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Captain's Update - April 2017

Well, as the biggest day in the Sudbury calendar, Run Wembley, races up on us, time to bring you up to date on what has been a busy month for the club.

As well as our usual Parkrun exploits (including our annual Mob Match with QPH), members have taken on three marathons (Manchester, Paris and London), four half marathons (Bournemouth, Wimbledon, Richmond and Hackney), three 10ks. (Olympic Park, Victoria Park and Bournemouth) and a ten miler (Thames Towpath) setting no less than a dozen club records between them if my calculations are correct (my brain was starting to overheat as I totted them all up!) with Tony (7), Liz (2), Yvonne (2) and Victor the speedy quartet responsible.

Away from the road and trail action meanwhile, April also saw the first club handicap race of the season, and AGM, on the 18th, the Middlesex AA dinner at the Barn Hotel, Ruislip, on the 28th, and our annual quiz on the 29th.

Anyway, before I get down to a more in depth analysis, just a couple of things to correct/clarify from March's Log. Firstly, apologies for overlooking Tony's club record at the Capital Challenge 10k. on the 29th. Also, I credited Gavin with an exceptionally speedy 1.19.36 at the North London Half in the text (it should be 1.49.36 as per the results!).

Taking things chronologically, the month started with Victor recording an excellent 3.47.28 at the Manchester Marathon to remove Abdul Basit from the record books on the 2nd, whilst the Mulvenna clan paid their usual visit to the seaside for the Bournemouth Bay runs (an event I sadly had to miss this year due to Coventry City's unexpected, though welcome, Checkatrade Trophy heroics,) and Tony took on the Wimbledon Common half, decimating my old club record set at the Grand Union Half in 2013 in the process.

The following weekend then saw David taking on the Paris Marathon, whilst Yvonne and Tony both re-wrote the record books at the Thames Towpath 10, before, after Graham had dipped under 40 minutes at the Olympic Park 10k. on the 12th, and Liz had flitted round the Victoria Park 10k. on Good Friday, Mary (4.17.27) and Gavin (4.30.24) took to the streets of the Capital (along with over 40,000 other hardy souls) on the 23rd. The month then ended on the 30th with Yvonne and Tony turning in impressive performances, at Hackney and Richmond respectively, to lower their own half marathon records. Thanks to everyone who put in forecasts for our 'dynamic duo's' combined time at London. Of the 18 entrants,Victor ( 8hrs. 47mins.) was closest, a mere 51 seconds off the actual time (not bad over 52.4 miles!). so a bottle of Merlot, or Sauvion, will be heading your way shortly Victor ( with the other joining the prizes for the Run Wembley raffle). For the record, forecasts ranged from 8.05 to 8.52.

On the Parkrun front, the 28th saw our annual 'joust' with Queens Park Harriers, Harriers' 'three line whip' getting out 31 runners whilst we had 9 toeing the start line. Match followed it's traditional course, though, on the plus side, the QPH's winning margin, 61.18% to 59.96%, was wafer thin. Stars for Sudbury were Tony, whose 72.46% age grading was the second best of the event, and Liz whose 72.66% put her in sixth spot. Anyway, there's always next year. In fact, bouyed by the 'hostilities', the total turnout (223) was a record for Gladstone Park, keeping the Race Director, Louis, on his toes. Elsewhere, away from our usual venues, members were out and about at various exotic (and not so exotic) locations, with Sapna taking on the Parkrun de Montsouris, Louis heading back to Claremorris, and Angela enjoying the pleasures of Knowsley (where, I understand, she picked up an Easter egg!. April also saw two more members join our rank of Parkrun Centurions, Yvonne (15th) and Peter Higgins (22nd) both hitting their tons at Gladstone Park whilst Tony seemed to lower his 5k. time week by week, peaking perfectly for the Mob Match!

Moving on to the home front,the 18th saw the first club handicap of the year, followed by the AGM.18 runners were on the start line (with 6 running as Scratch). with Molly leading the field home in fine style with Brian Thomas second, and David Heathcote taking the third scoring spot behind Valentina. An impressive turnout for the AGM meanwhile (25), and proceedings were wrapped up in around an hour with the committee basically voted back en masse. One proposal was carried meanwhile, the criteria for entry into the ballot for the club's guaranteed London Marathon place being revised to give new members (of over a year) and first time marathoners of getting into the iconic event (entrants in the last three years being excluded).

Was the sole representative from the club at the Middlesex A.A. dinner at the "Barn Hotel" in Ruislip on the 28th. A fine venue, but could probably have done with a slightly more extensive buffet, and I was alittle surprised to find difficulty tracking down any bar staff after the meal (honestly it wasn;t me, I was sober as a judge!). First time the hotel had hosted the event, and will be interesting to get other peoples feedback. 42 'donning the nosebags' for the evening, with, rather disappointingly, away from the Top Table, only 7 of the County's 27 clubs represented, the largest contingents coming, as is traditional, from Thames Valley Harriers (10), ESM (9) and QPH (7).

As for the quiz evening on the 29th, five teams lined up to 'do battle' with " West Hill" (Jane, Louis, Mary and tony, with 76 points, pipping "Canon Sparks" (Wendy heading up a sextet from the recent addition to the Parkrun 'stable') by one and a half points ahead of "Waiting For Abrahams!" ( Liz, Mark, Geraldine and Craig), "Brainless of Brent" (Jean, John, Buggsie and Dick) and "F1" (Bev, Tom, Jean and Derek). Will have to go back to the drawing board as far as question setting is concerned, as both the top two scored an unheard of maximum on the Numbers round! A big thank you to everyone who came along to test the 'grey matter', and, in particular, Tony (who, as well as being part of the winning team, ran the bar) and Bev for the scoring. Hats off to Tony, who was looking at a 5am alarm call for the Richmond Half the next day, and also Louis, also making an early start for the Hackney equivalent. As I understand it, the quiz made about £70 for club funds, whilst around £120 was taken over the bar,

Well, think that about rounds things up for this month, except to give a warm welcome to the club to our latest flurry of recruits Nick, Craig and Alistair.

Next Month: Run Wembley, Watford 10k., The Stirling and Edinburgh marathons, and much, much more.......

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