Holidays and other commitments meant that only two RPAC athletes competed at the Southern Athletics League match at Lewes last Sunday, joining with colleagues from Holland Sports and Dorking & Mole Valley. However, Jo Davey and Rachel Woodman each competed in 4 individual events, contributing 29 points between them to the team total of 191.
Jo dropped down in distance from her usual 1500m, finishing first in all of the 400m (66.9), 800m (2:27.2) and 400m hurdles (77.7). She also competed in the hammer, scoring more valuable points for the team. Rachel, in her first competition in 6 years, was 1st B string in the long jump (4.80m, just 3 cm off her PB), triple jump (9.17) and 100m hurdles, plus competed in the high jump. Rachel also ran a leg in each of the two relays.
Overall the team were 2nd, just 29 points behind the joint team from Lewes & Haywards Heath. After the first 4 matches the team is lying in 9th place out of the 16 in the division.
The 5th and final match for 2017 is on Saturday 19th August at Hastings.
I’m going to start this month’s update with Communication and Marketing, where we have made a number of improvements over the last few weeks.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that all news items on the website are now automatically posted onto the RPAC Facebook Page. This has already significantly increased the reach of the news items, and hopefully will encourage more people to consider joining the club. The next step will be to activate the club’s Twitter account, and post links to all news items on there as well.
We also have a new flyer for the Summer Evening 10k, using a template developed by Ronnie Murray. We will use this same template for all the races we organise. Ronnie has also nearly finished another flyer for the club itself, which we can use to encourage people to join the club.
Finally, don’t forget that if you want to send an e-mail to either the entire club or to a section of the club, please send the details to “rpac @ rpac.co.uk” (removing the spaces!). Also, if you think you’ve missed a club e-mail (e.g. because it has been blocked by a spam filter) the last 50 e-mails are available on the website, you will need to login to see them though.
It is now just 1 week to go to our annual Summer Evening 10k, at 7.30 pm on Wednesday July 5th in Priory Park. As I write this we already have 374 entries (with an entry limit of 550), so it looks like we are going to have a really good turnout, especially as the weather forecast for next week is looking good at the moment (although that could of course yet change!).
Critical issue at the moment is ensuring we have sufficient marshals on the night. If you are available and haven’t already responded to Wayne Chappell’s e-mail of last week, please do so as soon as possible, which will greatly reduce his stress levels. I am sure there will be another e-mail direct from Wayne in the next few days to remind you again.
The following week will be our annual Summer BBQ, on Tuesday 11th July. This will be at Battlebridge track immediately following each of the junior and senior training sessions. Please put this in your diaries now, Gavin Lawrence will send out full details closer to the date.
It has been a very busy period since my last update. The juniors have competed in all 4 athletics leagues (Lily B, Ebbisham Boys and both lower and upper age groups of the Youth Development League) as well as a number of open meetings; the junior academy members took part in the Quad Kids competition; there has been a joint junior / senior team in the Southern Athletics League; and the seniors have had 2 races in the Surrey Road League and a MABAC fixture.
I’m not going to give details here, as there are news items on the website about all of these, but it is really good to see so many members of the club taking part in these competitions at all levels and age groups. I would strongly encourage those who have not been able to participate in these events to consider signing up for one or more competitions over the remainder of the summer; our aim as a club is to get all our members competing regularly, we now participate in events at all levels, so there is a competition out there that is suitable for everyone. Please talk to a coach or a member of the committee if you are not sure what event(s) you should aim for.
We now have a large selection of club kit available for members. As a reminder:
- Club vests are given to new members on joining. Nat Wilson and Mike Gent have the stock for seniors and juniors respectively, so if you want to purchase a replacement or another vest please contact them
- We have a large stock of club T-shirts in all 3 colours (red, dark blue, light blue) available for purchase. Again contact Nat or Mike.
- Over-the-head personalised hoodies are ordered on a regular basis, an e-mail will be sent out when we are ready to place the next order
- Branded items are available from the iProSports club zone, Ian Martin was proudly wearing his new RPAC baseball cap at the senior training session last night!
- Please note that the zip-up fleeces, beanies and caps are embroidered, so take 7 – 10 days extra over other items. If you order these at the same time as other items, there will therefore be a delay until you receive the entire order
In the absence of any other nominations, Liz Clark is duly elected as a committee member, to serve a 1 year term until the AGM in 2018.
Summary minutes of the May Committee meeting are available here.
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.
This Saturday saw the third of the Southern Athletics League Matches at Tooting Bec.
On a very hot day we had a small but dedicated Reigate contingent with some great performances (and some bold attempts at new events).
Star performances of the day went to Paul Prothero with a win in the 800m and Anousha Wardley winning the Pole Vault with a new PB and English School entry standard.
On such a hot day there were other great performances by Jo Davey (1500m), Joe Jenner (200m, 400m, triple jump and 4x400m relay), Abbie Owens (800m), Paul Prothero (1500m) and Anousha Wardley (HJ). Duncan Wardley cleared 2.80m in his first ever PV competition and then took on the HJ and hammer and I may have achieved a first, competing in the hammer in my Birkenstocks - the result was not impressive but at least I got some points!
There are two more opportunities to represent the club in the Southern Athletics League this summer. If you fancy taking part next time it is a very friendly league with a huge range of abilities and ages taking part in all events - the standard ranges from top county performers to individuals giving it a go for team points, the age ranges is from u17 to vets 75+...and its a lot of fun.
The last two matches are:
9th July in Lewes
19th August in Hastings
Get the dates in your diary and let me know if you wish to take part - look out for an email asking for entries nearer the time...
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.