Senior Section News
Update from the Chair, March 2019
Welcome to my update for March 2019. As the club constitution limits the officers of the club to 3 terms, each of 2 years, this will be my last update, as it is 6 years this April since I took over as Chair.
Please note that nobody has yet shown a willingness to take on the role of Chair, so it may well be that as of the AGM, the club will not have anyone in the role - which causes problems with both the day-to-day running of the club and with our EA affiliation! If anyone wants information about what the role entails, please contact me.
Please read on for information about the changes that are proposed to the constitution and the arrangements for the AGM.
Please see the e-mail version of this update for e-mail addresses.
Competition & Awards
I'll start this month though with competition, in particular the last fixture in the Ladies Surrey League. At this race, our Ladies team defied the odds to retain their place in Division 1 for the 15th successive year. Well done to everyone, and a massive thank you to our Ladies Captain, Nat Wilson.
The next day, we organised our first MABAC fixture, 5 miles around Priory Park in the rain and mud. We have had some very complimentary feedback, so congratulations to everyone who ran, thank you to all the volunteers and especially to Claire Humphrey and Jas Dhanda, who between them did most of the hard work.
The following weekend, at the Junior & Senior Ladies end-of-cross country meal, we were able to celebrate the successes in the cross-country competitions this winter, as well as the Junior performances in track & field last year. Well done to everyone who competed in any race or match and congratulations to the awards winners.
The same day, Lucy Dénecé ran in the CAU UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships at Loughborough, where she was part of the Surrey U13 Girls team who won the Gold medal. A really good result for both Lucy and Surrey!
I'll finish this section with advance notice that MABAC will be organising a pairs relay on Sunday 18th August. This will be a 10 x 1k relay, with each team member running 5 legs. The race will be followed by a barbecue. We are checking whether the juniors will be allowed to have more than 2 runners per team, if the answer is yes, then we will be able to make this a day out for the entire club!
Changes to the Constitution & AGM
As I alluded earlier, changes to the club constitution will be proposed at the upcoming AGM (7 pm on Wednesday 24th April). The full details of the changes will be published along with the AGM notification at the beginning of April, but the intent of the changes is:
- Allow parents/guardians of junior members (not junior academy) to fully participate in the running of the club, by allowing them to:
- Vote at the AGM
- Stand for election to the Committee, as both executive officers and non-executive members
- This change will significantly increase the number of people eligible to take on these roles, thus easing the task of finding sufficient volunteers to keep the club "running"
- Formalise the transfer from junior academy member to junior member of the club
- Any club member 10 or over on the 1st May, but under 18 on the same date, will be a junior member
- This will make it easier for the coaches to identify those club members who are / will become eligible to compete as U13s in the following year
- It will also simplify both the membership renewal process and EA affiliation as juniors turn 11
- This change affects the membership status of juniors, not necessarily where or when they train. The latter will still remain as a discussion between the juniors themselves, their parents/guardians and their coach
These changes will be taken as the first item on the AGM agenda. The changes need to be approved by at least 2/3 of the senior members present. Assuming the changes are accepted, then parents/guardians of juniors will be able to fully participate in the rest of the meeting, including voting and standing for the committee.
First Aid course
Ian Martin has organised a First Aid course on the evening of Thursday 4th April (7-10 pm). This will be open to all club members and parents, but priority will be given to coaches, officials and parent helpers, all of whom need to have a current first aid qualification.
If you would like to attend this course, please contact Ian as soon as possible.
The club has a number of sources of club kit, as follows:
- Every member will be given a club vest on joining. These are held by Nat Wilson (for the seniors) and Mike Gent (for the juniors). Replacement vests can also be purchased for £15. Please contact Nat or Mike if you haven't got your club vest or would like a replacement.
- The club also has a good stock of club t-shirts in all sizes and colours (red, dark blue, light blue). You may well have seen these being modelled by many members at both training and matches! These are available to purchase for £12.50 (juniors) or £15 (seniors). Again, contact Nat or Mike.
- The club regularly orders personalised hoodies, there is a request for orders out at the moment, see the recent e-mail from Mike Gent. You have until 23rd March to place your order!
- Crop tops are also available for the ladies & junior girls, see the website for details of how to order
- Finally, there is a wide range of club-branded kit available from iProSports.
All this information (but in greater detail) is available on the website.
Two new articles about volunteering have been added to the website, see here. These cover the role of Race Director (by Ian Martin) and volunteering at the London Marathon (by Liz Clark).
Summary minutes from the January and February 2019 committee meetings are available here (website login required).
Ladies Surrey League Cross-Country
The RPAC Ladies team survived relegation from Division One of the Surrey Cross-country League on Saturday in the last match of the women's season.
Running at Lloyd Park in Croydon, we went into the race 13 points deep into the relegation zone with Dulwich our closest rivals.We were without a number of the regular runners through injury, but still managed to field a team of 6 in the sunshine.
Jo Davey set off leading the team, with Ginevra Stoneley hot on her heels. Ginevra eventually overtook her teammate and continued her lead to finish first for the team, coming in 40th place (34:37). Jo finished a short way back in 47th (35.01). She was followed by club captain Natalie Wilson in 50th (35.23, showing a welcome return to cross-country form) and debutant Leanne McKeogh in 75th (36.34).
