Who says British distance running is dead? On the evidence of the competitive racing at Claybury yesterday, it is too early to write off the sport. The women's race saw a high-quality battle between our team and Highgate, while the men's field of 354 finishers pulverised the previous record number of 331 in a thriving, 43-year old league. The happy outcome for our own teams was that both men and women ended the day as league leaders, while our men's B team hoisted themselves further clear of the relegation zone. The spectators enjoyed an outstanding win by Jess Sparke, while Lotfi Chebli ran a classy debut to finish 2nd man home behind an in-form Matt Barnes-Smith.
With a full moon illuminating the track at Hog Hill on Tuesday night, the runners cast clear shadows as they competed in the season’s third Chingford League fixture. Field sizes were up from the previous Hog Hill event despite this clashing with the Redbridge Schools’ Championships at Claybury in the afternoon (although that didn’t stop some doing both).
Team: 1, Charnwood 30:19; 2, Bristol & West 30:33; 3, WGEL 30:40; 4, Aldershot 30:42
Eugene Ayanful and Ronnie Sparke headed the UK Under 20 rankings with their superb performances in 2009.
Eugene ran 10.37 secs for 100m and backed it up with an 11th placing in the 200m of 21.57 secs, while Ronnie ran 14mins 25.1secs for 5000m, which he supplemented with a 9th placing in the 3000m with his 8mins 21.46secs.