Training During Lockdown

Team Campbell’s conservatory has been repurposed as a home gym.
Left to right : Nick, Tilly, Georgie and Ned.
Oh dear. Looking at my diary I see I should have been competing in the Westminster Mile on 24/5, the County Champs last weekend, the British Masters 10,000m on Sunday, Vet’s T&F next Wednesday and the Midland Masters T&F Championships on 14th.

It should have been the Hilly 100 last Sunday, Midlands T&F next Sunday, Sphinx 5 on Wednesday and Two Castles on 14th.

However, let’s not dwell on what we can’t do but on what we have been doing.

This week we’ve got another great report from John Raby on the vWRRL race for May, where we had some truly great performances from 59 of our members out of a total of 405 competitors.

There’s also a chance for 6 of our vet’s to relive their performances at the Inter Area Challenge in London at the beginning of March

Apart from that it’s going to be another one of those “aren’t we a great club” editorials.

Are you sitting comfortably ?

Then I’ll begin.

I’ve got a sense that when this hiatus is over, we will emerge as an even stronger club than we were going in to it.

My belief in this is strengthened when I see the extra mile some members have been prepared to go to help us all continue to enjoy our athletics.

I’m always loathe to name names because I fear omitting some who are worthy of mention but when I look at the imagination shown and additional work put in by the likes of Sarah and Matt in organising the virtual Shakespeare races, aided and abetted by David Smythe this month, when I think of the effort put in by Rob with his Zoom sessions, the imagination shown by Sarah Boundy with her Alphabet Scavenger Hunt and Jon Mulkeen with his quiz, the generosity of Brian Weetman and his company www.riskhubgroup.co.uk in donating some £350 to Colonel Tom’s Just Giving site in lieu of our efforts in last month’s Shakespeare races, when I hear of the continuing one to one coaching support given by both Paul Hawkins and Paul Bearman and of 10 year old Joel Ledgard running a virtual marathon to raise funds for both the NHS and his school, I can’t help but feel a warm glow of appreciation that I am a member of a club with such caring individuals.

The Life During Lockdown feature is something that was triggered by the tremendous performances of many of our junior athletes when competing against the seniors in virtual races. I thought it would be interesting to hear how they have been coping and training .

I’m sure many of the readers of the newsletter would love to hear what others of you are doing training wise during lockdown. Please, please please send me your comments plus photos if possible.

In reading through the various submissions I have received I detect a definite theme. Every single member has mentioned how much they are missing training with their friends at the club

These are some of the quotes :

“We have all really missed face to face contact with our friends and coaches.”

“we consider ourselves fortunate to be part of a great athletics club with such supportive coaches and fellow members. – I also miss catching up on the weekly gossip.”

“I definitely missed the training sessions, particularly my friends and the coaches.” 

“I miss track, I miss my training group and I miss the club.”

I can’t wait to return to normal training with my friends from the club.”

“I am enjoying the training I am doing in lockdown but I really can’t wait to get back to the SAC training with everyone!!!”

“I am really looking forward to club training restarting  as I found that having other friends that run can be quite motivating and the coaches are always helpful, as they help with development and tell us what we can do to get better.”

” Although it has been fun we have both really missed the track, competing and seeing our friends. We’re looking forward to being able to race around the track with our friends one day soon.”

“Hope to see you all at the club soon.”

I’ll leave the east quote to Emma Sparrow :

” The Athletics club is like a second family, all so supportive of each other.”

Take care and stay well.

Best Wishes

David Jones

 

Ned, Georgie, Tilly and Nick Campbell.
Training During Lockdown.
I have been heartened but not remotely surprised by the success of some of our junior athletes in both the virtual Shakespeare and WRRL races.

As a result of this I asked some of them what they had been up to with regards to training during  lockdown. Again I was not remotely surprised to find that all of those who replied have shown themselves to be both committed and conscientious, most of them with quite a bit of help and input from their parents.

It is not only parents who have been supporting them but also club coaches Paul Hawkins and Paul Bearman. I know the former has been tailoring programmes for several of our junior endurance group, having set specific schedules for them. These have mostly been in response to requests. Paul has also spoken to many others and given similar advice and guidance. 

He tells me that he is more than happy to help any others who may need support and advice with their training.

 I know that Paul Bearman has also given similar help and support to junior T&F members.

Below are comments from some of our youngsters. Lest I be accused of ageism, there are also comments from a couple of our less young members, Jan Turner and Phil Brennan.
 

