A strong turnout from RPAC at the Nonsuch Park MABAC event saw us rise to third position in the league behind Dorking and Wimbledon Windmilers. This is the highest position we have held in the league since we joined in, I think, 2017.
A team of 25 seniors and 1 junior travelled to Nonsuch to run what was in places a very boggy course.
Left to right: Juliette Stern, Debbie Robinson, Melanie Fulton-Bell, Ruth Willis, Euan Willis (hiding behind his Mum), Gillian O'Regan, Toby Kent, Adrian Grant, Alice Tritton-Smith, John Masterson with Peter Luxton hidden behind him, Ian Edmonds, Andrew Patrick, Philippa Drysdale, Lisa Ashley (in yellow shirt), Sharon Miller, Lisa Payn, Frank O'Regan, Paul Sapsard, Ben Stanton, Malcolm Woodman (half hidden), Victoria Stammars hidden by Jake Boud although you can see her leggings and Ian Stammars. Missing from the photo are Mike Pocock and Elaine Reddyhoff.
This is probably the flattest of the races in the league and generally produces some fast times. RPAC athletes took 3 of the top 10 spots with Andrew Reeves finishing in third place, Frank O'Regan in seventh and Ben Stanton in eighth. Bethany Higgins was the first RPAC lady home in 31st place. In the junior race (1 lap of the course) Euan Willis won by a country mile finishing some 4½ minutes ahead of the next placed runner; in fact Euan also beat the first placed senior 1 lap runner by a similar time. We scored the second highest number of points on the day after Dorking.
Here are some action shots - apologies to those of you who I missed - some of you were moving so quickly that my photos are very blurred!
Frank O'Regan, John Masterson in the RPAC vest for the first time and Bethany Higgins
Ruth Willis, Mike Pocock and Jake Boud
Alice Tritton-Smith leading Andrew Patrick, Steve Watkins, Annette with Paul Sapsard following
Paul Sapsard, Peter Luxton and Gillian O'Regan
Malcolm Woodman, Juliette Stern leading Mel Fulton-Bell and Lisa Payn
Ian Edmonds, Debbie Robinson and Adrian Grant
Elain Reddyhoff and Victoria Stammars
This article was written by Linda Rodriguez for The Surrey Mirror
It’s that time of year again – the leaves are turning, the air is chillier, and athletes in vest tops take to the muddy fields and boggy trails to compete in the Surrey Cross Country League.
This Saturday saw the start of the cross country season: Reigate Priory Athletic Club women ran in the first Division 2 match of the season in Richmond Park, while the men’s team raced in their Division 2 match at Epsom Downs.
It was an emotional start to the season for the ladies; teammate Fiona Clark, 41, passed away less than two weeks before the race. Clark, 41, had been a part of the Reigate Priory team for 16 seasons, through 55 races, and had previously won the Surrey League four times. She was a brilliant runner, a great supporter of the league, and had gained the respect and admiration of those who had the privilege to run with her. Clark’s teammates and members of other clubs wore green ribbons for the race to raise awareness of mental health, and the race began after a round of applause for Clark, who will be deeply missed.
Though it was a bit wet underfoot, the sun was blazing as the women set off on their two-lap course through Richmond Park. First back for the team was Natalie Wilson, taking 22nd place overall, with Jamilla Ncayiyana not far behind in 30th position. Ruth Willis ran a great race, becoming the third RPAC woman over the line, followed by Sharon Brennan and Kate Pain completing the scoring team. Linda Rodriguez led the B team home and was supported by Leanne McKeogh, Annette Morris, Sharon Miller, and Kate Knight. The team finished 7th out of 24 teams.
Over at Epsom Downs, the men’s team stands in third place out of nine teams after a great race: Max Smithson was the first RPAC man over the line, taking 8th position, followed by George Roux in 10th; Freddie Roux, Stephen Bass, and Ewan McKay took 24th, 25th, and 26th respectively. Adam Evans, Alex Green, Neil Fenwick, Ben Stanton and Charl Jordaan rounded out the men’s scorers.
