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.
It's the end of September, the nights are drawing in and the track and field season is over. It's therefore time to turn our attention to cross-country running for the next few months! The seniors have already received details of the fixtures over the winter, an e-mail will be coming out to all juniors in the next couple of days. Please review the fixture list and get the relevant dates in your diaries.
Summer Evening 10k
However, I'm going start my update this month with a look back at the last couple of months. Firstly, the Summer Evening 10k,which we held at the beginning of July in the middle of the heat wave. We had nearly 500 entries and 406 runners completed the course on the night, with no major medical incidents despite the temperature. So not only an excellent turnout, but we also raised over £2,000 for club funds. Thank you to all club members, parents and friends who helped at the event both before and on the night.
In particular, the race would not have taken place without the hard work of Race Director Wayne Chappell and Race Consultant Moray Carey, so a massive thank you to both of them for both this year and previously. Both Wayne and Moray have decided that it's time to take a break from race organisation, so are standing down with immediate effect. However, Chris Veale has already volunteered to take over as Race Director for 2019, thank you Chris! Chris will be looking for an assistant so as to spread the workload, please let him know if you are able to help.
Junior Track & Field Leagues
The juniors have successfully competed in all the following track & field leagues this year, covering all age groups:
- Lily B
- Ebbisham Boys League (joint team with Dorking & Mole Valley)
- Youth Development League (lower age group)
- Youth Development League (upper age group) (joint team with Holland Sports)
- Southern Athletics League (joint team with RPAC seniors, Dorking & Mole Valley & Holland Sports)
Our participation in all these leagues is hugely reliant on us providing people to officiate and help with the events on the day. I won't try to list everybody who has helped in this way, as their names have already been published on the website. However, we do need to ensure that we have sufficient people available to help in the leagues next year, so we will be organising an introductory session for track & field officiating in Spring 2019. Keep a look out for further details.
Having said all that, the most important volunteers are our Team Managers, on whose shoulders falls the responsibility for getting our athletes to the matches in the first place. Thank you therefore to all of Anita Evered, Sam Jenner, Kirsten Mackison and Tessa Wardley. All four of them are however standing down now the 2018 season has ended, as their children are all moving on through the age groups. Adriana Collins (Ebbisham Boys League) and Ashley Burridge (YDL UAG) have already agreed to manage the respective teams for 2019, but the positions are still vacant for the Lily B and YDL LAG. If your child / children will be competing in either of these leagues next year and you would be willing to take over as Team Manager, please contact Mike Gent (see e-mail version for the address) for further information or to volunteer.
At the beginning of September we had our annual club barbecue at Battlebridge after Tuesday training. The weather smiled on us this year and we had an excellent turnout of both juniors and seniors. Thanks to Ian Edmonds and his team for organising, cooking and clearing up afterwards, it was an excellent evening.
Club Mailing List
We are now 5 months into the club membership year, so it is expected that everybody who is planning to renew their membership for 2018/19 will have now done so. With this in mind, we will be removing anybody who has not renewed their membership from the club mailing list by the end of the coming week (7th October). If you have not renewed, this is therefore likely to be one of the last communications you receive from the club!
If you have not renewed for any reason, but still want to do so, please contact Treasurer Paul Chandler urgently.
Beat Box Hill 5k
This morning saw the first running of the Beat Box Hill 5k, 2.5k down the hill, then back up again. The organisers offered us two free places, which were taken by Annette Morris and Moray Carey. Annette finished in the excellent time of 25:39, the 73rd runner across the line, whilst Moray was a few minutes further back. I'm looking forward to hearing what it is like to run steeply downhill, then straight back up again!
Club Championship Half Marathon
For the seniors, we have 3 club championship road races each year, over 10k, 10 mile and Half marathon distances. The RunReigate Half Marathon was once again the half marathon championship this year.
Full championships results are on the website, congratulations to all our winners & runners-up as well as to everyone who raced in the half marathon or any of the other races organised by RunReigate the same day. The highlight of the day looks to have been Fran Dunham holding off new member Matt Ryan by just 17 seconds to claim the senior men's championship. Matt has the consolation of claiming the men's veteran 40 championship in his first competitive race for the club.
Senior Grand Prix
The Grand Prix for the seniors has now completed for 2018, congratulations to all the winners. The final results are on the website, but to summarise the key points:
- In Group 1, Steve Bass retained his first place, despite not finding anyone willing to sponsor his return to the UK for the RunReigate Half Marathon. Andy Walker also stays in 2nd, as Fran Dunham had left himself to much to do to catch him, having missed the early races through injury
- Tom Almond is the winner of Group 2 with a perfect score, but behind him Ginevra Stoneley overtook Gav Lawrence for 2nd place, as strangely Gav preferred to run and win the RunReigate 5k (with its attendant prizes) rather than run the Half Marathon!
