UK Inter Counties CC, Prestwold Hall

Seven young athletes represented their counties in these championships, which had 320 runners in each race representing 42 counties/regions throughout the UK.

Coaches John Stow and Richard Thurston made the journey too, giving much-needed support to the athletes. We actually had eleven athletes selected but poor Jimmy Geller, Sam Sloan and Evan Johnson are sidelined with injury, while Kai Boggon was competing in Abu Dhabi in an international triathlon event.


From L to R: Abigail Reid, Tilly Major and friend Ruby Naughton of VPH (pic: Sally Chapman)

The main feature of the day was the strength of the winds blowing across the course. In fact, before the races started you could hardly stand up in the winds. However, the course was a lot kinder than last year, with reasonably good going for the runners, albeit there were a few muddy bits to negotiate.

Phil Sharkey RIP

We are extremely saddened to have to report the death, on Friday, 1st March, of Phil Sharkey, who managed our National Young Athletes team and was one of the founders of our "Wasps" section on Saturday mornings.


It was Phil and Steve Dunn's idea to add another training option for our Under 11s back in 1994-95. During the first few years training was irregular, but from 1998 it became more formalised, with membership fees and t-shirts, and the name "Wasps" was adopted.

Club team wins Haslers quiz

Haslers, the Loughton-based chartered accounts company, have been very supportive sponsors of the Roding Valley Half Marathon over the years, so the club was keen to support their charity quiz last Thursday.


Bright sparks! Our quiz winners with their hamper of chocolate

The team comprised David “Evil” Hollingworth, Cowsi Magol with their respective Christine wives, former University Challenge champion Harold “Warwick” Wyber, plus a few friends. The team scored particularly well on the “Sporting Venues” round, even though the mighty Ashton Playing Fields did not feature on this occasion. By the end the other teams, consisting of many of Haslers' clients, and including a frightening number of solicitors and wealth managers, had been put in their place. The photo shows the team with the winners' trophy, which is nearly as prestigious as the coveted “Egg Box Trophy” awarded at the club’s Music Quiz, which sadly won’t be featuring the “Evil” team this year due to holiday commitments.

Gibbins & Bird triumph in Roding Half

The club hosted its annual half-marathon on Sunday morning from Ashton Playing Fields. First run in around 1981, it is approaching its 40th birthday, and as the years go by and traffic has increased, it has called upon more and more club resources. However, thanks to organiser David Hollingworth's excellent network of relationships, club members and friends again rose to the occasion to ensure the runners remained safe - if not dry. The squally, wet morning meant that on-the-day entries were 30-40 down on the norm, but there were still 354 finishers.

42 marshalls were out on the course in fluorescent jackets, guiding the runners and placating any impatient motorists - this year, it must be said, there was more than one report of positive support coming from drivers. The runners, totally focused on their race, were more concerned with dodging the puddles, though that became pointless after a while.

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