The old ’uns impress

ILFORD S veteran athletes impressed at the Essex Cou-nty Veteran Road Relay Championships in Colchester on Sunday afternoon. Over a two-lap loop of the Abbey Fields surrounding the Garrison track and measuring just over 5K, the club s over-50s contingent

ILFORD'S veteran athletes impressed at the Essex Cou-nty Veteran Road Relay Championships in Colchester on Sunday afternoon.

Over a two-lap loop of the Abbey Fields surrounding the Garrison track and measuring just over 5K, the club's over-50s contingent always looked favourites for a medal. It was just a question of what colour.

This was the first time that the super-veterans category has been run as a separate competition as part of these championships and Chris Togwell got the team off to a flying start with an excellent 19.35 on leg one.

John Batchelor then blasted round with his customary metronomic pace, hitting 19.16, to put the squad in pole position at the second changeover and it was left to ex-international Andy Catton to bring the team home for a glorious gold medal in another fast time of 19.45.


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In the over-40s section, Ilford fielded a makeshift team comprising the in-form Neil Crisp and two over-50s, drafted in late as reserves - club president John Mack-enzie and Martin Clarke, who was carrying a long-term achilles injury.

Crisp put in an excellent leg, running 18.22, to put the squad in sixth position at the first changeover.

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Both Mackenzie and Clarke battled well despite their lack of full fitness, recording 21.46 and 23.26 respectively to close the squad in 13th place.

The final results placed Ilford's over-50s in an impressive sixth overall in the main race and 67-year-old Batchelor was declared as the fastest super-veteran of the day for his time.

Injury and late withdrawals meant that the Ilford ladies were unable to declare a full team, but Dianne Crisp ran the first leg in 22.05 before the team were automatically scratched.

In the morning, Bree Nordin and Pam Jones were both in action but at separate venues. Nordin was putting the final touches to her London marathon preparations, going round the Paddock Wood half mara-thon in 1:33.

Jones was the second lady to finish in the over-55 race, the Sunflower 10k, at Hast-ingwood where she recorded 51.03, accompanied by Ray Rawlinson, who finished in 49.02.

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