- Group 3 is won by Dan Emson-Jukes, I won't mention who came second in that one
- Group 4 was very tight, Michael Clark just edging out Andrew Bamford by 2 points
- Anthony Collins is the winner of Group 5, with another perfect score. However, behind him, the Collins family was prevented from taking a clean sweep, as Kimberly Duckworth's run in the RunReigate Half Marathon meant she edged out Adriana for 2nd place
The Summary minutes for the Committee meeting back in July are available here (website login required).
GB transplant athletes returned with the Overall Best Team Trophy from the European Transplant Sport Championship in Cagliari, Sardinia. Over 50 inspirational transplant athletes who have overcome serious illness have returned triumphant from Cagliari, Sardinia with a haul of medals. The championships are open to all organ and bone marrow transplant recipients and dialysis patients of all ages and abilities from over 25 different countries.
One of the athletes returning was Reigate Priory's Moray Laing from Coulsdon. Moray, who had a kidney transplant ten years ago and already a World Transplant Games champion at javelin, returned with one silver and one bronze medal for discus and javelin.
Moray said it was an honour to represent Team GB at the Games and to compete against other transplant athletes from many European countries. "The Games provide an incentive to keep fit, take advantage of a second chance generously given to me by my donor and to help in promoting organ donation. The coaching and support I have received at Reigate Priory AC definitely helped me in winning the medals. I am also grateful to my sponsor Angelo Conte of Nonna Rosas in Coulsdon who kindly provided my team kit as all team members are self funded or sponsored".
Moray is now preparing for the British Transplant Games in August with a view to qualifying for the British team which will compete in the World Transplant Games next year in Newcastle.
A while since my last update. Club members have participated in many competitions recently, well done to everybody for continuing to take part in both track & field matches and road races despite the very hot weather we've been having.
Particular congratulations to two of our field eventers. Katie Mackison took 5th place in the recent English Schools Championships, whilst a few weeks earlier Moray Laing won silver (discus) and bronze (javelin) medals at the European Transplant Games in Cagliari, Sardinia.
This year for the first time, the veterans in the club have competed in the Southern Counties Veterans AC Track & Field league (South London division). The women finished in 5th place overall, whilst the men were 6th, both out of the 8 participating clubs (and both beat our local rivals Dorking & Mole Valley AC!).
(Alice Smith and Moray Laing in action at a recent SCVAC T&F League)
With this competition, our participation in a joint team in the Southern Athletics League and the various leagues for Juniors, I think we can truly say we are moving to being a club for all disciplines, not just running.
Summer Evening 10k 2018
My thanks to all the 50+ people who volunteered at the Summer Evening 10k earlier this month. Another hugely successful event, with nearly 500 entries and nothing but compliments received. The accounts have not yet been finalised, but it looks like the race has made a significant contribution to club funds yet again, and has also successfully raised our profile with the local community.
Special thanks to Race Director Wayne Chappell and Race Consultant Moray Carey for all their hard work before, during and after the event.
I make no apologies for returning to the topic of volunteering, as having insufficient volunteers available poses a significant risk to the club. Although the Summer Evening 10k demonstrated what we can do as a club, we are still reliant on a relatively small group of members, parents, parents of former members and friends to keep the club running, organise events and take part in all the competitions we do.
Volunteering opportunities currently available include:
- Race Director of the Priory Relays, which are held in Priory Park in early November
- This is probably the simplest of the 3 races that we organise, with both Gavin Lawrence and Ian Martin available to assist and guide the person who takes on the role
- Assisting the Committee with marketing of the club, both internally and externally
- Somebody with experience and access to PhotoShop would be particularly welcome!
- Organisation of senior social events and assisting with the annual senior awards evening
- Longer term, Team Manager of the RPAC team for the Ebbisham Boys League for 2019
- Thanks to Sam Jenner who has been doing this role for the last few years, but her sons are now moving into higher age groups, so will no longer be competing in this league
- Realistically needs to be a parent whose son(s) will be competing in this league next year
If you want any further information about any of these roles or want to put your name forward, please contact me in the first instance (see e-mail version of this update for all contact details).
Please remember that if you want our club to improve and continue to provide the opportunity to participate in all aspects of athletics, then we need people to contribute in many ways, not simply sit on the sidelines and wonder why nothing is happening!
