Athletics: Ilford's Muir impresses in Benfleet 15

ILFORD AC runner Malcolm Muir claimed second place at the Benfleet 15 on Sunday.

ILFORD AC runner Malcolm Muir claimed second place at the Benfleet 15 last Sunday.

The 15-mile run was seen as a good opportunity to increase training for the London Marathon and Muir didn't disappoint, crossing the line in one hour 31 minutes and eight seconds.

The 20th anniversary of the Benfleet race attracted 723 entrants, yet nearly 100 runners did not finish.

All the Ilford entrants managed to complete the course and finish among the top 400 places. Just 10 minutes behind Muir were Darren Bottrill in 28th place, followed closely by Ian Macdonald in 31st.

A finish of 36th and 37th were completed by Kevin Newell and Terry Knightley, respectively.

Other placements for Ilford were Ben Jones (74th), Keith Ennis (166th), Steve Allen (213th), Mel Jones (224th), Nicola Hopkinson (312th) and Sally Gillam (348th).

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Last Saturday, Ilford held their annual awards presentation evening, which recognised the achievements and contributions of both the youth and established club members.

The Jack Petchey Awards were spotlighted among these honours. Some of the recipients present were Iain MacDonald, who picked up the Road and Country Runner of the Year.

Matt Maple was honoured for his services to the club, Jordan Kirby named as Athlete of the Year, while Neil Crisp collected the Veteran Athlete of the Year accolade.

Sam Malekout won the Track Athlete of the Year award and George Hadler (pictured right) was named as the under-20 track and field Athlete of the Year.

n ILFORD walker Franciso Reis stepped on to an indoor track for the first time in a quarter-of-a-century on Sunday morning at the Lee Valley Stadium in Ponders End.

With an adverse camber on tight indoor tracks it requires a whole new technique, and Reis mastered it well.

Competing in the London Indoor Games 3,000 metres, he set off with the pre-race favourite competitor Nick Silvester fromAldershot.

Reiss kept up the early pace before electing to cement second position. Silvester lived up to his billing to win in 14.03, with Reis in 15.23. Ilford stalwart Dave Sharpe came a commendable fourth in 18.15.

Unlike the victor the Ilford AC duo had bigger fish to fry for later in the day, as they were due to race in a more important 10K race at Hackney's Victoria Park and were both holding something back for the occasion.

Prominent Ilford AC official Michael Croft was appointed chief judge for the event.

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