Ned and Georgie taking part in one of Rob’s Zoom sessions

  Georgie, Ned and Tilly Campbell
 

What we have missed most while training under lockdown.
 

Ned: – We have all really missed face to face contact with our friends and coaches.

Tilly: – I’ve particularly missed seeing my friends and not having the usual summer competitions and PB improvements to work towards. I have also missed training for field events such as the long jump.

Georgie: – I have really missed running on the track. We have been using the local school playing field or Sports Club football pitches for speed and interval sessions but it’s not the same. I also miss catching up on the weekly gossip.

What we have enjoyed.

Ned: – I have enjoyed exploring new footpaths around Wootton and Henley, Rob’s Zoom training sessions and the virtual races. The quieter roads have allowed me to run along routes that I wouldn’t normally consider.

Tilly: – Doing different training sessions with Georgie, and the Zoom core sessions that we have done with Imogen, Daisy, Ellen, Emily, Abbie and Jess.

Georgie: – STRAVA! Trying to pick up some local crowns (we seem to be in friendly competition with the Taylor family, particularly Adam). The Shakespeare and WRRL virtual races. Discovering new local running routes, and the club quiz – Thanks Jon! 

Maintaining successful training and how has it changed.

Ned: – I have managed to keep up a similar amount of training as before the lockdown. It’s mainly been long runs and gym / core with less emphasis on speed work. I have been doing more cycling and using the indoor rower.

Tilly: – I feel that the training I’ve been doing with Georgie has been harder than I would normally do but because we don’t have structured weekly club training I maybe do it a bit less frequently, as it’s easy to skip the odd session.

Georgie: – I feel that I’ve managed to maintain training quite successfully. Paul Hawkins’ emails me a weekly programme which I try and stick to and it includes more road running over longer distances than previously. I am also training more frequently with an extra run on a Friday, and cross training with some online core sessions from Rob and others, some cycling and some work in our conservatory which we have re-purposed as a home gym. I can almost do three pull-ups now!

Virtual Shakespeare and WRRL Races.

Ned: – I have found these virtual races very enjoyable, especially the cycling element. It’s a good way to keep the club spirit going – Thanks Sarah and Matt for organising!

Tilly: – I had a go at the WRRL 5K and think competing against adults and having a target time in mind is a good challenge.

Georgie: – I have really enjoyed the virtual races and discovered that I can go faster than I thought on a bike when I try. It’s fun trying to plan a good course, and surprisingly hard to find a flattish 5KM route around our part of Warwickshire!

Overall, life under lockdown has not been too bad for us, especially as we know that some people have been having an awful time.

We think most club members would agree that living in this part of the country means we have the opportunity to get out and train in lovely surroundings, and we consider ourselves fortunate to be part of a great athletics club with such supportive coaches and fellow members.

A compilation of photos from each of the 9 Parkinruns.
Emma, Tessa and Dave Parkin.
Tessa Parkin.

Team Parkin and their Parkinruns.

 
“In the first few weeks, I definitely missed the training sessions, particularly my friends and the coaches. However, more recently I have settled into a routine of running every other day. I sometimes run off-road or do some speedy intervals to keep it varied. It helps to be able to train with my family. 

At the beginning of lockdown, we set up ‘Parkinrun’ to replace parkrun. Last week was the tenth race and I was pleased to do a PB for this course. It motivated me a lot to be part of the vWRRL race and be representing SAC. 

This week, I really enjoyed a run on the Welcombe Hills for the first time in weeks. I can’t wait until Sunday morning hills starts again!”

Speedwork – Imogen and Jess in Synder Meadow (above) and below, in their street.
 

Imogen Sheppard.

When lockdown started I was still hopeful of an athletics season and with my A levels cancelled I was excited as I now had all the time I needed to train. But gradually, as competitions were cancelled further and further in to the future, it became clear that my optimism was a little misplaced.

I am now resigned to 2020 being “the season that never was”, and can only look forward to maybe one or two opens by September (fingers crossed).

So, my training programme has been adjusted accordingly and it is now a routine of base speed and base endurance with much less specific 400m work than I should be doing at this point in the year. 

For many athletes, lockdown may have meant less directed sessions and little chance for coaches to work with them but for me, this is a little different. Many of you will know that my dad, otherwise known ‘Coach Mike’, is a keen coach and has never let me slack, providing me with a regimented daily training plan within the first 2 weeks of lockdown.

