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).
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
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.
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.
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).