Afraid September's Log starts on something of a sombre note with news of the untimely passing of Russ Elder. One of life's gentlemen, Russ had been a member for over a decade making an exceptional contribution to the club, principally running the bar for us on club nights, but also competing in the Summer League, 'flying the flag' at a number of road races (the Marlow 5 and Moor Park 10k. spring immediately to mind), and helping welcome, and nurture, beginners joining the club. Russ will be sorely missed by us all.
Athletically meanwhile, September saw members competing in five half marathons, two 10ks., a duathlon, and a track 5,000metres, as well as the usual plethora of parkruns, whilst, on the home front, the month also saw the culmination of our annual Summer handicap series.
Taking things in order, leaving Parkrun aside for the moment, our athletic activities started on the 4th when I made my traditional 'pilgrimage' up to the Midlands for the Kenilworth Half Marathon, whilst Mary, Sean and Tony took on the same distance at Maidenhead. Colin then 'donned his spikes' (egged on by his second claim club, Ealing Eagles) to clock 19.25 for 5,000 metres at Highgate Harriers' track meeting on the 11th, before I headed back to Amersham for the scenic Shardloes 10k. (this time in the company of Gavin, a late substitute for Mr. Walerych) on the 18th, while Yvonne and Tony contested the Richmond Festival of Running Half Marathon, and Louis and Ellen 'stayed local' for the Willesden Aquathon (a 400 metre swim followed by a 5k. run). The month then ended with another flurry of activity on the 25th with no fewer than ten members supporting the Ealing Half Marathon, Sapna 'going solo' at Windsor, and five of us 'heading up the Met. Line' to Moor Park for the 10k. (with John sporting the hoops), where we caught up with Mustafa, making his competitive debut for Dacorum & Tring. Proved to be a very busy day for Tony in particular, as he marshalled at Ealing before popping over to Moor Park to lead our Sudbury quartet home in the afternoon in 44.23. Good to see Angela finishing inside the hour in her first 10k. for a while, whilst Peter Nagy recorded an impressive 1.36.26 at Ealing.
Moving on to Parkrun, Colin clocked up a fair few miles taking in the runs at Cwmbran, Canterbury and Llyn Llech Owainas wellas, closer to home, Gadebridge (which also saw visits from the two Peters), whilst, away from the locals (Gladstone Park and Harrow) members were also 'strutting their stuff' at Antrim (Mark), Tring (Kay), Woodhouse Moor (Graham), and Dulwich (yours truly). For the record, Gladstone Park's four runs saw an average attendance of 167.
As promised in the last log, can now (provisionally) round things off as far as the Summer League is concerned having received the results from the final two fixtures as well as the cumulative table. As it turned out, Ealing Eagles, Queens Park Harriers, and Metros filled the first three places at both Regents Park and Gunnersbury Park, and, as it happens finished in the same order in the final standings (Dulwich being the only other club to record a top three position all season, finishing second in their home fixture). For our part we finished in seventh place at Regents Park, and sixth at Gunnersbury (just ahead of Dulwich, and the regular 'whipping boys' Hayes & Harlington). So it's congratulations to the Eagles on their third consecutive title (and unless QPH or Metros can bolster their tenderfoot numbers I can see their reign continuing for a good few years yet!). Inthe age graded rankings, Liz is shown as first FV50, Yvonne first FV55, Tony second MV55 and myself third MV60, though I understand there may be one or two adjustments pending the result of queries. On a statistical note, 84 different runners have now represented the club during our sixteen seasons in the league.
On the home front, 17 runners toed the line for the final handicap of the year (with Kerr (easily the quickest), Simon, and Gill guesting).On the night, David Heathcote led the scorers home just ahead of Ines, with Kay third, Mark's accurate handicapping leading to something of a 'cavalry charge' down the final straight which kept the recorders on their toes.Once the dust had settled, it proved that David's valiant effort had not quite been enough, and Kay had held on to her slender lead to become this year's winner of the Docherty Shield, David Maret and Peter Higgins (last year's winner) sharing third place.
Well, think that's about all for now. Next month, the Royal Parks Half Marathon, Cabbage Patch 10, Beachy Head, and much, much more......