Specific conditioning for my recent injuries as well as different combinations of running sessions, bike rides and plyo, weights resistance bands or pilates each day of the week.

It’s safe to say I haven’t completely stuck to it but the structure has kept me nice and busy. I am also lucky to have my sister, Jess, as a training partner in some of my sessions giving me a small outlet for my competitive energy. 

I have also enjoyed having a go at virtual racing, entering the British Milers Club 1km time trial. I even put on my Stratford vest to put me in the racing mindset and managed 3:05, placing me 5th in the U20 women which I was happy with, given the large number of entries. 

However, as for all of us, it is starting to get tedious running up and down the same lonely sports field, I don’t think I will ever get used to solo sessions having grown up running with my friends.

All I can say where we are now is I miss track, I miss my training group and I miss the club. 

Max, his dad Sylvain and inanimate friend !
Max Verstraeten. 

Hello everyone,

In lockdown, I have been set back with the amount of training available (I used to do Tuesday athletics, Thursday endurance, Saturday Parkrun and Sunday cross country training 😊), so me and my dad regularly go for a run around our village instead.

As there is a big bunch of ‘little known’ paths in and around our village, we can go for an almost undisturbed run.

When we want a change of scenery, I have tried going for longer trail runs. My longest run yet is 12.05 km (or 7.48mi on this island😉).

We’ve been exploring the Heart of England Forest around Dorsington: there are so many paths and I found them really fun to run. I enjoy these longer run as it feels like going on an adventure. Running is exciting way to escape the lockdown restrictions.

I have recently competed in my first virtual race of 5k. I didn’t enjoy it that much because I missed the competitive spirit of running directly against other runners. It was also hard to find an interesting but safe and fast place to run.
 

Although I’m running a lot, I can’t wait to return to normal training with my friends from the club.
 
Max.
 

Smiling Sam Plumb.
Sam Plumb.

‘Training in lockdown has been different but good, because as well as being able to run a lot more than usual with my Dad, I have had time to do much more bike riding too. I rode all the way up Foxcote Hill in Ilmington which I enjoyed.

I like to do the Joe Wicks workouts too, which are very good fun.

It was nice to do the WRRL Virtual 5K May challenge with the club. It was the first Virtual challenge I’ve ever done and I would like to do another one soon. 

I am enjoying the training I am doing  in lockdown but really can’t wait to get back to the SAC training with everyone!!!’
 

Taylor Stubbins.
Taylor Stubbins.

“It is the thought of other competitors training and getting better than me that keeps me going.  I would hate to think that they would be improving and I was deteriorating.

Initially, I found doing the drills outside my house a little strange and embarrassing. 

I am usually with a group of runners and not on my own and I know all the elderly folk that live in my close are sat watching me (they have told me so!). 

I was pretty self motivated at the start of lockdown but disappointed with my progress and decided to contact Paul Hawkins, my coach.  I wish I had done that sooner as I am really pleased I now have a programme to follow together with his support and encouragement, which has made me feel much better about my progress.

I much prefer running on the track or a designated course as it can be frustrating trying to find a good route and train around traffic, people and having to open gates if I am doing a hilly run in the fields. 

The races are what I miss the most, I use these as a guide as to how I am performing within my age group.  Whilst the virtual races are great, I really can’t wait for the first race after lockdown.”

Ben Stockill.

Ben Stockill.

I only recently joined the athletics club, however I have been running for several years, starting in primary school.

At the start of lockdown, the measures were not my biggest concern when looking at training, as around a month before I put a crack in my femur and could still not run.

My main concern was looking at training to help with rehab as I was much slower and not as fit.

I have now found that training under lockdown becomes much easier as long as you have a schedule or plan for what types of runs or workouts you are going to do each day. Rest days are still essential as you otherwise become very sore! 

I started out by doing short runs of around 3 miles and fast short intervals to help with my aerobic fitness. I then followed on to cut back on these sessions and add more distance runs, adding a long run day where I ran much longer distances at quite slow paces.

On rest days I kept my legs turning, going on bike rides, as it is easy to end up doing nothing one day and that then roles over to other days.

Key challenges have been balancing home schoolwork with training, I would much rather be training, keeping motivated and coping with intensity of runs in the heat. 

I am really looking forward to club training restarting possibly in the summer, as I found that having other friends that run can be quite motivating and coaches are always helpful as they help with development and tell us what we can do to get better.

