It’s double delight for Ilford’s squads

A MASSIVE turnout from Ilford Athletic Club at the Barking Park 5k on Monday has put the Cricklefields Club in an unassailable position in both the men s and women s competitions in the East London Five Inter-club Series. No less than 28 athletes donned

A MASSIVE turnout from Ilford Athletic Club at the Barking Park 5k on Monday has put the Cricklefields Club in an unassailable position in both the men's and women's competitions in the East London Five Inter-club Series.

No less than 28 athletes donned the club vest in a field of just under 200 runners. With just the Dagenham 88 race remaining in the series, it is not possible for either team to be caught, meaning that both squads will now retain their shields.

The marvellous team effort was brought about by some excellent packing in both races by the Ilford contingent, with Darren Bottrill 15th in 17 minutes 28 seconds, Robin McNelis 17th in 17.32 and Iain MacDonald 19th in 17.46 leading the charge.

With Neil Crisp 26th in 18.19, Gary Floate 40th in 19.08, and Rohan Alexander 49th in 19.43 all scoring well in the veterans section, Ilford had six home in 49.


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In the women's race, Ilford had four of their top stars out through injury and sickness, but were able to demonstrate their strength in depth by still doing enough to defeat the other four east London teams.

Vanessa Burns 104th in 23.55, was ably supported by the dynamic duo of Natalie and Jennie Crisp 111th and 117th with respective times of 24.22 and 25.04 in the senior women's section. For the veterans, the dependable trio of Nicola Hopkinson 89th in 23.05, Sally Gillam 105th in 23.57 and Pam Jones 124th in 25.23 brought the squad home.

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Other times and positions for Ilford runners were:- Peter Clinch 18.10 (24th), Matthew Maple 18.38 (29th), Alex Richards 18.42 (30th), Kevin Newell 19.29 (44th), Stephen Parker 20.25 (60th), Ray Rawlinson 22.13 (77th), Henry Ricketts 22.21 (80th), Duncan Turner 22.24 (81st), Martin Clarke 22.50 (85th), Ernie Forsyth 25.18 (121st), Suki Jandu 26.41 (134th), Carol Muir 27.11 (140th), Lydia Hall 27.16 (141st), Robin Davis 28.27 (150th), David Sharpe 31.43 (163rd) Meredith Floate 31.45 (164th) and Roger Brownlow 38.31 (178th).

The previous day, Ilford's Sally Gillam and Martin Clarke had also been in action in the Sikh marathon relay.

Gillam was part of a victorious Barking Road Runners Fabulous Five Team clocking 2:35.40, which broke the previous course record set last year by Ilford AC.

Clarke's efforts were directed towards Barking's second squad The Dream Team, who finished a creditable third behind East London Runners, and also breaking the magical three hours with 2:55.00.

Ilford's up and coming young stars Iain MacDonald and Alex Richards also had a very successful mid-week outing at Orion Harriers' 5k last Wednesday.

MacDonald was top under-20 of the evening, with an excellent fifth place, finishing overall in 18.11. Richards, for his part, was top under-18 clocking 19.12 for 13th place.

Gerry Trill was 56th with 24.22.3 ladies flew the Ilford flag with Vanessa Burns 45th (23.42), Sally Gillam 59th (24.39) and Carol Muir 94th (29.38).

Meanwhile, back on the track, Ilford had three athletes taking part in the annual Tate & Lyle young athletes meeting at Newham on Monday.

There was a debut for Elliot Joseph in the under-13 boys, competing in the 800m, finishing first in a time of 2.53.3.

Also competing was Thomas King in the under-15 boys 1,500m in a time of 5.30.2 in first place and finally Victoria Onyeka, in the under-17 women, competing in the discus throwing 29.10m for second.

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