Ilford runners out in force

ILFORD AC were firing on all cylinders after sweeping all before them at the Newman Hilly five multi-terrain race at Hainault Forest. There were ideal conditions for over 200 runners who took part, including 34 from the host club, who helped both the men

ILFORD AC were firing on all cylinders after sweeping all before them at the Newman Hilly five multi-terrain race at Hainault Forest.

There were ideal conditions for over 200 runners who took part, including 34 from the host club, who helped both the men and women secure top places in the team competition.

They were, however, pushed hard by Orion Harriers, in the first of the five-match East London Five Interclub Series held at various venues throughout the summer.

Malcolm Muir, holder of the record for this demanding two-lap course, was always going to be up against it, with Billericay's Crispian Bloomfield and Rob Warner of Havering Mayesbrook also taking part.


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Although Muir produced a gutsy run, the race went to form with Bloomfield romping home in 26.50, well clear of Warner in 27.35 with Muir third in 27.47, but still having the consolation of his course record remaining intact.

Veteran Neil Crisp ran superbly in 10th place missing out on the top 40 spot by the narrowest of margins (30.05) and getting the better of Robin McNelis in 14th (30.26). Darren Bottrill was delighted with his 30.30 for 15th having not raced much recently.

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With three veterans needed to complete the team scoring, Crisp was joined by Rohan Alexander, producing an excellent run in 33.12 for 33rd, with Abdi Berleen just one place behind in 33.40.

The women's race had a strong field with favourite Debbie Appleton of Havering Mayesbrook powering through in 32.38 for 27th overall and the first lady home. She was followed by Karen Levison of East London in 34.30, with Lisa Geffen of London Frontrunners completing the top trio.

Ilford's Karen Sindall marked her return to competitive running with 35.57 which was good enough for fifth place, although clearly a long way from her best.

Bree Nordin chased her to the line, placing seventh in 36.15. Next home was Dianne Crisp in 11th in 38.06.

Nicola Hopkinson and Vanessa Burns had a see-saw battle during the last mile, with Hopkinson finally proving the stronger, clocking 39.17 for 17th and Burns 18th in 39.26. Sally Gillam closed the team to victory with 41.46 and 28th place.

Race organisers were delighted with the success of the event which was held in memory of Newman Sargeant and raised a significant amount of money for the St Francis Hospice.

Other Ilford runners to finish included Iain Macdonald 16th (30.36), Kevin Newell 24th (32.10), Matt Maple 28th (32.49), Chris Togwell 35th (33.41), Liam Leddy 42nd (34.35), Steve Allen 52nd (36.05), Ray Rawlinson 81st (38.42), Henry Ricketts 88th (39.18), Martin Clarke 93rd (39.31), Alun Jones 108th (40.25), Leslie Hislop 116th (40.56), Billy Green 151st (45.30), Satha Alaganandasundaram (153rd) 45.52, Pathrose Louis 175th (48.14), Owen Phipps 183rd (49.210), Robin Davis 190 (52.51) and Steve Port 202nd (58.18).

The Ilford women finishers included Pam Jones 30th (42.25), Lydia Hall 31st (42.43), Claire Harrison 42nd (46.12), Joan De'ath 50th (48.50) and Carol Muir 56th (52.15).

n ILFORD AC Ladies squad had three members competing at the Great Bentley five-mile race last Friday.

The race will be remembered for a hiccup at the start as the race organisers announced a 15-minute delay and then reverted back to the original start time, causing many runners to either miss the beginning of the event, or arrive ill-prepared.

Ilford's Mel Jones clocked 35.43, Sally Gillam recorded 39.20 and Carol Muir finished in 48.21.

n Elsewhere Rohan Alexander represented Ilford AC in the Run the River five-miler, organised by Edmonton RC, and came 11th in a time of 32:40.

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