Much of the Orion course was bone dry this year, with just minor
patches of mud to emphasise how lucky the participants were. The race
was won by veteran Allen Smalls of Colchester in 1 hour 32 minutes.
England Masters CC international Dave Cox,
off a relatively low maximum of 30 miles per week training, was 5th in
1:38.06, 44 places and 13 minutes ahead of the next M50! We also took
the M60 prize in the shape of Roger Green, who was 93rd of 286 finishers, recording 1:58.50.
M40 John Wallis was unable to reproduce his form of recent weeks and clocked 1:46.54 for 30th place. Steve Murray, training for the Halstead Marathon in May when he will have crossed into the M50 category, was happy with 1:48.58 for 36th.
We also had: M40 Dave Barrett (1:53.57, 58th); Steve Dawkins (1:59.14, 99th), Julian Thorpe (2:4.14, 137th) and Richard Hogg (2:09.58, 174th).
In Singapore, Olympic triathlete Jodie Swallow won the Singapore Half Ironman Triathlon on Sunday in 4hrs 19mins. She reports that, "It wasn't pleasant but I won by 11 mins so I should have relaxed on the run a bit. I swam 27 mins for the 2K swim, 2hr 22mins for the 90km bike ride and ran 1.27 for the half marathon." Swallow intends to run the Southern 6-Stage.
With thoughts turning to the road relays at Milton Keynes, Daniel Agustus was probably the pick of the bunch. He won the Bushy Park 4.8 mile trail race by a huge 94 seconds, in 24.28. Next Saturday's Victoria Park 5 should provide tougher competition for Agustus, who is steadily regaining his form of 2-3 years ago.
In Providence, USA, Stuart Maxwell drove 180 miles to find a decent 5K race but was still disappointed to find himself in 3rd place with nobody around him from the very start. With the winner (Ireland's Mark Carroll) running a quality 14.25 and the runner-up dying for a still-quick 15.02, Stuart clocked 15.39, 35 seconds clear of the fourth man.
Ben Hope, like Maxwell, was running his first race of the winter, and finished 3rd in the Bushy Park 5K in 15.49. This was a race won by Belgrave's Dessaix-Chin in 14.57, with Shaftesbury's Trapmore 2nd in 15.20. Ben runs the high-quality Reading Half-Marathon next weekend.
19-year old Andy Mariani, from his Loughborough University base, also joined the sub-16 club with 15.56 at the Derby Midweek 5K. Going through 2K in 6.05, one suspects the athlete needs to reign himself in at the start of races.
Gavin Lewis is another contender for a short stage in our A team at Milton Keynes, and he turned in another solid performance in the English Schools CC (see report).
And finally, Iain Cumming, in training for the London Marathon and due to enter the M50 category in July, took the M40 prize at the A20 Pathway 17.3 - a rarely raced distance! - in 1:58.57. The precise pace - 3 hours exactly for a marathon - will appeal to scientist Cumming.
Update: Richard Holland was a very fine 8th in the British Masters M50 CC championship in North Wales. Even the legendary (Olympian) Nick Rose found himself outside the medals in 4th place.Chelmsford's Mike Bridgeland, the reigning Essex M50 CC champion, was 6th.