All Club News
Happy Birthday to our President and Founder John Hopkins
Our Club President and Founder John Hopkins celebrated his 90th birthday last Monday. As you know we sent him a card with messages from many of our club members, and a small gift.
Here is John holding a jar of "Hoppy's Murray Mints" which were a gift from the club. We hope you had the best of days John!
Volunteers needed for Sunday, 3rd March
Pertinent reminder - WhatsApp "Reigate Priory AC Alerts" group
We have a group available on WhatsApp for members and parents of juniors to be alerted - for instance in the eventuality of a cancellation of a session due to weather conditions (e.g. last Tuesday's sessions). We encourage all senior members and parents of juniors to get added to this group. You will find the URL address of this group in the email version of the newsletter. We expect that messages will only be sent to this group on rare occasions, and only the coaches will be able to do so.
As a club, we adhere to WhatsApp's safety and responsibility terms by ensuring that all communication on the platform is respectful, lawful, and does not violate any community guidelines. Please find the guidelines here.
Photos from the Award Evening 13th January
Paul has created a photo gallery from last week's awards evening. You can find it here .
Swapping out the calendar on our website
The part of our website which provides the calendar needs to be changed to a different product. This is due to happen next Sunday 28th January.
It is a like-for-like swap, so hopefully the new calendar will work for you just as well as the old one.
Take note though that there may be disruption to the website while it is being modified - particularly to the calendar.
You can always contact us regarding the website with queries or comments via email to
Y2Y North Downs Trek
This year's Y2Y North Downs Trek will take place on 25th March and to get ready, there will be a special training session open to everyone on Sunday, 4th February. This year, there are two options for the training run - a 13 to 15 mile run at 9-minute mile pace led by Mike Pocock and Ian Burks heading south from the YMCA and a 10 mile run at a slower pace led by two runners from the Earlswood Running Club. Even better, there will be tea, coffee, and biscuits on offer before and after the runs, plus showers and free parking at the YMCA on Princes Road in Earlswood.
Volunteers and runners needed for the Run Reigate Winter Canicross and Trail races
Sport Systems are recruiting! by Moray Carey
Sport Systems have provided event management services for RPAC for a number of years.
This has included creating online entry stores for our 3 (now 2) hosted races, supplying race numbers plus timing and producing Results for the Summer Evening 10k.
They’ve also been involved in other local events such as the recent Tadworth 10’s and Surrey County Cross Country championships in which many RPAC members participated.
They’re now "on the look out for talented and enthusiastic people to join our event support and timing teams".
To see their full ad, please click here.
Send us your results, please!
If you participate in an event, let us know your results by emailing Please submit by Sunday evening at the latest to allow us to meet the deadline for the Surrey Mirror sports pages.
Junior Section News
Surrey Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships - Reigate Priory Park - Saturday 20 January from Mike Gent
The Surrey Schools Cross Country championships were held in Priory Park on Saturday. At stake were places to represent Surrey in the English Schools Championships to be held at Pontefract Racecourse on 16 March or in the South East Inter-County matches. Every athlete who ran on Saturday had previously had to qualify by being placed in the top ten for their District in the qualifying races before Christmas, so just having the opportunity to race on Saturday represents a significant achievement.
Up first were the Year 7 girls, Freya Else had a strong race to gain county representation, coming in eighteenth, whilst Charlie Ebbs and Sofia Poole also ran well to finish thirty-second and sixty-sixth respectively. In the Year 7 boys Ted Smythe (pictured above) had a storming race to finish seventh and secure County representation. Keagan Sticker-Timmermans ran well to finish twenty-third out of a field of ninety, just missing out on a County place. In the In the Junior Boys Josh Emmerson had a good run to finish nineteenth and gain a county vest. In the Junior girls there was strong representation from the Club. Isla Kinniburgh was first home in twenty-fifth, just ahead of Florence Tombleson in twenty-sixth and Florence Shade in twenty-ninth. Not far behind were Neve Macgregor, Millie Mckay, Lara Tombleson and Olivia Aries in thirty-sixth, forty-ninth, sixtieth and seventy-first respectively. Florence Tombleson and Florence Shade gained County selection for the Year 7 and 8 South East Intercounties Match.
In the Intermediate boys Pete Littlemore continued his return to form after injury to finish twenty-sixth in a competitive field. In the Intermediate girls Isla Stock and Charlotte Pelekani had strong races finishing thirty-ninth and sixty-second respectively, in a race won very impressively by Katie Pye of AFD, who had won a gold medal as part of the GB U20 team at the European Cross Country championships in December. In the Senior Girls Abbie Smith secured a county vest running well to finish thirteenth.
The day ended on a high with the Senior boys race. A tough course with three long laps taking you up the hill to the top corner of the Park. Our three boys are all bottom of age and faced some strong competition, from three strong top of age AFD athletes in particular. Sam Stapley, fresh from his 15m:11s Park Run the previous week, ran very impressively to finish second. Euan Willis had a great race too, finishing sixth, so both Sam and Euan will represent Surrey at the English Schools Cross Country Championships. Many congratulations to you both. Sam Rolaston also had a very strong race finishing eleventh and will gain a Surrey vest in the South East Intercounties match.
