Well, as a number of members head off on , or look forward to, their Summer holidays, and the Olympics get underway in Rio, time to bring you details of July's activities around the club.
Have two more Summer League fixtures to report on: Dulwich(10th) and Regent's Park (24th),as well as giving you the full times for Harrow (omitted from last month's log),whilst members were also out and about tackling a half marathon, four 10ks., an eight mile trail run, and a 7k., as well as the usual selection of parkruns, and, of course, I mustn't forget our fourth handicap race.
Starting with the Summer League, got something of a shock when the results of the Harrow fixture eventually came through. No surprise to find Ealing Eagles heading the table, just ahead of the hosts (Metros), but was somewhat 'gobsmacked' to find us looking down on DPR, Serpentine, and Hayes & Harlington from the almost unheard of heights of fifth spot! Moving on to Dulwich, nine members made it south of the river on the 10th, along with four guests (Kit joining Cynthia, Joelle and Jasper on this occasion), Robert Heathcote (35.16), leading our 'motley crew' home on his club debut. Pleased to say we were also able to 'cobble together' a team for the B1 mixed relay (which was more than a number of clubs managed) coming home second out of four. The fixture resulted, predictably, in another win for the Eagles (if you've got a spare fiver, I'd put it on them for a clean sweep!), with the hosts (DPR) once again runners-up, and ourselves in seventh spot leaving us sixth overall at the halfway stage. A fortnight later, ten members then descended on Regent's Park for fixture number three, along with five guests (Charles and Paul from Gladstone Park parkrun joining our 'regulars', Cynthia, Joelle andJasper this time round (must see if we can sort out a family membership deal for them next year!)).,Tony (20.48) finishing at the head of our pack reasserting the 'natural order' in the absence of Robert, with Angela wearing the colours for the first time. Again we managed to raise a B1 relay squad, and finished second once more, though out of a field of seven this time,Victor flying round the last lap to overtake Mornington Chasers on the final bend.
Away from the league, our athletic endeavours kicked off (parkrun not withstanding) atBushey on the 3rd, when Tony, Sean, Yvonne and I joined Liz at her old school for the Bushey 10k. The following Wednesday then saw Tony and Victor covering eight miles over Wimbledon Common, before Mary and Sean returned to Wycombe for the half marathon on the 10th whilst Victor joined the 'tourists' for the Vitality British 10k. I was then off to the end of the Jubilee Line on the 17th to test out the new track at the Olympic (now London?) Stadium in the Great Newham 10k., before Graham took to the 'inclines' of Harrogate for the Great Yorkshire 10k. on the 24th, and I rounded of proceedings in Bushy Park with the Stragglers' Wedding Day 7k. on the 29th. Excitement at returning to her old stomping ground might have been a bit much for Liz, as she took a tumble during the race. Pleased to report however that she finished 'bloodied but unbowed', Tony leading our quintet home in 44.05. New course for the Wycombe Half meanwhile, starting and finishing at the Wycombe Wanderers football ground, with both Mary and Sean obviously struggling in the warm conditions. Thumbs up to the stadium finish at Newham, but have to say the course probably ranks with our famous excursion around Wembley Industrial Estate as the least attractive I've run. Have the medal and the T shirt, but don't think I'll be going back! Good to see Graham encouraging the 'younger generation' meanwhile, pacing son Matthew (who'd only become eligible to run the distance a couple of days beforehand) through his 10k. debut at Harrogate. Exhibiting the exuberance of youth, Matthew had tried to outsprint Dad on the final straight only to be put, properly, in his place!
On the Parkrun front meanwhile, Colin was criss-crossing the country taking in runs at Pegwell Bay, Daventry, Portsmouth Lakeside and Cheltenham, whilst, away from our 'regulars' (Gladstone Park, Harrow and Gadebridge) members also supported the events at Hampstead Heath (Victor), St.Albans (Peter H.) and Northala Fields (David H. and Mark). Had an average of 135 over the month's five runs at our 'home' venue, Gladstone Park, with the club hitting the 1,500 run landmark on the 23rd, while, behind the scenes a number of us (Liz, Yvonne, Kay, Victor, Jean, John and I (hope I haven't missed anyone!) took up the invitation of CPR training.
And so to the fourth race in this year's club handicap series. In total, fifteen runners toed the startline on the 12th, with the current title holder, Peter Higgins, leading the field home just ahead of David Heathcote with Brian Thomas taking third spot. Hats off to Mark on the handicapping front, as, amazingly, only three points separate the top five going in to the last two races, Tony and I (73) holding a slender one point lead over David H. (72), with Kay and John a further point back on 70, with Messrs. Higgins, Maret and Tsui all well in contention.
Well think that about covers it for this month.
Next month: the final Summer League fixture, fifth handicap, and probably not much else (races tending, understandably, to be a bit thin on the ground during the holiday period!)
1. See we're down to 1,399 parkruns (6/8) now that Mustafa has switched his allegiance to Dacorum & Tring (good luck in your new colours Mustafa!), and, while I'm on the subject of former members, heard from Sarah (new club as yet unknown) who is travelling in South East Asia until September and sent everyone her best wishes.
2. For those of you who are interested in seeing how it 'should be done', the ballot for tickets for next year's World Athletics Championships is now open at tickets.london2017athletics.com.
3. And last, but not least, congratulations to Corey Bellemore of Canada who broke the world record for the Beer Mile, clocking an incredible 4.34.35 at Allianz Park on the 31st!