Dynamite Darren leads Ilford men home

ATHLETES from Ilford AC kicked off their cross country season on a busy weekend of county action. On Saturday, 12 seniors and four juniors were in action on a tough and demanding course at Thurrock s One Tree Hill in the first round of the Essex Cross Co

ATHLETES from Ilford AC kicked off their cross country season on a busy weekend of county action.

On Saturday, 12 seniors and four juniors were in action on a tough and demanding course at Thurrock's One Tree Hill in the first round of the Essex Cross Country League.

Ilford men finished in 10th spot, led home by a good run from Darren Bottrill, who finished in 41st place.

Captain Neil Crisp followed him home in 54th with Terry Knightley (65th), Andy Catton (84th), Chris Togwell (105th) and Gary Floate (111th) completing the scoring.


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Club stalwart Tony Nixon made a welcome return to action after a considerable lay-off and after a sprightly start found the second lap tough going, finishing down the list in 125th position.

The ladies squad battled well to finish 11th with Mel Jones (34th) coming through to get the better of Bree Nordin (44th) in the latter stages.

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Nicola Hopkinson (54th) and Sally Gillam (84th) completed the scoring quartet. Meredith Floate did exceptionally well in her first cross country outing to finish 84th.

In the junior races, both Laura Swords and Tom King sustained falls, but picked themselves up to finish 26th and 41st in the under-15 girls and under-15 boys respectively.

Alex Richards ran strongly in the under-17 men to finish an excellent 14th with Omar Rashid 33rd in the same race.

The following day, Terry Knightley and Bree Nordin were back in action in the Tiptree 10-miles which also doubled as the County Championships.

Knightley found the roads much more to his liking, clocking 61.52 to finish 19th overall.

Nordin led the women's squad home in 75.18 to record 145th place overall.

They were joined by Kevin Newell who clocked 62.18 for 22nd, Steve Parker 68.50 (65th) and an unwell Iain Macdonald jogged round in 84.29 for 263rd.

The evergreen Pam Jones was top V65 of the day with 85.14.

Elsewhere, Robin and Nikki McNelis were in action in the Capital in The Royal Parks Half Marathon. Robin's time was 1:21.33 with Nikki recording 1:50.45.

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