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.
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.
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.
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).
Seasons Greeting to all RPAC members , parents and friends; and best wishes for a successful and injury free 2017!
My thanks to everyone who volunteered at the Holly Run, but especial thanks to our new Race Director Mike Scott, who continued the slick and trouble free organisation established by Donna Barrington-Smith and her predecessors.
The challenge for 2017 will be to increase the participation across all the races, whilst not losing the focus on traditional cross-country races.
Congratulations to everybody who has run in any races for the Club in the last year, I think we have (using a boxing analogy) "punched well above our weight" in Junior & Senior Sections. There have been outstanding results in both individual & team competitions across all age groups, and we should all offer our thanks to our coaches who spend many hours in all weathers to achieve these results. I'm looking forward to being able to report continued success in 2017.
Awards Evening and Social
The annual awards evening and social is on Saturday 21st January, at Reigate Manor Hotel. This will be a less formal event than the last couple of years, with a buffet rather than a sit-down meal. All senior members, juniors over 16, parents and friends are welcome. The evening is subsidised by the club, so will cost only £10.50 per person. See Clare Pryor's recent e-mail for full details and how to book your tickets.
Following recent discussions about the lack of team competitions for the "less-competitive" senior runners, it has been decided that the Club will join the MABAC league for 2017. Quoting from the MABAC website (http://www.mabac.org.uk/): "MABAC arranges a series of races throughout the year, particularly aimed at the fun runner. Most are cross-country events held on Sunday mornings in some beautiful parts of the Surrey countryside. Afterwards, runners have been known to find a local pub."
Faster runners in the Club should note that their focus should STILL be the Surrey League Cross-country League, County & Regional X-C Championships and the Surrey Road League. If there is a clash between any of these races and a MABAC race, then any runner who usually competes in the Surrey or Regional competions will be expected to NOT instead run in the MABAC race.
Fran Afonso and Ian Edmonds will be organising our participation in the MABAC races, they will send out details in the new year for the first race, an 8 mile road run (with a 4 mile option) in Windsor Great Park on Sunday 15th January. Note this is the day after a Surrey League X-C for both women and men, personally I am planning to race the Surrey League as normal, then use the MABAC run as training the day after.
We will review levels of participation in the MABAC league towards the end of 2017 before making a decision on continued membership in 2018, when we will also need to host a MABAC race (the requirement for which has been waived by MABAC for 2017).
Nick Feakins Award
Following Nick's untimely death earlier in the year, the committee and President John Hopkins have been discussing the best way to establish a permanent award in Nick's memory. Nick was an inveterate racer, both in the RPAC focus races and across the world in far flung races whilst raising thousands for charity.
In view of this, we have decided to establish an annual award to the club member who has the greatest level of participation in races. Initially, this will be based on the results published on the Club website, but members are encouraged to send details of all their races anywhere across the world for consideration. The first award will be made at the Awards Evening on 21st January.
Senior Welfare Issues
After a recent request, the Committee has been discussing whether to establish a specific position for a Senior welfare officer. Our major consideration was the very disparate nature of possible issues that might need to be addressed. In view of this, we have decided not to establish a specific post, instead any information, requests, suggestions or complaints should be addressed to the Club Chair (currently myself) who will pass to the appropriate person as required. An additional recipient has been added to the Club contacts page (http://www.rpac.org.uk/index.php/contact-the-club) under the heading "Other Welfare Issues" to allow this to be done easily.
Offers to Club Members
Information has been received about the Gozo Secrets Half Marathon Package at the end of April 2017. For full details, see the website, http://www.rpac.org.uk/index.php/2015-02-28-17-17-35 (login required).
The summary minutes for November 2016 are available here.