National Cross Country - Saturday 24 February Weston Park near Telford.
This year's National Cross Country is being held on Saturday 24 February at Weston Park country house in Staffordshire. This is a great event with big fields that everyone should experience at some point. Entries close on Friday this week. We already have a team of four athletes entered. There is no cost to enter but I will need to know if your child wants to run by end of day on Wednesday so they can be registered on time (please email ).
Dates for the Juniors diary
Saturday 27th January Southern Cross Country Championship, Beckenham Park
Saturday 10th February Surrey Cross Country League Match 4 - West Horsley Place
Sunday 11th February Border League Match 3 - Merrist Wood College, Worplesdon, Guildford (Please note new venue)
Saturday 17th February Surrey Primary Schools Champs, Year 5 and 6 only, Reigate Priory Park, please note the change of date
Saturday 24th February National Cross Country Champs, Weston Park, Shropshire
Sunday 3rd March Border League Match 4, Reigate Priory Park
Senior Section News
Changes to RPAC WhatsApp groups
From Sunday 28th January we will make changes to some of the club's WhatsApp groups as follows...
For the WhatsApp group RPAC Thursday sessions we will change the permissions so that club members cannot comment and will enable disappearing messages, set to 7 days.
For the WhatsApp group RPAC Saturday Group we will change the name to RPAC Saturday sessions and we will change the permissions so that club members cannot comment and will enable disappearing messages, set to 7 days.
We will create new groups RPAC Monday sessions and RPAC Wednesday sessions, and if you attend these sessions you are encouraged to join the groups. We will set the permissions so that club members cannot comment and will enable disappearing messages, set to 7 days.
For the current group called RPAC Mon and Weds Groups we will rename this group to RPAC Socials. Going forward this group will be dedicated to club chit-chat for seniors and all senior members can comment. You may wish to assess your membership of this group, whether to be added or removed, sometime next week. Membership of this group will not be automatically migrated to the new RPAC Monday sessions and RPAC Wednesday sessions groups; you will need to register for these groups using the links in the email version of this newsletter.
Your session coaches will post any required information onto the WhatsApp group, which will include polls for attendance of the session.
We are making these changes to lay out the WhatsApp groups logically, and to allow members to opt in or out of the social group without compromising their ability to access the groups dedicated to club sessions.
The links to all of these WhatsApp groups will be in the email version of this newsletter, and will also be posted to existing WhatsApp groups this week.
MABAC Windsor Great Park, Saturday 3rd February 09:00
The first MABAC of the year is always a little out of step with rest of the league races; for a start it's longer than the normal distance (at circa 7 miles instead of circa 5 miles) and it's run mostly on tarmac rather being full cross country. This year it's even more out of step as a. it's being held on a Saturday and b. it starts at 09:00 (rather than the usual 10:00). These conditions were imposed by the Crown Estate so unfortunately there is nothing that the league can do about them.
I'm hoping that RPAC members will treat this a sort of Parkrun tourism on steroids and turn in out in good numbers. Last year we finished in our lowest league position for several years. It would be good to turn that around and get off to a good start. If you haven't done one of these races before they are a low key way of representing the club and everyone who runs scores points so the more runners we can get out the more points we score. There is a shorter option of around 2.8 miles if you don't fancy the full distance. You can decide this on the day. There is no need to pre-register, we will sort you out with a number on the day.
This is a lovely run through Windsor Great Park with a great view of the castle at one point. I haven't spotted any royalty in previous years, but there's always a first time!
Car sharing for this race is essential as car parking is expensive. (Again the Crown Estate mandate where we have to park and set the fees - grr!) I would suggest that those of use travelling from Reigate meet in Bell St car park at 07:30 (sorry!) as it's a fair walk from the car park to the start.
There is more detail on the MABAC website or you can email me () if you have any questions.
If you are unable to run but fancy a trip to Windsor I do know that volunteers are needed. Let me know if you are able to help.
Volunteers required for the SCVAC Veterans League
Reigate Priory AC participate in the SCVAC Veterans League, South London Division, competing in four evening track events each year at various area locations. After six years as organisers, Malcolm Woodman and Ginevra Stoneley are standing down and we'll need new volunteers to take on the role. The position largely requires organising athletes and entries, as well as participating in the South London Division committee meeting at the end of January. If you're at all interested or would like to know more, contact Ginevra at .
Dates for Your Diary
Saturday 3rd February MABAC Windsor Great Park (Note Saturday rather than Sunday and 9am start rather than 10am)
Tuesday 6th February Technique session at Battlebridge, 7pm (normal track session to follow)
Saturday 10th February Final XC match of the season, location TBD
Sunday 25th February Wokingham Half Marathon (Club championship)
Keep in touch
If there is anything you'd like to see in the newsletter, get in touch - our email address is .