This weekend was the British Masters Indoor Track championships, with over 650 athletes from all over the UK competing in the 2 days of competition at the Lee Valley Athletics Track. Jo Davey was running in the W45 800m, competing against some of the best Masters athletes in the country.
After a late change in the timings of the races, she found herself competing with the W35 and W40 athletes as well as her own age group. However, this worked to her advantage, as the top two W35s pulled her to a very fast (65 second) opening 2 laps (400m). Jo then fought her way through the inevitable lactic acid build up, finishing in 2:21.86 for 3rd overall and 1st W45 and British Champion.
We believe that time to be a new W45 championship record, and just 3 seconds outside the British W45 indoor record - which is held by Sally Read-Cayton, another Reigate Priory AC member.
In the M65 800m immediately before Jo's race, the 2nd place finisher was Kevin Archer, a former RPAC member before he moved to Weymouth.
On Saturday 7th March, Reigate Priory Athletic Club (RPAC) saw seven new runners graduate following their completion of a successful Couch to 5km course by completing a parkrun at Tilgate.
The Couch to 5km course commenced at the beginning of January 2020 to kick off New Year's resolutions for health and fitness. Meeting in Reigate’s Priory Park every Saturday morning for 9 weeks, the new runners were led out by RPAC leaders and coaches following the well-established NHS Couch to 5km program.
Week by week, each new runner battled through their mental and physical demons to progress on their journey to becoming a runner. They started each week with a led session and were encouraged to follow the program to carry out the second and third sessions on their own, with support offered should it be needed.
With plenty of assistance and encouragement from established RPAC members (see list below) over the 9 weeks during the led sessions, a 5km parkrun was the fitting place to watch the participants graduate from the program.
Each graduate runner was buddied up with an RPAC member for encouragement around the Tilgate course, chosen for its solid paths over the mud that currently sits in Priory Park due to the weekly storms that have hit the UK. In true parkrun fashion, each new runner was cheered to the finish, regardless of the time taken to complete the challenge.
RPAC is incredibly proud of each Couch to 5km participant who not only started but completed the course. Another course is in the planning with details to be published in the Spring.
On a wet and blustery morning, an impressive 25 athletes took to the start line for our Club Championship Half Marathon at Wokingham. The fast, flat rural course makes for a competitive field and a popular race for producing personal bests. Despite the challenging weather conditions, an impressive 12 pb's were achieved, 3 club records broken and the men's team came 2nd.
The battle to be crowned club champion had a group of 5 Priory men running together for the first 11 miles, however it was George Roux who managed to pull away and take the win, becoming the new club champion over the distance. George finished 16th overall out of a field of 2632 achieving a personal best of 72.26 and also breaking the club record. Last year's club champion, Tom Almond finished just behind Roux knocking nearly 5 minutes of his personal best in a time of 72.53 and 18th overall. Charlie Butcher came in next in 73.07, also breaking his previous best time, with Fran Dunham taking the V40 champion title and bringing the men’s team home to finish 2nd overall.
The men's V50 championship went to Graham Bull, whilst Mike Pocock took the V60 title. Matt Aylott, whilst not taking a club championship, broke Rick Coles V45 club record from last year.
For the ladies, Ginevra Stoneley successfully retained her ladies champion title, finishing in 1.28.22 and the first V45 overall. The V35 championship went to Mel-Fulton-Bell, who had only returned from a skiing trip at 1 am on Sunday morning, whilst the V45 and V55 titles went to Ruth Willis and Annette Morris respectively. Annette shattered her own club V60 record, whilst Ruth broke her pb by over a minute after a pep talk at the start!
The others taking part were Matt Ryde, Lee Savage (PB), Rob Wigley (PB), Steve Cheesman (PB), Frank O’Regan (PB), Nicholas Wade (PB), James England (PB), Jas Dhanda, Adam Parkin (PB), Clare Pryor, Ralph Tuckwell, Andrew Pringle, Jack Finn (PB) and Sarah Walters.
Full results are at https://www.rpac.org.uk/seniors/senior-results-database/senior-road-races.
Whilst many were running at Wokingham, Anna Roberson and Kate Knight were running at the Brighton half marathon. Anna set a new personal best by over 8 minutes and Kate ran her fastest half marathon since 2009. Jim Vince had jetted off to the warmer climes of Seville, where he ran his fastest marathon since 2015.
Despite the ravages of Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge the home MABAC fixture was able to go ahead on Sunday 1st March. To say that the course was challenging would be underplaying the depth of the puddles at the back of the park or the slipperiness (is that a word?) of the slope leading up to ridge. Spikes were definitely the order of the day.
A team of 16 RPAC athletes produced some great results. New second claim runner Gavin Fox finished in second place (despite me sending him the wrong way on the first lap - sorry Gavin!), finishing in 33:31, next up was Ian Stammars in 7th place in 36:08, closely followed by Frank O'Regan and Martin Airey. Ginevra Stoneley, Jamilla Ncayiyana and Ruth Willis were the first three ladies home overall. Also running were Alice Smith, Mike Pocock, Andrew Patrick, Linda Rodrigues, Gillian O'Regan (great to see you running again Gillian), Ian Edmonds, Adrian Grant, Anthony Collins. Juliette Stern completed the one lap course despite having challenges with her shoes.
Overall RPAC scored the most points in the two lap race - beating Dorking by 10 points, however, Dorking picked up additional points from the one lap race and pipped us by 4 points. It just shows what we can do when we get a strong team out. We are currently standing in 6th place in the league.
Individual RPAC & team results are available here.
Here is Gavin Fox closing in on the finish.
Last Saturday saw the penultimate match in the 2019/20 Surrey League, at Wimbledon Common. A fantastic turnout of 13 ladies took on the 2 lap 5.5 mile course. The course was largely flat along stony gravely paths before entering the middle section of woods, mud and hills before exiting back onto a flat path back. Fiona Clark led the team back with Eloise Bull hot on her heels. Ginevra Stoneley came in next followed by Jo Davey with Jamilla Ncayiyana finishing 5th and completing the A team. Reigate Priory ladies who have been in Division 1 for over a decade went into the 3rd match in the relegation zone but after today’s effort have pulled themselves up into 12th place, just above the relegation zone. The final match is in Richmond Park on Saturday 8th February.