Niamh and Seb Hillard going thorough their paces. So that’s where all the loo rolls went Seb !
Niamh and Seb Hillard.

We have been doing lots of running, cycling, interval training and following Under 13 athletics training!! 

Also, have been doing the rugby 🏉 club’s 5k weekly challenge. Although it has been fun we have both really missed the track, competing and seeing our friends.

Looking forward to being able to race around track with our friends one day soon.?

Ewan and Rachel Sparrow.
Ewan and Rachel Sparrow.

 Since the start of lockdown we have been running around the neighbourhood  to keep fit and we do our daily exercise. But of course keeping to social distancing rules.

We have also been doing workouts in the garden using our imagination. We run across lots of hills and endless roads sometimes. As well as this, we get to see some of the wonders of nature. Hope to see you all at the club soon.

Bye for now

Ewan and Rachel.
 

Jan Turner and Phil Brennan.
Jan commented: 
“After a half marathon at end of April, all I have done is the club virtual 5 miles and RED (run every day) in May, which was hard work for old bones. I managed 110 miles in total and made it to age 74 ( 74 ? Surely some mistake Jan ? )
Jan tells me she is now going to have a few days well earned rest.
Phil Brennan.
 

Unless you are at the extremes of the running spectrum, a sprinter or ultra runner, I believe that many of us have a problem balancing fitness and performance throughout the year because of the sheer number of races that we do.

Certainly in my case, I don’t really do enough hard work in the short cold winter days and with both an indoor and outdoor track season, historically I have gone to major races at less than peak performance.

At my time of life, I can’t taper and rest twice a month for a three minute race without paying for it.

I therefore saw lockdown as a golden opportunity to develop an uninterrupted training plan: simply, to take as long as necessary to be a lot stronger than I was and at least no slower at my best distances.

Without giving away too many trade secrets, at  the beginning of March I started pushing the weekly mileage up gradually. I’m now doing, slowly and comfortably, the sort of mileage I would previously have done for marathon training.

Next stage is to start introducing interval sessions while keeping the mileage up. The virtual races are great for time trials and benchmarks and are not (yet) too many to be a distraction.

There is already some evidence that it’s working: my average heart rate is dropping: so, scarily, is my weight. It’s only a couple of pounds but I’m the same as I was at sixteen and my BMI is “probably dead”.

So, for the next few months I can either crank it up if it’s going well, or back off for a bit. 

I’m as certain as I can be that I will come out of the process a lot fitter than I have been recently. 
Which is just as well, because given my age and family vulnerability issues, I don’t believe that I will be racing or training in public this year, so I have to provide my own motivation.

I dread the thought of having to do the Winter Series by torchlight just to get my hoodie next year!

Cheers 

Phil

Matt Burdus-Cook back in the day when we could run in real, as opposed to virtual races.
Virtual Warwickshire Road Race League

Report – John Raby.

 

Another month gone by of our changing world, however SAC impressed throughout in the Virtual Warwickshire Road Race League.

We had a superb turnout with 59 SAC athletes submitting results, the second highest through the county. We’re still awaiting the final team scoring results to be finalised by the WRRL once all results have been finalised and any penalties have been added.
 
As it stands in the ladies we saw a fantastic run from Georgie Campbell who’s taken second spot overall out of 140 competitors with a time of 18.00 minutes.

Whilst we saw a large number of fantastic runs over the past week and month, special mentions must go out to Kate Wright who took pole in the V55 category with a time of 20.24 finishing, Tessa Parkin in 21.04 who finished 21st overall and who is one of our U13s and Ruth Calderbank tops the V65 in 29.37. 
 
In the standings it looks like the ladies A team will finish in 3rd place overall out of 41 teams entered with a combined score of 50 points. The B team in 8th, C team 14th, D team 26th, E team 39th. As well as this the ladies Team sits 2nd in the Women’s Masters.
 
In the men’s it was incredibly tight and it seems that we were pipped to the post at 9pm on the final day of racing.

Changing leaders throughout the day between Spa Striders, Kenilworth and ourselves made for an exciting day of racing. The men’s race saw 204 competitors. We saw a good few PBs.

Special mentions to Alex Adams in the U15s taking pole position in 16.48 and 8th place overall. Matt Burdus-Cook winning the M40 category just 6 seconds behind Alex in 16.54 and 9th overall followed by Josh Newman just 4 seconds further back in 12th – 16.58, Richard Liggatt 17th in 17.19 and Jordan Mogridge 18th in 17.26. Andrew Cox won the M45 in 18.10 taking 36th, Richard Dobedoe topped the M55 in 18.33 and 41st. Phil Brennan won the M75 in 24.36 in 180th overall.
 