Men's Division 2 Epsom Downs
Left to Right: Ian Thomas, Chris Daniels, Rick Coles, Jon Payn, Gavin Lawrence, Alister Moses, Alex Green, Ewan McKay, Steve Bass, Adam Evans, Paul Chandler (kneeling), George Roux, Freddie Roux, Andy Patrick, Steve Cheesman, Ben Stanton, Max Smithson, Felix Smithson, Charl Jordan. Missing from the photo is Neil Freeman-Jones.
Ladies' Division 2 Richmond Park
Back row Left to Right: Catherine Sharpe (Fiona Clark's friend), Nat Wilson, Stewart McIntyre, Kate Pain, Jamilla Ncayiyana, Leanne Mc Keogh, Annette Morris
Front row Left to Right: Former RPAC Member Ali Rustige, Linda Rodriguez, Sharon Brennan, Sharon Miller. Missing from the photo is Kate Knight.
At the start
Nat leading the charge.
Jamilla, Sharon Brennan, Sharon Brennan and Kate
Linda, Leanne and Annette (x2)
You will have seen the report in this week's newsletter about Ginevra's run at the Richmond Runfest Half Marathon on Sunday, wearing an England vest, but may be wondering how she got to be selected. Read on to find out!
England Athletics organise a number of events each year for the "England Masters Age Group" teams, at 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon distances. There is one representative race at each distance each year, in 2022 these will be Great Bristol 10K, the Chester Half Marathon and the Chester Marathon. If selected, these are the races in which you get to wear your England vest and compete against the best Masters athletes in England. There is often a team race against the Celtic nations as well, although the effects of COVID meant this did not happen in 2021.
There are 4 qualification races for each distance. You enter one or more of these races as normal, and pre-register with EA that you are seeking to qualify at the race. On the day, you "simply" need to finish in the top 3 of those in your age category who have pre-registered with EA. If anyone ahead of you has already qualified, they are effectively removed from the results (i.e. you move up a place). There is also a qualification time standard, which you must have achieved in either the qualifying race or in a previous race (since 1st Jan 2020 for 2022 qualification). Achieve all that and you are on your way.
There are club members who are perfectly capable of achieving selection - even if you are not successful, it will give your racing in 2022 a focus and allow you to plan your year around the qualification races.
Full details are available on the EA website here. Or talk to Ginevra or me for further information.
London Marathon Sunday 3rd October 2021
RPAC were strongly represented at the London Marathon yesterday with a team of 13 runners and 29 volunteers taking part (hopefully I have got the numbers correct).
The volunteers had an early start, assembling on Blackheath at 06:15. Donna gave us a quick briefing before we divided into three teams lead by Paddy, Stav and Roger and headed over to the red start. With the staggered wave starts this year there was a constant stream of runners heading for the start and the final person didn't cross the finish line until around 11:00. It was very well organised with each wave being walked up to the gates of Greenwich Park by a line of marshals.
Despite the changes the questions were still the same as in previous years: "Are there any toilets near here?", "Am I going the right way to the red/blue/green start?", "Where is a good place to watch the runners?", "Can I run with my friend (who is in a different start)?" (No!), "I couldn't get to the Excel to pick up my race pack because of the fuel situation, where can I pick it up from?" (You can't, you can't run!). There was a moment of excitement when we had to call the Police to investigate a bag that had been abandoned on a bench - it turned out to be full of old clothes discarded, I imagine, by one of the runners.
For the first of the RPAC runners the race started soon after 09:30 with Tom Almond and Lee Savage getting away pretty quickly. Kate Knight by comparison did not start until 10:53.
Full results will be available in the Senior Results section shortly but here are some of the highlights. Please let me know if I have not picked up your result..
