Senior Section News
Update from the Chair, early April 2017
It is with great sadness that I have to report the untimely loss of another former club member, Chris Milan. Chris both competed for the club and was Race Director of our Summer 10k for some years. A number of club members attended his funeral, to which we sent a wreath. Plans are also being made to remember Chris at this years Summer 10k.
The club AGM is on Monday 24th April, the formal notice and agenda were sent out by e-mail last week. My thanks for their work on behalf of the club to the three committee members who are standing down at the AGM; Clare Pryor, Fran Afonso and Ralph Tuckwell.
There are therefore 3 vacancies on the committee that need to be filled at the AGM. New ideas and views are always welcome, so even if you have never previously been actively involved in the organisation of the club, please consider putting your name forward to stand by contacting Ginevra Stoneley.
For the juniors, March was the final month of cross-country races, mostly for their schools or Surrey County. Congratulations to all the RPAC juniors who competed in any of these races, full reports are available in the earlier news items on the website. Special congratulations to any of you who helped the Surrey teams to one of their numerous wins.
The juniors attention now turns to Track & Field, with the Lily B League (Girls), Ebbisham League (Boys) and Youth Development Leagues (Girls & Boys) all starting very soon. As a competitive athletics club, we encourage all our juniors to compete in one or more of these leagues. Initial details of both the lower age group YDL and Ebbisham League have already been sent out by e-mail.
The final heat of the Jimmy James Handicap was held last Thursday (6th April), with many of the RPAC runners setting their fastest times of the season. This included Claire Humphrey, winner on the night, who ran nearly 3 minutes faster than her previous best time. The overall winner for 2016/17 is Matthew Pont, who increased his lead at the top of the table by running 1 minute faster than previously. Well done to both of you.
A large contingent also ran the the MABAC Winterfold Forest race on Sunday 2nd April. Everyone greatly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and tough course, a full write up by Paddy Patrick is on the website. The next MABAC race is at Farnham Park on Sunday 21st May.
Outside of these two club races, most of the focus has been on races as part of marathon preparation. Well done to the club members who raced the Brighton Marathon yesterday (Sunday 9th), in unseasonably hot weather, and good luck to everyone who is running the London Marathon on Sunday 23rd.
The Grand Prix is also back this month, in it's new "summer only" incarnation. The first race is a track 3000m tomorrow evening (Tuesday 11th) at Battlebridge, The first (slower) race will be at 7.20 pm, but please be there by 7 pm to allow time to allocate everybody to one of the 2 races and to warm up. If anyone is available to assist with the timekeeping / recording, especially for the first race, your help would be greatly appreciated.
Finally, the club is competing in the Southern Athletics League for the first time, in a joint team with Dorking & Mole Valley and Holland Sports. This league is open to both seniors and U20 Juniors (over 17). The first fixture is on Easter Saturday (15th April), the other fixtures are listed on the website calendar. If any senior athletes are interested in competing, please contact Ian Martin, U20 juniors should contact Tessa Wardley.
Don't forget that we now have a stock of club vests (including racer back vests for the ladies) and t-shirts available for sale. If you want a t-shirt or would like to replace your current vest, the contacts are Nat Wilson (for the seniors) or Mike Gent (juniors).
Fran Afonso has also been working on a supply of other club-branded kit, which is very close to fruition, watch this space for further details.
Offers and events for club members
A number of new items this month, more details for all of these are on the noticeboard:
- 30% off at More Miles / 10% at Start Fitness, through the Start Fitness sponsorship of the Surrey Cross-Country League
- Charity race places from Jigsaw (South East)
- Research project into career-ending injury
- Marlow Half Marathon and 7, 5th November 2017
Roles in the wider athletics world
UK Athletics is advertising for a "representative of affiliated clubs" on the UK Members Council, whilst the Surrey Cross-Country League is looking for somebody to fill the new role of website manager. If anyone happens to be interested in applying for either role, please let me know.
MABAC Winterfold Forest, 2nd April
The 2nd April saw Reigate Priory's second appearance at a MABAC event. MABAC league events are run throughout the year on (mostly) off-road courses. Sunday's Winterfold Forest event met those criteria with a (mostly) off-road meander around an undulating two lap 5 mile course in the greensand hills to the west of Leith Hill.
Sunday's whole event could be described, bar the running, as low stress. Race headquarters were a small table 100m down a track from an earth carpark on a minor road, the start marker was a handwritten sign on the ground with teams congregating in flattened undergrowth by the start. The race itself was well marshaled and signed by the Cranleigh Runners organisers.