Also making her debut was Gillian O'Regan who despite never racing before, brought the ladies team home in 152nd (46.44). Annette Morris closely followed Gillian in 154th (47:01). providing welcome backup.
At the end of the race the team had finish 12th, and with Dulwich pulling off a fourth-placed finish it seemed as if we would be relegated. However, despite Guildford and Godalming going into the race 207 points ahead of us, their team struggled with injuries and finished 18 points behind overall, condemning them to relegation and keeping our Ladies team in Division One for a 15th year!
SURREY COUNTY INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS 16 & 17 FEBRUARY 2019
A small group of RPAC junior athletes had mixed fortunes in the County Indoor Championships at the David Weir Leisure Centre over the weekend.
Barton Carter jumped good distances in the U15 long jump, but consistently failed to reach the take off board, finishing in 4th place. Eva Peters had 3 jumps over 4 metres in the U15 long jump, with her best just below her PB. In the 60 metres sprint heats Eva improved her PB by 0.3 seconds, just missing out on a semi-final place.
On Sunday, Drew Burridge, running in the U17 60 metres as practice to sharpen his starting for his favoured 400 metre event, ran just below his PB. Drew was compensated by a 3rd place medal in the U17 shot putt, achieving over 9 metres in his first ever competition in the event. Jake Chandler, in his first ever competition, ran creditably in the U17 60m
Update from the Chair, January 2019
I write this whilst waiting to see if the forecast snow falls overnight. We'll either wake up to a white world or nothing at all if the forecasters have got it wrong! Be careful when you're out running in this weather though, even if there's no snow it's bound to be icy.
At the the recent award's evening, I was delighted to be able to present the Ted Baker Award for 2018 to Mike Scott. Not only does Mike find time to train for ultra marathons, but he can be seen out early before every one of our races marking the course (dragging a wheelie bin of stakes behind him) and is also the Race Director for our annual Holly Run. In the latter role, Mike has halted the decline in entries and put the race on to a much sounder financial footing. A worthy recipient of the Ted Baker Award, congratulations Mike.
I'd like to take this opportunity to describe a number of future opportunities for every member, parent and friend of the club to get involved. More details will be sent out closer to each event, but please put the dates in your diary now if you think you are able to help. The list of roles is not exhaustive, your assistance will be required in other ways as well.
- MABAC race, Priory Park, Sunday 3rd March
- Marshals, finish funnel officials, first aiders
- Youth Development League (Lower Age Group) match, Saturday 27th April
- co-hosting with Holland Sport at K2
- Field & track officials & helpers, scorers
- London Marathon start, Sunday 28th April
- Donna Barrington-Smith will once again be organising us
- Meet & greet of runners before they enter the start
- The marathon make a contribution to the club, and people who help normally get a t-shirt or similar
- Southern Vets T&F League, Ewell, Monday 20th May
- Co-hosting with Epsom & Ewell
- Field & track officials & helpers, scorers
- London Vitality 10k, Monday 27th May
- For a number of years, Donna has also organised a small group of club members & friends to help at the start of this race. However, she has decided not to do so again this year
- The opportunity still exists to help, for which the club receives a donation and the helpers get various "goodies"
- For that to happen, we will need somebody to organise. If you want to know more about what this entails, please contact Donna by e-mail (see e-mail version of this update for address)
Turning to competition, congratulations to all our juniors who ran in the recent Surrey Schools cross-country championships, especially to Lucy Broderick and Lucy Dénecé, who have both qualified to compete for Surrey at the English Schools cross-country championships in March. Before then, they will be joined by another 7 RPAC juniors in the South East Inter-counties matches. Full reports on both the Surrey Schools and South of England championships have been posted on the website.
For the seniors, the men have their last Surrey League cross-country fixture on Saturday 9th February. The team are currently in 4th place (out of 9), so look well set to stay in Division 2 for another year. The ladies still have two fixtures remaining, following cancellation of the January event. At the moment the team are in 12th place, just out of the relegation places, so captain Nat Wilson is looking for a strong turnout in the remaining races to maintain or improve this position.
Staying with the seniors, we have recently created a "Rogue's Gallery" on the website, with the intent of allowing all seniors to post a photo of themselves. (Note that login to the website is required.) This will help us all recognise each other when we are out and about. To get yourself added to the gallery, please email a photo (preferably recognisable!) using the e-mail address on the website.
Update from the Chair, December 2018
I'm writing this listening to the wind and rain lashing against the window, a far cry from our long hot summer which is now just a distant memory. I hope everyone is managing to keep keep training & competing despite the weather, it's good for your athletic performances in the long run (honest!).
On the subject of winter running, please remember that it's a good idea to wear high visibility clothing and carry a torch if you are running on the road after dark. High visibility and bright clothing is mandatory on any autumn/winter road runs organised by the club - the coach in charge of the session will not let you participate if you are not suitably equipped. This is covered in the "Code of Conduct for Road Running", available on the website (login required). The monthly Jimmy James handicap also requires participants to carry a suitable torch.