As for the overall standings until confirmed are as follows: Out of 43 teams made up of 6 runners:
A Team – 2nd, B Team 7th, C Team 10th, D Team 13th, E Team 17th, F Team 25th, G Team 36th…….. 
 
In the men’s Masters category we look set to take 1st place out of 34 teams entered.
 
I could have gone on for a long time with this write-up as so many brilliant achievements have been made. The comradery of working as a team has been great fun and will be a great addition to the Virtual SAC race throughout June and beyond.

Feedback has been great to hear and it sounds as though we could see some returning members on the back of it.

Thank you to everyone for the involvement and support throughout this.
 
Whilst we do our superb races ourselves we have another WRRL 5 mile race in June, where you can register by following the below link.
 
https://data.opentrack.run/x/2020/GBR/vwrrl-june/

Please follow the link below for May’s results

https://data.opentrack.run/x/2020/GBR/vwrrl/?fbclid=IwAR0_dOx-eunPbt2NQmQxOylGTHoHlcPzHaw-PwxTA1YkI2y8tfDFRInWtKo
 

Those Were The Days.

The latest Midlands Masters newsletter I received last week enabled me to relive the historic triumph of  the Midland Masters team in the Inter Area Challenge at Lee Valley Stadium in March.

A victory that was helped in no small way by the efforts of 6 of the club’s vet’s.

Happy Days indeed.

It seems a lifetime ago.

Happy Days. The Stratford contingent who helped Midland Masters achieve their historic victory in March

Left to right : Dave Wilson, Elaine Ledden, David Jones, Brian Gravelsons, Paula Williams and Paul Hawkins.

TREBLE TRIUMPH AT INTER AREA CHALLENGE:

The club achieved the unprecedented feat of winning all three trophies at the indoor Inter Area Challenge, held atthe illustrious Lee Valley Athletics Centre. Here, Team managers Matt Long and Elaine Mee report on that memorable day of Sunday March 1- 2020.

200m TRACK TRIUMPHS

The team picked up a fabulous five podium places, with one first, one runner-up and three third places in the 200m. Dominic Bradley blasted to a new CBP in 22.96s, whilst there was a silver lining for Ellena Ruddock (W40) 27.26s. Jill Roginski (W60) and Fiona Palmer (W50) placed third with 33.54 and 30.32 respectively whilst mens’s skipper Lawrie Dunn (M70) used his experience for a top 3 finish in an eye catching 32.09s. Phil Clayton (M60) and David Wilson (M50) finished in 4th and 6th respectively and ran well to notch up invaluable team points

CHAMPIONSHIP BEST PERFORMANCE FOR TINA

Hats off to terrific Tina Wickens (W50) who stormed to a fantastic championship best performance of 65.06s in taking the spoils over 400m. Richard White (M60) looked a class act in record 59.18s to win his event. This deadly duo were backed up by brilliant Bruce Hendrie (M70) who bagged a sliver andevergreen Elaine Ledden (W60) who took bronze. Whilst outside of podium finishes, Gemma Knight (W35) 4th, Nathan Moore (M35) and Kevin Pye (M50) – both 5th – all notched up invaluable points for the collective cause

MIDDLE DISTANCE MARVELS

Midland Masters took the spoils in no less than 3 of the 8 races over the 4 lap 800m races. Thumping the opposition by a staggering 9 seconds was awesome Angela Copson (3:20.62). Having to battle harder for their respective victories were terrific Tina Wickens (W50 1st 2m30.63) who narrowly headed Lisa Thomas of VAC and David Jones (M70) who edged out EMAC Kenneth Bowman by just 7 tenths of a second in a barmstorming finish which had the team dancing in delight in the Lee Valley aisles. These victories inspired follow ups from Lucie Tait-Harris (W35), Graham Moffatt (M50) and David Oxland (M60), all of whom took brilliant bronze medal positions. Running a perfect tactical race was M35 Phil Gould, who inspiringly set aside considerable emotional pressures to run a blinder in tactical terms, moving from the rear of the field late on to take an unexpected but welcome 4th in bagging invaluable points for the collective cause.

