Senior Section News
Update from the Chair, May 2017
Belated congratulations to Chris Veale and his wife (that really should be the other way round!) on the birth of their twin boys, Rory & Maxwell, at the end of April. The next generation of RPAC juniors?
A very busy weekend just gone. On Saturday the younger juniors competed in the Youth Development League (lower age group) at Hillingdon, in which everybody excelled, setting many PB's. RPAC athlete of the day was Barton Carter, who won both 200m and long jump, setting a new club U13 Boys record in the latter.
On Sunday morning, 15 seniors ran in the MABAC League 5 mile race at Farnham Park. Great team spirit, a lovely location and the sun even came out.
Finally, on Sunday afternoon a combined group of juniors and seniors joined with athletes from Holland Sports and Dorking & Mole Valley in the Southern Athletics League fixture at Horsham. It was great to see a group of seniors competing on the track, something that hasn't happened for a long while. The whole spirit of the day was demonstrated in the pole vault: Anousha Wardley (U20) won the ladies competition with a clearance of 2.65m, whilst Gavin Lawrence (Vet 40) cleared the magnificent height of 1.30m to earn another point for the team.
The previous week the juniors were competing in the Surrey Tack & Field championships. Again, they excelled themselves, with many new personal bests, a number of medals, but the star performance of the weekend was by Katie Mackison. Katie won the U15 Girls javelin with a throw of 39.22m, which was a PB, a new club record and the Championship Best performance (i.e. no U15 Girl has ever thrown further in any Surrey Championships). Well done Katie!
Previous competitions for the juniors have included the first fixtures in all the other leagues: Lily B, Ebbisham Boys League and YDL (upper age group). Full reports of all these are available on the website.
Finally, after the first 2 fixtures of the Surrey Road League, the Senior Men are leading this years competition, an excellent start to the defense of the title they won in 2016.
After the AGM, we still had one committee position unfilled. Liz Clark has subsequently agreed to stand for this position, formally nominated by me and seconded by Ginevra Stoneley. If there is anyone else who would like to stand for this vacant position, you have 14 days from the date of this news item to put your name forward. If there are no further nominations, then Liz will be elected unopposed to the committee.
At the first meeting of the new committee, the following roles were agreed:
- Malcolm Woodman - Chair
- Ginevra Stoneley - Secretary
- Anthony Collins - Treasurer
- Paul Chandler - Membership Secretary
- Christian Froggatt - Competitions
- Gavin Lawrence - Social Coordinator
- Ian Martin - Development
- Liz Clark (Subject to formal election) - Volunteer coordinator
- Mike Gent - Junior coordinator
- Ronnie Murray - Marketing & Communication
The club has two significant events coming up in early July. The first is the 25th staging of our Summer Evening 10k road race on Wednesday 5th July. This is a major event for the club with approximately 500 competitors expected to run, which raises a significant amount for club funds. Details are available at summer10k.com, look out for e-mails from the Race Director Wayne Chappell and Race Consultant Moray Carey about how you can help both before and on the day.
As is customary, the Summer Evening 10k will be followed by our annual barbecue. This is held on a Tuesday evening at Battlebridge after training. Provisional date is Tuesday 11th July, but look at for confirmation and full details from Gavin.
With thanks to Fran Afonso, the club now has a supply of additional branded items of clothing and other kit. These can be purchased directly from iProSports, at the RPAC club zone. All members are able to order direct, there is no need to wait for a club order. The committee decided that the club would NOT take a cut of any sales, the intent is simply to provide all members with a source of branded kit, whilst increasing the awareness of the club within the local community.
There is no change in the arrangements for the standard club kit, i.e.:
- Club vests (for competition) - supplied when a new member joins as part of the joining process. Current members can purchase a new vest from Mike Gent (juniors) or Nat Wilson (seniors)
- Club T-shirts - available for purchase,again from Nat or Mike
- Club "over-the-head" personalised hoodies. We place regular bulk orders for these, please let Mike know if you want to be added to the next order
Big changes are afoot at Battlebridge. In addition to the replacement of the bowls green with a new football pitch, a new (2nd) container will be arriving any day soon. This will include a plumbed in toilet, sink and running water and a large communal area. This is being funded by the successful application to the Tesco's community sports fund last year.
We will share both containers with Redhill Youth Football Club, with our existing container being used for storage only by both clubs.
Antony Read will be organising two summer handicap races in Priory Park. In a change from previous years, these will be held on a Friday evening, to encourage as many people as possible to run. The plan will be to convene to the Dolphin afterwards for a social evening and drinks. Provisional dates are Friday 23rd June and Friday 28th July, confirmation and full details will follow from Antony closer to the date.
