jamie clocked 18.38 for 4th fastest of the day and 1st on Stage 1. Our 2nd claim athlete Ed Messer ran 19.17 for Chelmsford.
Elsewhere, the end of term feeling prevailed at Trent Park where a small band of Woodford athletes flew the club flag at the Chingford League CC relays. With teams of four to count, we were always up against it as Liam Blaikie and Karim Ali made up the U17M team, running two legs each. Both gave a good account of themselves, particularly as all age groups ran together so these two could mix it with the seniors. Alistair Holford was hard pushed in the Senior team and decided against doing all 4 legs on his own, opting to run legs one and three alongside (well, considerably behind) the ever-improving Liam.
At the end-of-season awards afterwards, Woodford were predictably outnumbered by Orion, Trent Park and Barnet runners in the trophy stakes but Liam picked up second place U15B whilst Alistair picked up three trophies – alas, none of his own. So, Richard Holland (1st Vet Man), your trophy is available for handover and Becky Hewitt (2nd U17W) and Amy Doyle (3rd U17W – an achievement considering she is still U15 - will receive their trophies at training during the week.
It was a big week around the country for marathon-preparation races. Ewen Malloch ran a "solid if unspectacular" 67.50 for 9th in the Bath Half-Marathon. He went through 10K in 31.18, suffered between miles 7-9, but recovered to finish strongly.
Matt Gunby, injured since November, achieved the fastest run of the day as he finished 8th in the British Universities Biathlon on his return to competition. Following the 200m swim, he ran the 3000m in 8.47.00, 18" faster than anyone else.
In the Finchley 20, M40 Paul Clarke ran 2:25.50 and Adam Thorpe 2:39.36. Running big negative splits, Adam in fact set a 10 mile PB of 77.11 over the 2nd half of the course.
Going to the line without properly recovering from a fever, Matt Molloy ran the Brentwood Half in 85.45 which involved at least 3 minutes' walking to allow his pulse to drop. And Iain Cumming ran the Lydd Half in 85.08, slightly down on his time in the Roding Half the week before, but satisfied with his back-to-back weekends.