MAJESTIC METRIC MILERS’

Continuing on from the massive successes had by our 800m squad, were the Metric Milers’ who attacked one of the track and field’s blue riband events with gusto. M60 David Bedwell (4:59.34) was magnificent in holding off Richard Holland (VAC) as was W35 Lucy Wallace (pictured) whose 4:55.86 saw her head a class field.

A brave and committed front run from M35 Kristian Watson (4:21.01) saw him finish up as runner up to Simon Coombes of EMAC and the inspirational Jane Pidgeon ran a superbly judged race to finish W50 runner up behind VAC’s Anna Critchlow.

Two men who barely had time to sit down all day due to their commitment to bagging points were M50 Conrad Watson who climbed off his sick bed for an unexpected and fine 4th in a new PB (5:00.77) andDavid Jones (M70) who also placed 4th but who would of course take gold over 800m

RECORD RACE WALK

Carolyn Derbyshire set a barnstorming New W35 Championship Best Performance (10:32.77-pictured left) over the 2k circuit at Lee Valley to destroy the opposition. Her M35 counterpart Paul Hawkins (12:30.47) took gold in his race as did wonderful Wendy Kane (11:45.68- pictured right) in comfortably beating Helen Middleton of EMAC.

M50 Conrad Watson (see separate report which follows shortly) took a fine 3rd with M70 showing Peter Boszko unlucky to be given a DQ but nevertheless showing his metal in attempting to compete with men more than a decade his junior in the M60 race

GOLDEN BROWN

M50 Donald Brown strode to a new Championship Best Performance and British record of 8.94 in the 60m hurdles. His grace under pressure was enough to hold off Barrie Marsden (8.97) from SCVAC. Meanwhile women’s captain Paula Williams ran a fine 9.72 take runners up spot in the W35 race with SCVAC’s Diana Norman just edging it.

DYNAMIC DAVE COWLEY GIVES HIGH JUMPERS A LIFT OFF.

M70 David Cowley cleared 1m24 in taking gold to hold off the challenge of Geoff Kitchener (VAC) who trailed him by just 3cm. Captain marvel Paula Williams displayed her versatility with a fine 3rd in the W35 event, with an impressive 1m30 and a podium spot was also claimed by M70 Mick Edwards who bravely stepped up to the challenge of competing against considerably younger athletes in the M60 event. This proved to be an inspiration for M60 Quentin McQuillan who placed a creditable 4th in the M50 event. Debutant Jack Poxon was understandably pleased with a solid outing which saw him take 4th as an M35 and he will clearly be an asset to the squad in the years to come

PAYNTER’S THROWS A WORK OF ART

M35 Mathew Paynter took gold in the shot, 11m13cm, more than 2 metres ahead of his nearest rival, Gary Smith of EMAC. Women’s Captain Paula Williams continued to lead by example on the day, with a comfortable W35 win over Julie Machin from SCVAC. Susan Frisby (W50) and Jill Roginski (W60) pushed their rivals all the way in taking silvers with W70 Sally Hine also taking a fabulous runners up spot. M50 Donald Brown and M70 David Cowley took bronze. In competing with men a decade his junior, M60 Mick Edwards placed a fine 4th

RELAY RUNNERS SEAL THE DEAL

By late afternoon in Lee Valley on Sunday 1st March, just seven 4 x 200m relay races stood between Midland Masters AC and an unprecedented treble of titles, as both men’s and women’s teams held slender leads over a powerful EMAC outlet. M70’s, skippered by Lawrie Dunn took a fantastic win with David Cowley, Bruce Hendrie and David Jones all rising to the occasion to collectively clock 2m12.83s. Their considerable exploits were matched by the W35 quartet of Karen Gomes, Janelle Quinn, Paula Williams and Ellena Ruddock who romped home in 1m55.35. With the M50, W50 and M60 teams all finishing runners up and the M35 team taking bronze, the tension in the stands was palpable as the support team realised the squad stood on the precipice of a unique trio of wins. Sprint relays are that most unpredictable of events and one slip and a dropped baton in the very last event of the day would have meant a long and empty handed trip back up the M1 that evening. With hearts in their mouths and a roar from the wider squad, the W60 dream team of Sally Hine, Ellen Ledden, Jill Roginski and Angela Copson (pictured) did not bottle it and finished the job off in style with a marvellous win in 2m21.24s. As they wrapped themselves in the club’s flag and the whole squad joined in a merry jig, the voice over the tannoy proved to be music to the ears of the red and whites- a 27 point overall victory over EMAC, with the men winning by 19 points and the women by 18 points. It had been some day out in London!

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