Following a discussion at and after the AGM, it has been agreed that we will have a 2 month trial of regular Wednesday evening "recovery runs". These are exactly as described, a steady run of up to 1 hour in between the Tuesday and Thursday speed / tempo sessions led by Ian and Jas. The plan is for three groups to go out each week, at 8+, 9+ and 10+ min/mile pace. As these will be official club runs, each group will be led by a qualified LIRF (Leader in Running Fitness) or coach. Ian Burks has generously offered the use of the YMCA Sovereign Centre to meet each week. Tentative start date is Wednesday June 7th, but look out for confirmation by e-mail and on the Facebook Group.
Summary minutes for April are now available here.
Sutton 10k - 7 May 2017
The senior men pulled-off an emphatic win at the second of this summer's Surrey Road League races, the Sutton 10k, with stellar performances from the scoring three: Marc Graham (4th - 33m43s), Paul Prothero (5th - 33m53s) and Fran Dunham (10th - 34m19s).
These were closely followed by Ronnie Murray (13th - 34m37s), Ewan McKay (34th - 36m15s), Rick Coles (37th - 36m31s), Steve Bass (48th - 37m55s), and Malcom Woodman (45m35s).
Some great times for a slow course - including a well-deserved PB for Fran. We are well placed for the next fixture, the Dorking 10 mile on 4 June. Get your entries in before it's too late!
[Ed]: and don't forget the Dorking 10 is both the Club Championship and a Grand Prix fixture!
Three went to (Mid) Sussex
Over the bank holiday weekend whilst others took part in the YMCA 5 Mile race in Priory Park and the Ranelagh half, 3 hardy souls from RPAC made the (multi distance trip) down the M23 to East Grinstead, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill to take part in the 2017 Mid Sussex Marathon weekend.
The event is split over 3 races over consecutive days, two of 10 miles and one of 10km making up the marathon distance.
The weather was kind throughout the weekend and the kick off event was the the East Grinstead 10 mile on Saturday. Starting from East Grinstead Rugby Club and then heading down a rather pleasant down hill for the first mile (which comes back at you with a vengeance at mile 9), you head along footpaths, over stiles, through woods towards the bank of Weir Wood reservoir, before a long stretch along a wide pathway taking you through the halfway stage. You make the turn and have a nice, but short down hill, before heading slowly upward for the last two miles returning to the rugby club for the finish, and medal one.
Haywards Heath is an altogether different beast of a race, mainly on footpaths and roads the route follows a two lap course starting and finishing at Victoria Park in the town centre. As this race also forms part of the Sussex Grand Prix there were an extra 250 starters which led to a very busy 'race village' before the race. A quick up and back along the high street was followed by a short section around some local roads before heading into an uphill wooded section, looping back on yourself you then head out towards the A272 having a long downhill along the road before heading back into local roads and past many spectators, all cheering and offering much encouragement (and jelly babies), returning to the park before heading out on a repeat loop.
Monday came around and I'm sure with many aching limbs we all convened in Burgess Hill for the final event, a mere 10k! Making full use of the local terrain the course starts at a school and has a short road section before heading to Nightingale Meadows to complete two off-road laps past a water tower at the top of the hill and then back into a valley and before heading up and out the other side in a strange figure of eight, returning for a final lap of the school field before completing your 'marathon'.
Just shy of 200 people completed the full weekend with 700 people taking part in the 3 races. The marshalling was superb and you really can't argue when jaffa cakes and fig rolls are provided at the water stops.
See here for our results.
Surrey Road League, YMCA Fun Runs & RPAC Grand Prix
Surrey Road League
Sunday (30th April) was the first race in the 2017 Surrey Road League, in which the RPAC men are defending their team title. With three to score, our first men home were Fran Dunham (9th), Paul Prothero (10th) and Ewan McKay (26th). They were well back up by Dave Rayner.
The Surrey Road League have not yet published the team results, but it looks like we have (at least) finished in the top 3 teams, competing with Ranelagh Harriers & Woking AC.
It was also good to see Sarah Campbell back racing again, after a layoff through injury.
Well done everyone!
The next SRL race is the Sutton 10k this coming Sunday (7th May), for which we have a strong entry. If anyone has a place but is not running, please can they let Steve Bass know, as he was unable to get a place before entries were full.
YMCA Fun Run / RPAC Grand Prix
Sunday was also the YMCA fun run, with the 5 mile race the 2nd fixture in the Grand Prix for Groups 2 to 5.
We had 31 finishers in the 5 mile, including many trophy winners; Ronnie Murray, Steve Bass, Jenny Millett (running for Tri Surrey), Naomi Wyatt and Annette Morris are those I know of, my apologies if I've missed anyone.
Our sole competitor in the 1 mile race was Mel-Fulton Bell, just 1 week after the London Marathon. Mel did herself and the club proud, being the first lady finisher in 9th overall.
The Grand Prix tables have been updated on the website. There are clear leaders in some of the groups, but still very early days after just 2 of the 8 races. The next race in the Grand Prix is a track 1 mile at Battlebridge on Tuesday 16th May.
Don't forget to get your entries in for the Dorking 10 (June 4th) and Richmond 10k (18th June), both of which are the Club Championship and feature in the the Surrey Road League and the Grand Prix.
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.