MABAC races are highly inclusive with times for the 103 finishers ranging from 29.01 (Ollie Garrod of Epsom who was 5th individual points scorer in this year's Div 2 Surrey League) down to 113.26 for a pair of Runnymede Runners. In between these two extremes we had 11 Priory runners lead home by Sonia Galloway (second woman home in 38.59) followed by Paul Sapsard and Mike Scott (39.51 and 39.54). Other Priory runners were;Malcolm Woodman (41:25), Andrew Patrick (42:58), Michael Clarke (45:24), Annette Morris (46:24), Claire Humphreys (49:41), Bethany Higgins (50:44), Carole Merritt (54:07), Liz Clarke (57:25)
There is a team competition with RPAC coming in 5th out of 8 clubs though we were probably only one or two extra runners away from getting to third. 'Probably' as the scoring system appears byzantine, but then I've only spent an hour trying to work it put. One positive though is that absolutely everyone scores.
So, every runner contributes to the team, there are a wide range of runners from our and other clubs to compete (or just to run along) with, entry is covered by the club and the venues are interesting and varied enough for even the most hackneyed of been there done it all runners.
In case it was too subtle, that last sentence was an encouragement to more runners to join us for the third race which is at Farnham on 21/05/2017.
Update from the Chair, February 2017
A short update this month, starting with the recent cross-country fixtures:
As already published elsewhere, all the teams (junior & senior) achieved outstanding results in the Surrey Cross-Country League, overall team results were:
- U13 Boys: 3rd
- U13 Girls: 2nd
- U15 Girls: 1st
- U17 Girls: 1st
- Senior Women: 12th (out of 15, by just 13 points in over 1000), so stay in Division 1 next season
- Senior Men: 2nd, so are promoted back to Division 1
Congratulations to everybody who ran in any of the races, a remarkable set of results!
Many athletes also competed in the South of England Championships at the end of January, led by Felix Vaughan who is the U13 Boys regional champion - well done!
Good luck to the small but select group running in the National Cross-Country championships later today (Saturday 25th Feb).
A reminder that the AGM is on Monday 24th April, 6.30 pm for 7 pm. The formal announcement will follow later in March, but please be aware that Clare Pryor and Ralph Tuckwell are standing down after a number of years of service to the Club, for which I would like to publicly thank them. We therefore need at least 2 additional members to stand for the committee at the AGM. Please contact me if you are interested or want further information.
London Marathon 2017
For many years, the Club has provided volunteers to help at the start of the London Marathon, and we will be doing so again this year. For anyone who has not done this before, it is a great morning talking to and helping the competitors as they make their way to the starts. Please see the e-mail from Donna Barrington-Smith for more information.
The summary minutes from the January Committee meeting are now available, see here (website login required to view).
Senior Surrey League Cross-Country, February 11th 2017
At the start line of the snowy course at Farthing Downs, we had a fair amount of pressure on us all with only 25 points keeping us in Division 1. Despite a tremendous effort by all and RPAC finishing in our highest position of the season, Kent AC beat us by 2 points.
However........we managed to beat West 4 Harriers who were well ahead of us after match 3, meaning we have provisionally stayed in Division 1 by just 2 points - what an achievement and I'm so so proud of the teamwork - without anyone of the ladies who has scored over the past four matches, we would have been relegated.
Thank you to Ian Edmonds for being our nominated official for this event, shame we weren't allowed to put up the gazebo that he kindly dragged along.
At the cross-country dinner later that evening, the Ladies cross-country awards were presented to:
Senior Lady: Naomi Wyatt
Veteran Lady: Fiona Clark
Captain's Award: Ali Rustige
Special awards were made to the the 5 runners who ran in all 4 fixtures: Ali Rustige, Jo Davey, Alice Smith, Annette Morris & Nat Wilson.
Photos of the team and the award winners in action are below.
At a less snowy Lloyd Park, the men achieved a convincing second-place both on the day and overall, thus achieving promotion back to Division 1. I think Guildford & Godalming gave up under our consistent pressure! We broke our curse of a poor first race (this year our first race was the best), and the fact that quite a few different people scored in each race shows we are developing depth. While it may seem a long way away - we can build on this next season and hopefully draw in a few more runners to stay in Division 1 - do put the word out!
At the cross-country dinner the same night, the Men's cross country awards were presented to:
Senior Man: Paul Rodgers
Veteran Man: retained by Ryan Harris
Captain's Award: Ronnie Murray, who had the lowest aggregate score across the four races, and continues to show dedication and improvement
Special mention should go out to the 6 of us who ran in all four fixtures - Henry Munro, Ewan McKay, Marc Graham, Ronnie Murray, Malcolm Woodman & Steve Bass.
We also now know that Paul Chandler was the 2nd overall M60 in the League (best 3), Malcolm was the 5th overall M50 (all 4 races), and Ewan and I came 4th and 2nd M40 respectively (again all 4 races to count).
I'm also pleased to announce Ronnie is now Men's Vice-Captain - following a number of nominations and a bit of arm twisting! Thanks to John Smallwood for his efforts in this role over the last few years.
