ATHLETICS: Wootton get their season off to a flying start

Some of the Wootton Road Runners who took part in the London Marathon
Some of the Wootton Road Runners who took part in the London Marathon
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Wootton Road Runners got the season off to a flying start in April with huge numbers of runners achieving marathon success across Europe.

In Rotterdam at the start of the month, there was a massive PB for Josie Pickering who sliced 52 minutes off her previous marathon best to come home in 4 hours 43 minutes. Alexa Osborne in 3.48.51 also enjoyed a superb run out, recording a PB by eight minutes which will allow her to qualify for a good for age place in next year’s London Marathon. Veteran runner Mike Kendall took on the Boston Marathon finishing just under the four mark in a time of 3.59.29 while Becci Tomlinson completed her seventh marathon in Paris in 4.05.32.

GREAT EFFORT - Andy Green

GREAT EFFORT - Andy Green

A total off 29 Wootton runners also took on the London Marathon this month, with Andy Fairley finishing first for the pink and purples in an excellent sub-3 hour time of 2.53.22. Next up was Kevin Myers in 3.19.14 and Simon Tootell with a 3.22.24 finish, followed by Mark Coupland in an impressive 3.39.21. Bjorn Van Uem in 3.46.14, Mike Kendall in his second marathon in under a week in 3.48.55 and Tony Swindells 3.59.01 were all also under the coveted four hour mark. Michael Burke continued his preparations for the Comrades marathon with a 4.01.52 finish while Tony Amato completed his first marathon in a very creditable 4.23.23.

The first Wootton lady to complete the course was Maree Jesson in 3.23.04 followed by Louise Birkett-Swan in 3.43.32. Antoinette Kiely’s time of 3.51.15 was good enough to secure her another GFA place at next year’s race while Michelle Dixon also dipped under four hours with her time of 3.56.34. Jacqui Bark, who ran a PB of 4.08.04, Laura Loveridge 4.30.04 and Irina Lewis in 4.32.43 will all be pleased with their run outs. Gerald Billis who finished in a time of 5.23.46 despite painful knees also qualifies as a Good for Age for next year’s race.

More than 20 Wootton Road Runners also braved hot and humid conditions to take on the Brighton Marathon. The first home for the club was Niall Gardiner in a new PB of 3.24.49, shortly followed by Chris Fulthorpe in 3.52.45. New ironman Gillian Jakeman was the first Wootton lady to cross the finish line in a new personal best of 3.53.41 while there was also a PB for Sam Inniss with an impressive 3.56.31. Ben Griffiths, 4.03.34 and Kay Duffy 4.10.40 also enjoyed good run outs and came away with PBs while Hannah St Ledger’s time of 4.36.24 was the fastest she has run over the 26.2 mile distance. Just dipping under five hours also gave Kate Longhurst a PB of 4.57.07 while Dave Osborne completed the race in 5.40.59. Julya Huntley- Welsenaer, who completed the race as part of a series of events to raise money for GIST UK and Cancer Research, finished in 6.18.46.

Rose reaches his century at MK

SILSON AC’s Paul Rose is celebrating after he completed his 100th Marathon at Milton Keynes at the weekend.

Rose was accompanied by friends and family on the route, some running, some supporting, and was welcomed home at the finish by a big crowd of his supporters.

He was awarded his ‘100 Club’ t-shirt and medal and much celebration followed.

Rose already has marathon 101 planned for next weekend.

Also completing the Milton Keynes Marathon, Marathon Relay and Half Marathon were these Silson AC runners, some of whom were first timers to the 26.2 mile distance.

Marathon: David Morris, Richard Popiel, Jo Japp (first timer, who managed to set a new club (Silson AC) record with her sub four hour time, Sue Torrance, David Jarrett, Michael Spencer, Bob Kellam (also a first timer), David Morley and Caroline MacKenzie.

Marathon relay: Julie Long, Linda Lytollis, Melanie Bignell and Madeleine Moutrie (each covering 10k).

Half Marathon: Brian Keers, Grace Rogers, Chelsey Rose, Stephanie Spencer and Ann Williams.

Heidi Blitcliffe-Gray, Jake and Angus Morris and James and Graham Conquest took part in the Thornborough 5 mile fun run on Bank Holiday Monday.

Blitcliffe-Gray smashed her personal best from last year by a tremendous four minutes and 13 seconds and James was the fourth male home and first in the Under-13 age category.

Husband and wife team, Ben and Gemma Hinton enjoyed some time to themselves whilst running the 10 mile distance at the Thornborough event.

Ben found another gear at mile seven and finished in 80 minutes, whilst Gemma managed to knock seven minutes off from her previous year’s time.

Meanwhile, Silson AC’s Archie Tattersall, Paul Holmes and the Rose, Long, Lytollis and MacKenzie families all completed the Milton Keynes Rocket 5K race on Sunday.

