Ilford athletes on top of the world

TWO teams of athletes from Ilford AC attempted an audacious attempt on the world record marathon time at Cricklefields on Saturday, with the victors breaking the mark by almost three minutes, in two hours and one minute. The idea, which was the brainchild

TWO teams of athletes from Ilford AC attempted an audacious attempt on the world record marathon time at Cricklefields on Saturday, with the victors breaking the mark by almost three minutes, in two hours and one minute.

The idea, which was the brainchild of Craig Burrow and Sam Malekout to raise funds for young athletes at Ilford AC, was for teams of up to 16 runners to run in 200 metre relay legs for the marathon distance of 42 kilometres, 195 metres, a total of 210 legs.

The 14 athletes who made up the record-breaking A squad were from all sectors of the Athletic Club, young and old, male and female, providing a rare occasion for people from the disparate range of athletic events to meet in one place.

Despite some early confusion, the A squad were soon running efficiently and reached the halfway point just a fraction away from their target of one hour.


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The pace didn't drop in the second half and some late reinforcement from hurdler Antoine Green ensured that the world record time was surpassed although there was some disappointment not to beat the two-hour milestone. The smaller B team, made up primarily of the 'old guard', was also ably supported by young Raeis Mer and were very happy with their time of just under 2:23.00.

Congratulations go to the A team of: Sam Malekout (captain), Healson Ihuoma, Alex Richards, George Hadler, Melodie Ihuoma, Mital Kote, Peter Clinch, Liam Leddy, Aaron Balogun, Carl Nanton, Jordan Kirby, Tom King and Craig Burrow and the B team of Kevin Newell, Nicola Hopkinson, Matt Maple (captain), Raeis Mer, John Hadler, Andy Catton and Antoine Green.

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Support was provided by Paul Cheal, John Hadler and Ian Gains.

A SQUAD of 14 runners from Ilford Athletic Club joined over 1,700 entrants that made the trip to Southend to contest the annual 10k race along the seafront.

Amongst their number was Kevin Newell who only the previous day had run 50 legs of 200 metres on the Cricklefields track as part of a marathon relay team.

Newell confessed to being a little tired after the event but nevertheless his chip time of 38.36 was exceptional in the circumstances.

With official times generally believed to be a little slower than those actually recorded by the runners themselves, the top Ilford performer of the day was once again Iain Macdonald who was accredited with 35.46 and 29th place.

Veteran Neil Crisp, still carrying a bit of a niggle, followed him home in 38.08 with Gary Floate chipping in with 38.56. Southend's Paul Whittaker took the men's race in 31.34 from clubmate Adam Hickey 32.17.

Havering Mayesbrook's Faye Fullerton was top lady of the day with 35.01 although she believed her time to be 10 seconds quicker.

Other Ilford performances were:- Steve Parker 41.42, Abdi Berleen 44.14, Ray Rawlinson 46.53, Jenni Crisp 46.55 (PB), Tony Partridge 47.33, Henri Ricketts 48.29, Natalie Crisp 49.26 (PB), Pam Jones 51.28, Sue Lee 57.24, Carol Muir 59.38.

Tony Partridge's 11-year-old daughter Sophie also took part in the accompanying 3k fun run event.

Further afield Steve Allen and Micky Sutton headed for the wonderful sight of Niagara Falls. The much travelled duo were in Canada to participate in the Toronto marathon where they recorded times of 3:24.02 and 4:55.21 respectively. Allen who is currently carrying an injury, jogged and walked it.

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