Walking back to happiness
ILFORD AC walkers triumphed in the National 20km Walking Championships for the first time at Shrewsbury Sports Village on Easter Sunday, beating second place Birchfield Harriers by an impressive seven points. However, Ilford s number one, reigning Nationa
ILFORD AC walkers triumphed in the National 20km Walking Championships for the first time at Shrewsbury Sports Village on Easter Sunday, beating second place Birchfield Harriers by an impressive seven points.
However, Ilford's number one, reigning National Champion at 50km, Scott Davis, failed to make the start after getting stuck in traffic for and hour and a half following a motorway accident.
His absence appeared to deal a fatal blow to Ilford's chances in the team competition, although he was subsequently allowed to start 25 minutes late, but was not to score in the team event. His time of 1:37.31 would have placed him second overall had he started on time.
The Ilford team packed closely, just inside the first 10, for the opening 5km of the 20-lap course, with Dave Sharpe coming to the fore.
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As halfway approached, Steve Uttley moved clear of the group as Sharpe and Laurence Dordoy began to struggle a little, and Uttley held on to 10th until around the 16km-mark when he too began to slow and was caught by team-mate Dave Kates, who went on to finish ninth in two hours exactly.
Uttley drifted back to 13th before rallying slightly in the final kilometre, finishing 11th, a further one minute and 56 seconds behind Kates, while Dordoy slowed slightly in the second half to finish 15th and complete Ilford's winning team.
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Sharpe finished 19th, which also gave Ilford success in the Milan Trophy, an additional award for the first team to finish four walkers.