Green doubles up in his charity challenge

NORTHAMPTON runner Andy Green took on the challenge of running the London Marathon - and then the following Wednesday setting off on a 270 mile cycle ride to Bois Bernard in France!

This double challenge was undertaken by the 53-year-old to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust Ward 39 at Nottingham Queens Medical Centre, who cared for his nephew Connor, from Wellingborough, during his treatment for a rare form of cancer that affected his windpipe.

Following Connor’s successful chemotherapy treatment and his full recovery, Green thought he ought to try to help the ward that helped Connor so much.

When asked about the challenge, Green said: “Running the London Marathon for sponsorship has been done before, so I thought I should go the extra miles because of the fantastic job that the Teenage Cancer Trust did for Connor.”

Green’s time for the London Marathon was 3:03:29 which qualifies him for an automatic ‘good for age’ entry next year and was in 2,288th place out of more than 39,000 runners.

The cycle was completed over three and a half days, with a total time cycling of 15 hours.

Green was greeted by his family and friends on completion of the ride in France last Saturday.

The full details can be seen and donations made to the Teenage Cancer Trust ward that looks after young people from Northamptonshire at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andygreen305.

Weakened R&N claim big win at Nottingham

RUGBY & Northampton were in UK Youth Development League action over the weekend, with the club’s young athletes battling blustery conditions to record victory at the event in Nottingham.

A number of the club’s top performers were unavailable to take part in the competition but, despite the under-strength squad, and the very strong winds, R&N came out on top to take the overall win from Birchfield Harriers, with hosts Notts AC close behind in third.

Throwing and jumping events proved more difficult due to the weather, but that didn’t bother Alex Hamling, who set personal bests in the shot put (13.85 metres) and discus (39.65m) on the way to two runner-up finishes in the under-20 male category. Paddy Price went one better, taking first in the hammer with a distance of 57.07m.

Kiona McLennon was a double runner-up in the shot put (11.15m) and discus (32.44m), while Evie Harris-Jenkins added another second place for the under-20 women, following a javelin throw of 38.74m.

For the under-17 men and women, there was multiple success in both A and B-string events. Ben Gidley and William Ballinger were the javelin winners with respective throws of 46.65m and 42.20m, while Lily May-Pursey and Parisse Linton-Shaw mirrored the feat in the shot put, thanks to efforts of 10.41m and 8.70m.

There was more dominance in the jumps, with U20W Eleanor Broome leaping 6.06m to triumph in the long jump.

Sam Owusu (6.39m) achieved the same for the U20M, while Bradley Whitehead (5.56m) took first in the U17M B and Matthew Broome was third in both the A-string event (5.76m) and the high jump (1.70m).

Amelia Birkett cleared 2.45m to take first in the U17W pole vault, and a clearance of 1.65m in the U20W high jump handed Danielle Hopkins victory.

There were some great performances on the track too, with the club setting the benchmark over the hurdles. For the U20M, Josh Faulds (56.20 seconds) and Jay O’Leary (61.70) took 400m A and B honours, while O’Leary (14.30) was victorious over 110m too, with Chris Morgan (14.50) completing the clean sweep with A-string success.

In the U17 400m hurdles, Alex Byers (‘A’ second – 63.30) and Alfie Bowers (‘B’ first – 65.70) impressed for the men, and for the women, Anousha Salehi secured third in a time of 47.90. Over the shorter distance of 80 metres, Rhania Akii-Bua’s time of 12.80 took third in the A-string, while Abbie Draper claimed top spot in the B-string with 12.20.

Franklin Fenning set a PB of 10.80m as R&N continued their good form in the sprints, registering second spot in the 100m A event, while Daniel Banks recorded the exact same time to take first place in the B-string. Jaime Nalus was second in the U17M A race with a time of 11.20.

Eleanor Broome (12.30) was second in the U20W 100m A race, while Mary Beetham-Green – a first year U17 athlete – stepped up to U20 to win the B in 12.70. Lucy Laight added further glory by winning the U17W B courtesy of 12.90.

The U17W were also in fine form when it came to middle distance as Selina Scott won the 800m with a brilliant run of 2:25.00. Over 3000m, there was A and B success for Olivia Sheehan (12:24.90) and Emma Barker (12:42.50).

The achievement was echoed in the 1500m steeplechase – Amy Walker (5:24.20) and Abi Pearce (5:49.10) winning over the barriers.

Adam Caulfield’s time of 9:23.50 handed him first in the U17M 3000m, and Josh Lay ran a superb PB of 4:02.10 to take second in the U20M 1500m, in a race which saw him and the winner leave the rest of the pack in their wake.

Last but not least, there was 400m joy for Aidan Leeson, who also set a new PB and club record, winning the U20M race in 48.70, while Cara Clarke (59.00) won the U20W 400m, and William Price secured second for the U17M in 52.40.