This Code of Conduct has recently been updated to allow our older juniors (16 and over) to participate in road sessions with the seniors, allowing for the necessary safeguards. A number of our juniors have already taken advantage of this, joining in with Jas Dhanda's Thursday evening sessions.
A massive thank you to everyone who helped at any of our recent races, the Priory Relays and the Surrey Men's X-C League fixture at the start of November and the Border League X-C last weekend. We have had nothing but compliments about all 3 races, so well done everyone!
Our next race is the Holly Run on Sunday 16th December, where we are expecting to have over 400 runners across the 8 races. The benefits to the club include raising our profile in the local community, helping us to identify prospective new members, providing competitive opportunity for local runners and raising funds for the club. This is only possible with a large number of marshals and other roles. I know there are positions (10 or more in both morning and afternoon sessions) that have not yet been filled, so if you have not already volunteered, please contact Nat Wilson (see e-mail version of this update for the e-mail address) as soon as possible to offer your help.
Still on the subject of volunteering, Donna (Barrington-Smith) has recently written about her experiences since she first volunteered as an official over 10 years ago. The full write-up is on the website (no login required this time), but to give you a short flavour:
"When you’re watching your child regularly enjoy the variety and competitiveness of athletics, and you’re travelling many weekends from a track one week, to a cross country course another, then you’re asked if you’d help the athletics club to be in a position to join an athletic league as they have to provide ‘officials’ – what do you say?
Of course you say yes! And so RPAC joined the Lily B league for the first time... And I, somehow, became an UKA Technical Timekeeper. ...."
The same page also includes a short article from Liz Clark about volunteering at the Vitality London 10k. It is our intent to add further write-ups about other roles within the club - if you want to contribute please let me know!
I'm pleased to be able to announce that Clare Pryor has agreed to resume her role organising the club social events, even though she is not on the committee. If you have any suggestions for social events (for juniors or seniors) or are willing to help organise an event, please contact Clare (see e-mail version of this update for her e-mail address). Thank you Clare!
Clare is already hard at work sorting out the details of the annual Awards Evening, which is provisionally booked for Saturday 19th January 2019. Watch this space for further details as soon as they become available.
For the seniors, Ian Edmonds is organising the annual "Turkey Trot" in conjunction with the Polesdon Lacey 10k on Sunday 23rd December. Full details are on the website calendar and will be published on the Facebook Group.
Former member and super-vet Kevin Archer recently e-mailed Nat to give an update on his results this year, including a silver medal in the M65 1500m at the World Masters Championship in Malaga, in a time of 4:50.98. See here for the full text. A great shame that Kevin moved away from the area, so had to leave the club, he would be giving Mike Pocock & Paul Chandler a run for their money in our age group championships!
It simply remains for me to wish everyone a Merry Christmas / Season's Greetings, and to hope that everyone has a successful and injury-free 2019! I l hope to see many of you at the Holly Run on 16th December.
A message from former member Kevin Archer
For those that remember former member Kevin Archer, he recently sent Nat the following update on his athletics:
One of the reasons you’re so hard to forget is that last December time you were appearing regularly in the Athletics Weekly results, ‘stalking’ and even beating some of my former rivals, good athletes as well. I didn’t write to say well done then, because I was a bit injured, and didn’t want to make you big-headed. Now, I see your ladies team got the bronze at the Surrey Road Relays, so well done for that too. Of course, my Indoor and Outdoor track seasons did pick up, so I thought I’d do a bit of bragging too! I’ve probably missed loads of other good performances you’ve done, so hit me with them to get your own back, if you want.
I’ve had a stellar year.
Indoors - South of England 800m title (just did the one race); Inter Area 800m/1500m titles; silver in the British Champs (feeling rough, and defeat since avenged).
Outdoors – I won the Westminster Road Mile for the second year in succession, at the end of my age-group, beating Lord Sebastian Coe again (he's 3 years younger, but perhaps he wasn’t trying quite as hard as me?!
On the track, I did the South West and South of England 800m/1500m doubles; Inter Area 800m (just the one race); British Champs double. British lead 800m time by 8.74 secs, with 2:21.66, which is 2nd fastest all-time; 1500m by 8.9 secs, with 4:50.98 which is 3rd fastest all-time British run. British track Mile record 5:241 (still a soft record). World Champs 800m 4th, and 1500m, silver recently in Malaga. Now I’m full of the ‘flu and possibly a urinary infection, or heaven forbid something worse!! The ups and downs of stardom, eh! One of my long-time German rivals took a picture of us and sent it to the German press, so I am internationally famous now.
From June, my rise to fame was mainly because I moved into a new age-group (so I thought, you’re running against old men here, make it count!) Did you move up age-group?
Do you have a club house there? If so, be a sport and organise a plaque in my honour would you?!!! Well, perhaps not, but say hello to anyone who remembers me. I remember you once said, leaning over the balcony, just like Juliet, that you would be looking after me in a few years. Where are you now, when I’m just recovering from death’s door?!
I will still have to come and do the parkrun one day.
Best Wishes and happy running,
Photo shows me finishing 2nd in the World 1500m final, 7 secs clear of bronze.