Steve Bass (Men's Captain) and Ronnie Murray (Men's Vice-Captain) are leaving the club to take on new challenges elsewhere in the world (New Zealand and Canada respectively). My thanks to both of them for their hard work and commitment to the men's team.
With immediate effect, Tom Almond is appointed as Men's Captain, assisted by Fran Dunham and Rick Coles as Vice-Captains. Tom, Fran and Rick can be contacted via e-mail.
Beat Box Hill 5k, 30th September 2018
We have been offered 2 free places in this new race, down and up the (closed) zig-zags on Box Hill. If you want to put your name forward for one of these places, please e-mail Ginevra as soon as possible and definitely before Tuesday 7th August.
You must have volunteered in some way in the last year to be eligible, but as long as you satisfy that criteria, the successful applicants will be decided by a draw.
If you haven't already renewed your membership or told Paul Chandler you are resigning from the club, please either pay and / or contact Paul Chandler as soon as possible (via e-mail).
I hope everybody has a good summer, please look out for details of a social event in early September for the whole club and e-mails about the remaining Track & Field events and road races over the next 2 months.
I hope everyone is enjoying the weather, it looks like spring (or is it summer already?) has finally arrived!
First off this month, the technical stuff. The new GDPR comes into force on Friday, 25th May. To satisfy the regulations, we have published the new privacy notice on the website here. You should have already seen this privacy notice in your membership renewal e-mail, but there have been some minor amendments since that went out, so please take the time to review the latest version on the website.
It's been a busy month for juniors and seniors. The Junior Academy competed in a Quad Kids competition back in April, whilst the juniors have had fixtures in all of the YDL (lower and upper age groups), Ebbisham Boys and Lily B leagues, plus the Surrey Track & Field Championships. Reports for many of these fixtures are on the website, but the highlight has to be the 9 medals won at the Surrey Championships including 4 Golds (Katie Mackison, Javelin; Lucy Broderick, 800m; Anousha Wardley, Pole Vault; Lily Cain-Jones, Javelin).
The seniors started with an unusually hot London Marathon. Congratulations to everybody who ran, simply finishing in those conditions was an achievement, and commiserations to those who did not manage to complete. Two of our runners decided to try again at the Milton Keynes Marathon 2 weeks later, but discovered the weather gods were against them as that day was even hotter!
Other races for seniors have included the YMCA 5 and Richmond Half Marathon, but culminated in 4 races in 2 days this past weekend. Sunday saw all of the Sutton 10k, a MABAC fixture and the Southern Athletics League, whilst Monday evening saw an intrepid 11 veterans compete in the Southern Vets T&F League - a new venture for the club.
To help everybody plan ahead for the summer, we are producing 2 flyers covering both competitions and volunteering, one each for the juniors & seniors. The one for the seniors is already available, an A3 copy is on the the new noticeboard at Battlebridge (thanks to Gavin Lawrence for the donation) and A4 versions are also available to be taken away. An electronic copy of the flyer is available here. The junior flyer will be available shortly.
At the AGM, we welcomed two new committee members in Ellis Cain-Jones and Jas Dhanda (who is actually returning to the committee after a break), replacing Christian Froggatt and Ronnie Murray. My thanks to both of them for agreeing to stand and to Christian & Ronnie for their work for the club. The Officers and other committee members remain the same, see the website for a full list. My thanks also to everyone who attended and participated in the discussions.
The major item on the agenda was about volunteering and how to encourage our members and parents to participate in the various opportunities. The discussion was very valuable and ruled out a lot of the suggestions that had been made during the earlier committee brainstorm. Your committee will be taking this forward, but some immediate information:
- To recognise the contribution of our volunteers, we will be publishing the names of everybody who has helped at all events on both the website and the Facebook Page
- With immediate effect, any seniors wanting to enter one of the 3 club organised races (Summer Evening 10k, Priory Relays or Holly Run) MUST also volunteer before or after the race, or provide somebody else to assist during the race. This change is a direct response to the strongly held views expressed at the AGM
- Additional assistance from within the club would be welcome in all the following areas, to assist the designated committee members:
- Marketing (to work with Ginevra Stoneley and me)
- Priory Relays co-Race Director (to work with Gavin Lawrence)
- Volunteering (to work with Liz Clark and Gavin)
- Social Events (especially for seniors) (to work with Gavin)
Ellis Cain-Jones took an action from the meeting to review the current constitution and to propose a way of allowing parents of junior members to have the ability to vote on club matters and to stand for the committee, which is not currently permitted unless they are a full member in their own right.
The summary minutes from the March Committee meeting are available here (website login is required).