Tom set a new club record in the senior men's category, finishing in 2:28:30 (thereby beating his previous club record by some 8 minutes) and finishing in 59th place overall. He did this despite not being able to keep down water or gels from mile 14 and having horrendous cramp from mile 20. A really gutsy performance Tom (no pun intended) - well done to you sir! Mike Pocock also set an new club in the men's V65 category, finishing in 3:21:28, beating the previous record (held by Mike!) by 7 minutes and finishing 6th in his age group. You are a phenomenon Mike! Rick Coles and Lee Savage both set new PBs and finished comfortably under 3 hours - well done guys! It was a first marathon for Laura Ebbs who finished in an amazing time of 3:08:42 - wow!
In addition to those running in London we had a couple of Virtual London Marathon runners too. This was a first marathon distance for Mike Wylie who clocked 3:04:05 around Dorking and feels that with some specific marathon training he has a lot more to give. Liz Bourns ran a 4:32:09 whilst on holiday in Greece...probably pretty warm and hilly I imagine.
Here are some photos from the day.
Tom Almond powering his way to the finish.
Lee Savage and Rick Coles at the finish. Lee, Tom and Rick on Horse Guards Parade - Rick said that Tom was so far ahead that he'd managed to change before they got there.
Ian Burks looking very pleased to have raised £4192 for the YMCA. If you'd like to add to his fundraising total you can do so here.
Ian Stammars in Birdcage Walk - just 1km to go! Ian with his support crew at the finish. Ian says that he's never going to run another marathon - until next year!
Karima Graham and family at the finish - a new PB for Karima. Well done Karima!
Thea MacDonald at Tower Bridge - Thea said that she was overly optimistic for how the second half of the race would go... I think I'm right in saying that it was a first marathon for Thea. Well done Thea!
It was definitely not a first marathon for Kate Knight - number 85 to be precise - well done Kate!
Surrey Road Relays - Wimbledon Park 4th September 2021
RPAC fielded a strong team for the Surrey County Athletics Association Road Relays held in Wimbledon on Saturday (4th September).
Back row left to right: Karen Lloyd, Peter Luxton, Andrew Bamford, Adrian Grant, Tom Almond, Steve Bass, Max Smithson, Ben Stanton, Andrew Patrick, Frank O'Regan (with Bobby), Ian Stammars, Alastair Swanepoel, Ginevra Stoneley, Jo Davey
Front row left to right: Malcolm Woodman, Angie Steadman, Taryn Bennett, Gillian O'Regan, Nat Wilson, Lucy Berryman, Bethany Higgins, Jenny Carus, Jamilla Ncayiyana
Twenty four RPAC athletes took part and we fielded teams in the Senior Men, M40, M60, Senior Ladies, Ladies V35 and Ladies V45 races. All teams competed strongly but the ladies V45 team produced the stand out performance of the day taking the gold medal position by nearly three minutes. The ladies V45 team comprised of Ginevra Stoneley, Jo Davey and Nat Wilson. They came first, second and fourth respectively in their age category. The ladies V35 comprised of Taryn Bennett, Gillian O'Regan, Angie Steadman and Karen Lloyd took bronze in their race. Fastest finishers were George Roux for the men, finishing in 15:09 and Ginevra Stoneley was our fastest lady, finishing in 17:56. It was good to see Steve Bass back in an RPAC vest after his Antipodean Adventures.
The races comprise a lap of approximately 3 miles starting and finishing on the athletics track in Wimbledon Park. From the start the course leads out of the park into Wimbledon Park Road and up past the All England Tennis Courts on Church Road - that hill seems to get progressively steep - before turning left into St Mary's Road (still slightly uphill) then via Arthur Road and Hone Park Road back into the park. The finish is approximately 200m on the track. The senior men's race is 6 laps, the M40 is 4 laps, the M60 is 3 laps, the senior ladies and ladies 35 run 4 laps and the ladies 45 run 3 laps.
Full details are in the senior results section. Well done everyone!