Update from the Chair, January 2017
Welcome to my first update for 2017, I hope everybody is coping with the continued cold weather!
At the Awards Evening last Saturday, we recognised two stalwarts of the Club. First, the Ted Baker Award for service to the club was presented to Greg Knott.
Greg was an active senior runner with the club in the 1990's, until he cracked a bone in his leg during the Priory Relays (he still finished!). He served on the Committee from 1998 through 2008, as Chairman from 2000 to 2006. Greg started helping John Hopkins coach the Senior section, then moved on to the Juniors when the Junior Section was re-founded in 2003. He has specialised in sprint, hurdles and jumps coaching, achieving his level 3 coaching qualification in those disciplines. Highlights of his coaching career are the multiple English Schools silver medals achieved by Lucy Hoad and Sophie Ellis. The Award was presented to Greg by both Lucy and Sophie.
Secondly, Honorary Membership was awarded to Ian Moore. Ian joined the club in 1984, competed for the club for many years and served on the Committee in the late 1980s. In 1993 Ian was the instigator of our Summer Evening 10k, and was the Race Director for 11 years.Before 1993, the Club finances were not healthy, but the surplus the Summer 10k has made ever since has contributed to a significant turnaround. Ian also set up the Jimmy James handicap in 1998, in memory of club member Jimmy and his contribution to the club. Turning his talent to other areas, Ian was also the DJ at many of the social events organised by the Club. Even now, after over 30 years of service to the Club, Ian can be found volunteering at many of our Club events.
My personal thanks to both Greg and Ian for their service to the Club over many decades, we all have a lot to live up to!
Significant races in January for both the Junior & Senior Sections have been the Surrey County X-C championships and the 3rd fixture of the Surrey X-C League, the Juniors competed in the Surrey Schools X-C, whilst the Seniors had their first race in the MABAC League. There have been outstanding individual and team performances in all of these races, which are fully documented in the news items and results on the website, congratulations to everybody who has run in any of these races.
Current team placings in the Surrey X-C League are:
- U13 Girls - 2nd
- U15 Girls - 2nd
- U17 Girls - 1st
- U13 Boys - 4th
- Senior Ladies - 12th
- Senior Men - 2nd
The 4th and final fixture is on Saturday 11th February, let's aim for a massive turnout in all races, to consolidate the current team places. This is especially important for the senior men, who are looking to gain promotion back to Division 1 and for the senior ladies, who need hold on to 12th to retain their place in Division 1 for yet another year.
For the girls / ladies fixture at Farthing Downs (Coulsdon) on 11th February, we have been asked to provide a volunteer to help marshal. If anyone is able to help, please contact Ladies Captain, Nat Wilson (see e-mail version of this update for her address). Thanks.
Good luck to everybody who is running in the South of England Cross-Country Championships at Parliament Hill tomorrow, Saturday 28th January.
Jimmy James Handicap (Seniors)
After 4 of the 6 races in the re-instated Jimmy James handicap, the current leader is Mick Heaver on 28 points. However, with 2 more races to go and only the best 4 finishes to count for each runner, there is a large group who can still win the overall competition. Remaining dates are Thursday 23rd February and Thursday 23rd March. Full details of the new arrangements are on the website, see here.
The AGM is booked for Monday 24th April, YMCA Sovereign Centre, Slipshatch Road, Reigate. The meeting will commence promptly at 7 pm (earlier than in previous years), to ensure we are finished by the time the building needs to be vacated. Full details will be distributed closer to the date.
Offers & Events for Club Members
- Through to the end of January, Run Reigate are giving 10% of all race entry fees for this year's Run Reigate events to the George and the Giant Pledge fund (#Georgeandthegiantpledge).
- On 1st March, there is a talk by Peta Bee, discussing the latest in good nutrition for adult endurance running, To book a place, register here.
Full details of both of these are on the club noticeboard (login required).
Summary Minutes from the December 2016 Committee Meeting are available here.
Senior Ladies Surrey League X-C, 14th Jan 2017
Despite many of the team suffering from various bugs and lurgies, the team had a very tight top 5, giving us another boost to our team points and moving us a step closer to securing another season in division 1. We are currently in 12th place overall, just 25 points ahead of Kent AC (892 vs. 917 points), with the teams in 13th, 14th and 15th at the end of the season being relegated to division 2. No pressure ladies, but we all know what we have to do for the last match!!
Thanks to Ian Martin for coming to cheer us on, it was certainly appreciated. For this match, we had to supply a volunteer from the club to Marshall/officiate at the venue, so a big thank you to Sue Carnell who did so on behalf of the club; whether she volunteered or was volunteered is still being decided, but nevertheless standing out in the cold for all the ladies races was tougher I'm sure than taking part.
Final fixture is in Coulsdon on Saturday February 11th. There will be a celebration in the evening to mark the end of the season, which is usually involving food and drink - more details on both the race and the celebration to follow.